My Lost Kentucky Home

By Roger Neil I’ve been listening to recordings made in the 1930s and early 40s by the black American contralto, Marian Anderson. She’s one of my very favourite singers, not only among altos, and one of the finest songs on the CD is her rendition of Stephen Foster’s ‘My Old Kentucky Home’. It seems suchContinue reading “My Lost Kentucky Home”

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Top 10 Aussie Sopranos

By Roger Neil 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 setContinue reading “Top 10 Aussie Sopranos”

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”

The arrival of wire-less

By Roger Neil I found this interview with Guglielmo Marconi in Leslie Baily’s BBC Scrapbooks. It was conducted in 1896 shortly after Marconi had installed a transmitter on the roof of the GPO and a receiver in a building on the Thames Embankment, 500 yards away.   “Was the message quite clearly received?” asked theContinue reading “The arrival of wire-less”

Nellie Melba and The Star Spangled Banner

The Hound is pleased to welcome our newest contributor Roger Neill      By Roger Neill As we all know, a vital ability in life is to respond creatively to an unforeseen threat quickly and decisively. The great Australian diva, Nellie Melba, was set to sing Rosina in The Barber of Seville in San FranciscoContinue reading “Nellie Melba and The Star Spangled Banner”