Posts Tagged ‘Record’

The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomon’

April 13, 2016

The Bonn1e Banks o’ Loch Lomon’

We have been up alongside Loch Lomond on several occasions. It really isn’t that far from Glasgow and maybe it owes its fame to that closeness – as well, of course, as lovely scenery.

But before taking a look at it, let’s look at one of my 78rpm records.


This record is venerable for it is a single sided disc. The other side has no groove, no sound and no label.

image004Instead it carries the company logo.

You can her Peter Dawson singing by clicking here –  . This recording was made in 1907.

Our first trip to Loch Lomond was back in 1970 when my true love and I arrived at Balloch Pier by train from Glasgow to await a trip up to Tarbet on a lake ship which turned out to be Maid of the Loch. The voice of the lad behind us in the queue sticks in the memory. This excited Glaswegian boy saw Maid of the Loch approaching and told his mother, ‘Maamy. It’s a beg shap’. We were struck by how what we would say as big ship, both with the same vowel sound had been spoken with two different vowel sounds – neither of them the one we’d use. I do hope that the Glaswegian accent has survived and hasn’t been changed by what some folks perceive as correct English.

We were in luck that day. The sun shone and the banks of Loch Lomon’ did indeed look bonnie.

image006Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond from Maid of the Loch.

image008The ‘beg shap’, Maid of the Loch leaves Tarbet.

Since then we have not been so lucky. Well first of all we have taken a car and you can drive very happily up the west side and really find almost nowhere to stop – until Tarbet, that is. We seem to have found Tarbet a place of mist and drizzle but it will, of course, have weather like anywhere else.

So here are a few Loch Lomond photos from the 21st century.


This was Tarbet in 2001 and again in 2004


image014This was Tarbet in 2009 and on our return a bit bonnier near Inveruglas


Ariel Music

February 1, 2016

Ariel Grand records were produced for a mail order company based in Yorkshire. The label appeared between 1910 and 1938. Here we have ‘Painting the Clouds with Sunshine’. It’s a well-known tune, but the band playing it here are rather anonymous. They are called The Ariel Dance Orchestra. There was no such actual orchestra for Ariel made use of other recordings and renamed the band. I’m afraid I can’t even guess the band here although I’m prepared to suggest it may have been recorded in about 1929.


There we have the label, complete with tax stamp. As ever the sleeve it happens to be in adds extra interest.


This sleeve was from a company in Dover, Kent with premises not so far away at Canterbury as well.

With the almost complete demise of High Street recorded music shops, youngsters might be surprised to realise that they used to exist in every town. Some of us recall, in the early 1960s going into town and into the listening booths in the record shop, requesting to hear the latest hits with little or no intention (or cash) to buy them.

These kentish shops were operating about 30 or more years before. I’d guess they had no booths and headphones.

We can hear this record by clicking this link – . It’s being played on my little Peter Pan portable from much the same era as the recording. The record isn’t in tip top condition but I can still enjoy it.

A favourite record

December 16, 2015

Regular readers will know of my taste for 1920s and 30s dance band music, along with jazz. I have a large collection of records on 78rpm shellac discs. OK, the sound quality is not perfect, even on one in good order, but I say it sounds authentic. My favourite records – I couldn’t pick just one, would be from the mid 1920s and would be a jazzy sounding dance band record. Maybe something played by the Savoy Havana Band would come near the top of the list.

This record isn’t strictly an absolute favourite, although I enjoy it. Rather it is a Favorite.

Here it is.


You can see Favorite is the record label.

I find it a fascinating record, of its era. And I believe its era is handily given on the label as 16.12.10 or 16th December 1910. That’s 105 years ago today.

Back in that era electricity was not used in the recording of music. Sound from instruments travelled through the air to a horn which concentrated the sound on a needle which cut a groove in a disc. Some instruments really had a sound which was a bit thin for this process and didn’t record well – notably the violin. Brass instruments were much better. Their sound blasted out of a horn and could be gathered up by the recording horn. But another instrument which seemed to record well was the xylophone and here we have a xylophone leading a brass dominated orchestra in a rendition of a tune called Pinkie’s Revels. Mr R White is on the xylophone.

The recording was made in London but the records were pressed in Linden. That’s in Germany.

You can hear the record by clicking here.

