Friday Mystery Object of the week #9 Answer

And the answer is… The Lumiere Gramophone (HMV Model 460). Well done to those of you who answered correctly!

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The Lumiere Gramophones were a great novelty of 1924, making a highly successful debut at the Piccadilly Hotel, London, on Wednesday 22nd October an esteemed audience.The HMV Model 460 was introduced in early 1925, and is unique by virtue of its Lumiere pleated diaphragm instead of a conventional horn. This enabled the tone arm and sound box to be eliminated and in theory would have been cheaper to make (the price tag didn’t reflect this). The sound produced was less directional than a horn, but as the diaphragm was fragile and easily damaged, the 460 was removed from the catalogue after about a year. The cabinets were then used for the Model 461 which used a conventional internal horn and soundbox. It originally cost £22 in Oak, and £25 in mahogany.

Friday Mystery Object of the week #8 Answer

And the answer is… The Peter Pan Clock Gramophone. Well done to those of you who answered correctly!

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The Peter Pan Clock Gramophone was a relatively simple ‘talking clock’ from mid-1920’s onwards. By winding both the clock and gramophone motor, setting the desired alarm time and placing the needle on the record, the record would play when triggered by the alarm. The alarm itself was patented and sold in France, but had a Swiss motor and diaphragm.

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.

 

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!

30 years of NOW Music

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The NOW that’s what I call music CD compilation album is 30 years old today.
The most successful/best selling of the NOW series was NOW 44 millennium edition in 1999 which sold 2.3 million copies and was released in November instead of the usual December release.

Can you guess which artist has the most tracks on the NOW albums?
It’s the one and only Robbie Williams!

Friday Mystery Object #6 answer

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Friday Mystery Object  #6 answer

To those who got it right, well done!

This is an experimental Digital Desk from around 1980. This is the work surface and there were also 3 full sized racks of machinery to do all the processing. It was built by EMI’s Central Research Laboratories. Read this extract from the Audio Engineering Society to find out more.