Congratulations to Tony Wadsworth CBE

Many congratulations to Tony Wadsworth on being awarded the CBE for services to the Music Industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Tony is Chairman Of the BPI and ran EMI’s UK operation for many years. It’s difficult not to sound rather creepy when somebody you know and admire gets a gong, but Tony isContinue reading “Congratulations to Tony Wadsworth CBE”

Setting up a record company: #1 Get the technology right

When William Barry Owen and Trevor Williams shook hands to establish the UK’s first record company, The Gramophone Company, in 1897 they sent for Fred Gaisberg, an American “recording expert” to come over to England to help them by setting up the recording department and the UK’s first recording studios in Maiden Lane. Fred’s involvementContinue reading “Setting up a record company: #1 Get the technology right”

Publicity photos of the early Gramophone stars #2 Albert and ‘is old Dutch

This is the second in a series of publicity shots from the early years of the recording business that our friends at the EMI Archive Trust have made available to us. These two photos are of Abert Chevalier who was a comedian, actor and music hall star at the turn of the last century. HeContinue reading “Publicity photos of the early Gramophone stars #2 Albert and ‘is old Dutch”

“No place for a woman in a recording studio”. Delia Derbyshire denied by Decca invents (soundtrack to) time travel.

There are not that many prominent women in the history of recorded sound. Indeed there are not that many women working in recording studios even today. Boffins and creatives have tended to have the odd Y chromosone or two. The recording studio can be like a gang hut. A step from Lord of the FliesContinue reading ““No place for a woman in a recording studio”. Delia Derbyshire denied by Decca invents (soundtrack to) time travel.”

“That faint perfume of the salons” The Gramophone Company moves into Opera. 1902.

In the early days of their UK business (i.e. before 1900), Gaisberg and the Gramophone company made good headway in persuading music hall stars and comedians to record with the new Gramophone technology. They found it much more difficult to persuade the great Opera singers of the day to condescend to do so. To tryContinue reading ““That faint perfume of the salons” The Gramophone Company moves into Opera. 1902.”

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”

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.”

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.”

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.”