Gaisberg’s Travels

On the 23rd of July 1898 Fred Gaisberg, at the age of 25 set sail on the 9 a.m. SS Umbria Cunard ship from New York to Liverpool. He was sent by the inventor of the Gramophone, Emile Berliner to London as one of the first sound engineers to set up a recording studio inContinue reading “Gaisberg’s Travels”

Scott’s Gramophone Great Tour

In 1910 this beautiful HMV Gramophone was loaned by The Gramophone Company to Captain Scott to keep the sailors and expedition team entertained as they made their way to the South Pole. Scott took with him two HMV “monarch” gramophones, donated by The Gramophone Company, which later became EMI, together with several hundred 78rpm discs,Continue reading “Scott’s Gramophone Great Tour”

Happy American Independence day!

In the early days of the Gramophone Company the British founders worked closely with their American counterparts. A lot of the initial success can be attributed to one of the first sound and recording engineers – American Born Fred Gaisberg. He began working on the newly invented gramophone in the late 19th century and wasContinue reading “Happy American Independence day!”

Florrie Forde’s lost Blue Plaque

By Roger Neil In 2006 I proposed to English Heritage that they put up one of their Blue Plaques in London to the music hall legend, Florrie Forde. They were enthused and started the apparently long and arduous task of researching her life and work and homes. Florrie was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1876Continue reading “Florrie Forde’s lost Blue Plaque”

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”

Revealed: the secrets of Captain Scott’s playlist

New album is compiled from gramophone recordings explorer took on ill-fated journey to the Antarctic This article was written by Adam Sherwin published by The Independant,  Thursday 10 May 2012  Huddled together inside their hut while blizzards raged outside, Captain Scott and his men found solace in the gramophone records of comical music hall hits, operettas and stirring anthemsContinue reading “Revealed: the secrets of Captain Scott’s playlist”

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)”