Gaisberg in Russia: April 1st 1900

One hundred and eleven years ago today Fred Gaisberg was in the middle of his third big recording expedition. He’d travelled to continental Europe over the summer of 1899 and the British Isles over the autumn of that year and had already made hundreds of the world’s first recordings. In spring 1900 he and hisContinue reading “Gaisberg in Russia: April 1st 1900”

Fred Gaisberg. The World’s First A&R man.

Imagine a world where nothing yet has been recorded.  Almost nobody on the planet has heard sound played back to them. Radio doesn’t exist. Music is played live and exists only for as long as the notes hang in the air. And imagine then that somebody has developed a technology for recording sound and you have been given theContinue reading “Fred Gaisberg. The World’s First A&R man.”

BBC Archive Hour – Walls Of Sound

I happened to put the radio on for five minutes yesterday afternoon and came across this extraordinary documentary on Radio 4. I would heavily recommend it to anybody interested in the history of recorded sound. Its still available on the BBC Iplayer here until part way through Saturday 2nd April. This is how the BBC describedContinue reading “BBC Archive Hour – Walls Of Sound”

Gathering sounds out of the air. Charles Cros dawdles. Edison dawdles less.

Paris was clearly the centre of the world in the early days of sound recording. It was there that Leon Scott de Martinville invented his  Phonautograph to capture sound onto paper in 1857 and 20 years later Charles Cros took the process forward by working out how to record sound onto a cylinder by tracing oscillations using a screw. In AprilContinue reading “Gathering sounds out of the air. Charles Cros dawdles. Edison dawdles less.”

Apple sues Amazon over App stores. History goes round and round..like a record.

Apple, who for years was in dispute with The Beatles’ Apple Corps over name and logo usage, is now taking the lead and suing Amazon for use of the term ‘App Store’ according to the Daily Telegraph.  It’s a problem that over the years has upset the likes of Hoover, Biro and………….The Gramophone Company. Thomas Edison’s originalContinue reading “Apple sues Amazon over App stores. History goes round and round..like a record.”

The History of Recorded Music trailer. Is this going to be the Forest Gump of documentaries?

The History of Recorded Music is a major documentary series that has had a long and eventful gestation and has been “in post production” for some time; a description which can cover a multiple of sins from a stage in the production process through to the shelving of a project for whatever reason. It aimsContinue reading “The History of Recorded Music trailer. Is this going to be the Forest Gump of documentaries?”

The first recording in the history of recorded sound: 17 years before Edison. By a Frenchman!

Twenty years before Edison invented the recording process, Frenchman Leon Scott de Martinville invented a device for recording sound. He called it the Phonautograph and patented it on March 25, 1857. It did what it said on the tin and recorded sound, tracing the shape of sound waves as undulations or other deviations in a line traced on smoke-blackenedContinue reading “The first recording in the history of recorded sound: 17 years before Edison. By a Frenchman!”

How to make a hit record in 1979

I found this piece of film on youtube. Its a wonderful period piece shot in Australia that shows how EMI Australia recorded, manufactured and released a record in those days when vinyl ruled the world. I think that recording was made in EMI’s Studios 301 that is now part of Tom Meisner’s SAE empire. CanContinue reading “How to make a hit record in 1979”

Jet Harris passes on

It is very sad to learn of the death of Jet Harris who was early bass guitarist with Cliff Richard and The Shadows. He’s been credited with both introducing the first electric bass guitar into the UK and with coming up with the name of The Shadows when Cliff’s band had to change their nameContinue reading “Jet Harris passes on”

Nellie Melba. Born 150 years ago, buried 70 years ago.

Nellie Melba is one of those huge musical stars from the turn of the last century whose name remains very familiar today – although sadly her music is less well known. She died just over 80 years go on February 23rd 1931 and you can see how significant she was at the time from this clip ofContinue reading “Nellie Melba. Born 150 years ago, buried 70 years ago.”