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”

Nipper 1884 – 1895

Name:            Nipper Born:              1884 Resident:        London Occupation:   Posing for paintings, attacking Gramophones, looking for His   Masters Voice Loves:              Being a world famous icon, treats Francis Barraud’s painting of a fox terrier to an early gramophone remains one of the oldest and best-known of trademarks and records logos. It was a brilliantly conceivedContinue reading “Nipper 1884 – 1895”

Recording Pioneers- Part 4

Trevor Lloyd Williams   “The money behind the music” Name:                        Trevor Lloyd Williams          Born:                         18 July 1859, Deudraeth Castle, Penrhynd, Merionethshire, Wales Resident:                  London Occupation:             Solicitor, The first major British investor and registered The Gramophone Company in the United Kingdom in 1898 with William Barry Owen Loves:                       Classical music, Law, Travelling,Continue reading “Recording Pioneers- Part 4”

Victor Ludorum. The Forgotten Man of Music History: Eldridge R.Johnson

By Carey Fleiner Quick – show of hands – tell me everything you know about Eldridge R. Johnson….well, if you’re poking around this website, you probably have heard of him, but many people have not. If you’re one of the ‘nots’ — perhaps you’ve heard of his company The Victor Talking Machine Company which heContinue reading “Victor Ludorum. The Forgotten Man of Music History: Eldridge R.Johnson”

The Four Major record companies in the UK (in 1924). #1

We’ve stumbled across a wonderful book called “The Talking Machine Industry” written by Ogilvie Mitchell in 1924. It is a bit of a hack job to be frank. Mr Mitchell’s style is frothy and he gallops across a range of subjects to do with the history of recorded music at that point (i.e. less thanContinue reading “The Four Major record companies in the UK (in 1924). #1”

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.”