Emile Berliner cuts the first discs: Tvinkle, tvinkle, little star, how I vunder vot you are

Emile Berliner may have been the most talented of all the great inventors playing with the new audio technology during the second half of the 19th century. He was born in Germany 160 years ago today, May 20th 1851, and moved to the states when he was 19. Berliner is probably most famous in theContinue reading “Emile Berliner cuts the first discs: Tvinkle, tvinkle, little star, how I vunder vot you are”

Recording 2011. Gorillaz new record (largely) made on an ipad

One of the great records of 2010 was Plastic Beach by Gorillaz. Whilst they were touring the record around the States last autumn they made a new album that seems to reflect the feeling of being on an endless tour. interesting thing about the new record is that Damon Albarn, who “is” Gorillaz, made theContinue reading “Recording 2011. Gorillaz new record (largely) made on an ipad”

Peachy. Dame Nellie Melba was born 150 years ago today.

Today marks the 150th birthday of Helen Porter Mitchell. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, on May 19th 1861 and was destined to become the leading opera singer in the world during the “Golden Age of Opera”. She also became a household name – Dame Nellie Melba. There were a number of special qualities thatContinue reading “Peachy. Dame Nellie Melba was born 150 years ago today.”

(Another) Welshman invents electromechanical device that converts sound into an electrical signal & calls it mic not dave.

He doesn’t look very happy in this picture, but this is David E. Hughes, former child prodigy harpist turned inventor who was a very successful and significant man. He was born 180 years ago yesterday. Hughes was a contemporary of Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell and paddled in the same new technology waters asContinue reading “(Another) Welshman invents electromechanical device that converts sound into an electrical signal & calls it mic not dave.”

Happy Birthday Brian Eno. Born on this day in 1948.

Lest we forget, the mavericks that forged the history of recorded sound did not die out in the first half of the twentieth century…..one or two are still playing around. None more famously and successfully so than Brian Eno, to whom we raise a celebratory glass on his birthday today. Eno has twiddled his fairContinue reading “Happy Birthday Brian Eno. Born on this day in 1948.”

The saviour of the 1890’s record business – and possibly where Jonathan Ives got his inspiration for the ipod white bud earphones?

We’ve posted this picture before but hadn’t realised its significance. Digging a bit further into the life of Fred Gaisberg (who was the Zelig of the early recording business), the relevance of the photo becomes clear. Thomas Edison invented the phonograph system of recording and playing back sound that preceded the gramophone and used cylindersContinue reading “The saviour of the 1890’s record business – and possibly where Jonathan Ives got his inspiration for the ipod white bud earphones?”

A Welshman and an American went into a hotel. They came out as employees #1 and 2 of the UK recording industry.

One hundred and fourteen years ago, in December 1897, an American businessman was pacing up and down his room at the brand new and ostentatious Hotel Cecil on the Strand. The hotel had been opened the previous year in 1896 and was the largest and grandest in Europe, situated in the most fashionable shopping streetContinue reading “A Welshman and an American went into a hotel. They came out as employees #1 and 2 of the UK recording industry.”

These are the pictures that show the birth of the UK recording industry.

In 1898, the recording industry was a handful of years old and based almost entirely in America when one of the big Stateside players, The United States Gramophone Company, owned by Emile Berliner, decided to move into Europe to challenge the thee year old French Pathe Company who was the biggest European recording company atContinue reading “These are the pictures that show the birth of the UK recording industry.”

Our First Plug!

  This is very exciting. We’ve been asked to spread the news about a new book. Our first plug!  And we are very pleased to say that the book in question is rather lovely; it’s  a lavishly-illustrated, information-packed hardback book printed on high quality silk paper with colour digital photographs, comprehensive descriptions, technical details, originalContinue reading “Our First Plug!”

London’s first recording studios

In an earlier blog entry we touched upon (EMI predecessor) The Gramophone Company’s first recording studio which was located two doors up from Rules Restaurant at 31 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden. This would have been the very first recording studio in London, pre-dating Abbey Road Studios by 33 years! Those kind people at the EMIContinue reading “London’s first recording studios”