I started collecting 78RPM records back in the early 1960s. I particularly liked 1920s dance band music and Whispering, played by Paul Whiteman and his Ambassador orchestra is an early example for this foxtrot was recorded in 1920. It quickly became a firm favourite of mine.

Of course, I’m horrified by the fact that a record that was a mere 42 years old when I bought it at a local jumble sale, is now a veteran of 95. I’ve owned it for more than 50 years!


This is a 10 inch diameter 78 RPM record which appears to have a four shillings (4/=) price tag on it. The stamp on the record indicated that duty was paid of 1½d. That’s little more that ½p in present money.

Paul Whiteman was given the sobriquet, ‘The King of Jazz’. True jazz enthusiasts probably cringe at the nickname for Paul’s music quite definitely was not jazz but rather was played, at times in a jazzy style.

The think that made Whispering a real favourite was that one section has a swanee whistle as lead instrument. These were also known as slide whistles and have the benefit (or huge disadvantage) of being able to play absolutely any note. It is horribly difficult to get just the right one.

But listen here to one of my old gramophones (it also dates from 1920 so is perfect for this piece of music) playing the record.


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