Memories of EMI – Brian Kehew at Abbey Road Studios

Thanks again to the lovely folks from the EMI Archive Trust for sharing another great piece. They recently met up with the legend Brian Kehew (Co-Author of the Recording the Beatles book) for their Memories of EMI Campaign.

In this short video he shares how they found one of the key pieces of technology used on many Beatles recordings and the software model that followed that discovery.

If you are interested in taking part in this campaign you can contact the EMI Archive Trust: info@emiarchivetrust.org.

Music: “Everybody’s trying to be my baby” by Carl Perkins

Photo credits:
Abbey Road Studios and Equipment. Photographer: A.C.K Ware Ltd, 1930s – 40s. Copyright: EMI Music Ltd
Altec Compressor and “Recording the Beatles” book cover with permission from Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

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Recording Pioneers- Part 7, William Barry Owen

 

Name:              William Barry Owen

Born:              15 April 1860

Resident:        Born in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

Occupation:   Sent to London to raise investment funds for the Gramophone Company to expand into Europe

Loves:             Music, Musicians, Gambling, London high society parties

 

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In July 1897 William Barry Owen resigned from his post with the National Gramophone Company in the United States and sailed for Britain. He was sent by Emile Berliner, inventor of the Gramophone and flat disc to set up the company in England and find investors. When he arrived he met a young Welsh lawyer; Trevor Lloyd Williams who became his co-founder of The British Gramophone Company in 1899.

Owen was an excellent sales man, having refined his selling talents as a sales man during his law degree at Amherst College. He was also a gambler who enjoyed the high stakes of starting up new ventures and more importantly he enjoyed living the high life that could be achieved if successful and so he jumped at the potential high profits in Berliner’s new Gramophone.

Initially he threw himself into the work but found high society London to be a tough crowd to crack, the Gramophones were selling but he found it difficult to attract investors to help build the business. It was his idea to bring in the Lambert Typewriter as an insurance product in case the Gramophone flopped. However, as fate would have it, the Lambert typewriter failed to bring in much revenue and The Gramophone Company stopped production in 1904. At this point Owen seemed to loose interest in the business,  he remained on the board for two more years and then left The Gramophone Company altogether in 1906.

After resigning he left Britain and returned home to the United States where he made several unsuccessful attempts in the agricultural business. By 1910 he had spent all of his money and was riddled with debt. He spent the rest of his life living off a pension paid jointly by Victor Talking Machine and The Gramophone Company.

Top 10 Aussie Sopranos

By Roger Neil

Sound of the Hound guest blogger
Someone started a thread on the unofficial BBC Radio 3 message boards asking for nominations for the top ten sopranos.

It seemed to me that the emerging lists were filled with the usual suspects, and since I’m currently in the process (with Tony Locantro) of finishing up a 4 x CD set for Decca Australia entitled ‘From Melba to Sutherland: Australian Singers on Record’, this is the list I offered:

Melba as Rosina

Nellie Melba
Frances Alda
Elsa Stralia
Florence Austral
Margherita Grandi
Marjorie Lawrence
Sylvia Fisher
Joan Hammond
Elsie Morison
Joan Sutherland

What a team. Other nominations?

If you  have loved this article by Roger Neil you can find more articles on the Official Roger Neil blog.

 

Alan Blumlein Stereo Model

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Lets say that you are a scientist, a physicist and mathematician. You are a genius and have just invented a new technology that could revolutionise the music industry… How would you pitch the idea to the directors and business team of your company, they are not scientists, but hold the power to release the funds you need to finish off the work?

Well if you were Alan Blumlein and had just developed stereo technology at EMI’s Central Research Laboratories, you’d create a large scale model. His model showed how one needle in a specially cut groove on a record could give out two signals simultaneously resulting in a more stereophonic sound. Here is a short video of that model in action. Notice the difference in readings between the two dials.

Win a copy of Scott’s Music Box

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Win a copy of Scott's Music Box

The hound has come across this competition from the folks over at the EMI Archive Trust and thought it was worth sharing with you all! Sign up and Good luck!

This Christmas we are offering you the chance to WIN one of 5 copies of Scott’s Music Box from the EMI Archive Trust.

This double CD is mixture of music hall and theatre favourites, popular contemporary songs and instrumentals, operatic and classical excerpts, and comedy / spoken word from the time when Captain Scott made his last expedition to the South Pole, 1910 – 1913.

To win a copy of Scott’s Music Box simply sign up to our NEWSLETTER by midnight on Sunday 15th December 2013.
If you have already signed up to the newsletter then you are already included in the draw to win a copy of the Scott’s CD!

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Memories of EMI, Rupert Perry

The strong legacy of EMI is a testament to the people who worked for the company and those who loved the music across the years. We’d love to hear from those who have worked for EMI and from those who have enjoyed the music from outside of the company. What music they love? Which artists they adore? What shows they saw? And any other memories of the music that came out of EMI.
We’d love to see your pictures and learn who is in the photo and what is going on? As well as video’s of your favourite songs from across the years.

Staff from the EMI Archive Trust sat down with a previous EMI executive, Rupert Perry, to talk about a photograph when EMI staff were celebrating achieving the  No. 1 Single, No.1 Album and No.1 Video at the EMI Records Manchester Square building in 1987. (Image courtesy of the Rupert Perry Collection.)

No. 1 Single, No.1 Album and No.1 Video at the EMI Records Manchester Square building in 1987

No. 1 Single, No.1 Album and No.1 Video at the EMI Records Manchester Square building in 1987

Take a look at a blog post of his thoughts via this link.

If you have any of your own #memoriesofEMI stories to share please get in touch!