Joe Batten’s Book: The Story of Sound Recording

SOTH would like to thank our latest contributor Michael Lloyd-Davies for his insightful review on the memoirs of Joe Batten – pioneer recording manager.    By Michael Lloyd-Davies    In his foreward to Joe Batten’s memoirs, Joe is described by Sir Compton McKenzie as “that other great recorder” bracketed with Freddy Gaisberg. Joe Batten’s story isContinue reading “Joe Batten’s Book: The Story of Sound Recording”

HARRY LAUDER (1870–1950)

By Tony Locantro Harry Lauder (1870–1950), the great international Scottish entertainer, was born into a poor family in Portobello, near Edinburgh, and worked in Scottish coal mines during his youth. His fellow-mineworkers enjoyed his singing and encouraged him to perform in the local halls, which led to a full-time career as a singer. He madeContinue reading “HARRY LAUDER (1870–1950)”

CLARA BUTT (1872–1936)

 By Tony Locantro In Victorian and Edwardian times, there was a great vogue for female singers with deep,  contralto voices, who drew huge audiences to concerts of arias from operas and oratorios as well as popular ballads. Clara Butt (1872–1936) was one of the most famous and was under exclusive contract to The Gramophone CompanyContinue reading “CLARA BUTT (1872–1936)”

The bass-baritone Peter Dawson (1882–1961)

  By Tony Locantro Courtesy of  © EMI Group Archive Trust The bass-baritone Peter Dawson (1882–1961) came to the UK from his native Australia to study singing in 1903. His lessons with Sir Charles Santley stood him in good stead for a career that lasted almost 60 years and encompassed every kind of music, from the oratorios ofContinue reading “The bass-baritone Peter Dawson (1882–1961)”

The tenor Edward Lloyd (1845–1927)

By Tony Locantro   The tenor Edward Lloyd (1845–1927) had a distinguished career for some 30 years as a leading oratorio and concert singer and was considered by some to be the foremost tenor exponent of that genre during the last quarter of the 19th century. He retired in December 1900, a few months afterContinue reading “The tenor Edward Lloyd (1845–1927)”

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.”