The New Sound Of Music 1979

The New Sound of Music is a fascinating BBC historical documentary from the year 1979. It charts the development of recorded music from the first barrel organs, pianolas, the phonograph, the magnetic tape recorder and onto the concepts of musique concrete and electronic music development with voltage-controlled oscillators making up the analogue synthesizers of theContinue reading “The New Sound Of Music 1979”

The oldest-known EMI recording desk

By Brain Kehew This mixer is the oldest-known EMI recording desk in existence. It was a bespoke design made for Abbey Road studios (then called the EMI Recording Studios Ltd.) When the studio complex was young, there was very little commercially-made studio equipment; so studios built their own. This desk is an early example ofContinue reading “The oldest-known EMI recording desk”

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”

The Duke of Edinburgh records at Abbey Road Studios!!

Our friends from EMI Archive Trust have given SOTH this exclusive picture of The Duke of Edinburgh recording during his visit to Abbey Road Studios. Here is a selection of his most notable quotes as he offers his own unique advice to people all over the world. On approaching his 90th birthday: “Bits are beginning to drop off”. To EltonContinue reading “The Duke of Edinburgh records at Abbey Road Studios!!”

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)”

Captain Scott’s Desert Island Discs. A flavour of what were the happening sounds in Antarctica 100 years ago

This article was written by Jasper Rees and published on theartsdesk 11 April 2012   The gramophone on which Scott and his men listened to music hall and opera at the bottom of the world   Centenaries are sizeable business in 2012. It just so happens that the Olympics are coming to the United Kingdom for theContinue reading “Captain Scott’s Desert Island Discs. A flavour of what were the happening sounds in Antarctica 100 years ago”