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     In July 1897 William Barry Owen resignedContinue reading “Recording Pioneers- Part 7, William Barry Owen”

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Rivalry and co-operation

We’ve seen that Alfred Clark left Berliner’s employ in favour of Edison and moved to Paris to set up a rival to the Gramophone Company in Europe. This put the two old friends, Alfred Clark and Fred Gaisberg, in direct competition for new recordings in 1899. Clark, pictured above, proved to be a canny businessman.Continue reading “Rivalry and co-operation”

How Deutsche Gramophone was born

We saw how Trevor Williams and William Barry Owen set up The Gramophone Company in England in 1897-8 to exploit Emile Berliner’s new gramophone technology by finding & recording artists and marketing and selling their records – as well as selling the gramophones to play them on. Under their deal with Berliner, Williams and OwenContinue reading “How Deutsche Gramophone was born”

Setting up a record company: #1 Get the technology right

When William Barry Owen and Trevor Williams shook hands to establish the UK’s first record company, The Gramophone Company, in 1897 they sent for Fred Gaisberg, an American “recording expert” to come over to England to help them by setting up the recording department and the UK’s first recording studios in Maiden Lane. Fred’s involvementContinue reading “Setting up a record company: #1 Get the technology right”

A Welshman and an American went into a hotel. They came out as employees #1 and 2 of the UK recording industry.

One hundred and fourteen years ago, in December 1897, an American businessman was pacing up and down his room at the brand new and ostentatious Hotel Cecil on the Strand. The hotel had been opened the previous year in 1896 and was the largest and grandest in Europe, situated in the most fashionable shopping streetContinue reading “A Welshman and an American went into a hotel. They came out as employees #1 and 2 of the UK recording industry.”

These are the pictures that show the birth of the UK recording industry.

In 1898, the recording industry was a handful of years old and based almost entirely in America when one of the big Stateside players, The United States Gramophone Company, owned by Emile Berliner, decided to move into Europe to challenge the thee year old French Pathe Company who was the biggest European recording company atContinue reading “These are the pictures that show the birth of the UK recording industry.”