(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.”

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”

Photographs from long ago: #1 Paderewski.

We have been given access to a number of vintage photo’s from the EMI Archive Trust which we’ll run as a series. This is Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Quite a picture, quite a man…. Paderewski had a run of the mill career…..Born into a poor Polish family, he became a world famous pianist, married a Baroness,Continue reading “Photographs from long ago: #1 Paderewski.”

Rules Britannia’s first recording studio green room in 1899

Rules Restaurant, Maiden Lane, London The first London recording studios were established next door to this place.  Fred Gaisberg’s early recordings in the capital were made in the Gramophone Company’s premises at 31 Maiden Lane in the Covent Garden area, Rules restaurant was then (and remains to this day) at 35 Maiden Lane. It became a central point toContinue reading “Rules Britannia’s first recording studio green room in 1899”

Maybe its Maybellene! May 1st 1955: Chuck Berry signs to Chess Records.

They didn’t hang around in the 1950’s record business. 18 year old Chuck Berry was introduced to Leonard Chess (of Chess Records fame) by Muddy Waters 61 years ago today. Chess listened to Berry’s blues/r’n’b act but was not overly impressed as r’n’b sales were dropping and Chess had his eyes and ears out forContinue reading “Maybe its Maybellene! May 1st 1955: Chuck Berry signs to Chess Records.”