The project performs

December 12, 2015

Towards the end of November, the First World War Commemoration group in our village put on a concert. My wife was heavily involved as she sings in the choir and plays in the band but I had a part too. I’m seen as the village historian and was asked to do a talk about our village in 1915. I don’t just talk. I need my photos as my prompt so I always have a reasonably classy PowerPoint presentation. Let me say that by classy, I do not mean whizzy. You’ll get no pictures whizzing around the screen in my presentations. Text won’t appear one letter at a time as if by a teleprinter. There’ll be no unneeded noises to distract. I’ll use pictures, movies and sounds. I’ll overlay enlargements of an image on the whole image. I’ll add captions and arrows. My audience gets a mix of items and they seem to enjoy them. I’m asked to do quite a lot of talks.

But this time, as I had the slot immediately after the interval, I wanted some music – about a minute’s worth – to get the audience in the mood. No! Glen Miller or Joe Loss playing ‘In the Mood’; would not have done as this was a World War One event. I reckoned my ‘project’ gramophone’ could play a part and I did a search through my record collection for one I could get away with.

The gramophone dates from before 1907 so that could have been used in 1915. I think the record I chose actually dates from 1916 – but what’s a year between friends.

Anyway – here is the record.


And click here to hear the band of His Majesties Irish Guards playing one of many Wiltshire Regiment Marches. When played at the concert this gramophone probably got as much applause as anything from the 100 plus members of the audience.

A Thousand and One Nights.

May 19, 2015

Regulars will know I have quite a large collection of the old 78 RPM records.  Most I have because I like the music from what might get called the jazz age. I do like jazz but equally I like the less jazzy dance band music of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

Some of my records, though, celebrate a milestone in history or maybe have a quirky record label and this one, I think, has both of these.

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph which played cylindrical tubes. They, of course, could only have a track cut into one side.

Emil Berliner’s gramophone played the flat discs we call records and a big advantage was the ability to press the groove into it making mass production easier. But at first nobody thought of putting another track on the underside of the record. They were all ‘single siders’.

When the light dawned it was something to celebrate and this record does just that by calling itself ‘The Twin’ and stating in big writing that it is a double sided record.

So here is one side of this record.


This, as you can see, is not Thousand and One Nights. Labels stuck on that side rather obscure some parts, but here it is.


The 6D label can’t have anything to do with the original record and must have been stuck on later. The original label has the look of its age (about 1908). The fonts all have that little line known as a serif at the ends of each stroke. The 6D is a very austere sand serif font and is surely much more recent. But, having said that, the other label, presumably put there by a retailer, is also in a sans serif font.

I have recorded this, played on my little Peter Pan Gramophone. The quality is dreadful. The old record is well worn and very hissy!

You can hear Thousand and One Nights by clicking here.


February 27, 2015

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.


Johnson Rag

February 1, 2015

This could sound like some kind of cleaning product. Let’s just say it isn’t. I’m not sure that Johnson Rag is a particularly well known Glenn Miller performance. I have a number of CDs and it doesn’t appear on them. But I also (and there’s no surprise about this) have quite a collection of good old 78rpm Glenn Miller records which I assume date back to the 1940s. Johnson Rag is on the other side of ‘Yes my darling Daughter’. Here’s the record label image002 Yes it’s on the HMV label And yes, it is a good tune. You can hear some of it by clicking the link below.

I’m sorry that my Dulcetto gramophone can sound a bit tinny. – I have never used it  to showcase a record before. It’s probably the wind up gramophone I have that is nearest in age to Glenn Miller’s recording. Even so it is from the 1920s rather than the late 30s or 40s. Sometimes little coincidences happen and finding this record brought a smile to me. It was the combination of record and the sleeve it was in that did it – so here’s the sleeve. image004 It’s in a sleeve provided by Hobson and Allen of Sheffield. The simple amusement I got is that I have a niece with surname Johnson who lives in Sheffield. A Johnson record in a Sheffield sleeve just seemed fitting.

Caruso and Farrar

June 24, 2014

If the two names in the title mean anything to you then you are probably an opera buff. I’m not, but back in those days in the 1960s when I collected old 78 rpm records, I knew the names and particularly that of Enrico Caruso. I guess I decided an old single sided record which featured him was something I should have. Actually, if I am strictly honest now, I shouldn’t have it, for I don’t personally care for the music and I don’t listen to it. That, at least, means I am doing the record no harm.


There’s the record – a 12 incher – protected in an album sold by Attwells of St. Leonards –on-Sea in Sussex.


Here’s the label. We can see it’s an ‘HMV’ and the dog, Nipper’ is peering into the horn from which he can hear his master’s voice. Our two singers are performing a piece from the Puccini opera, Madama Butterfly. They sing in Italian.

Enrico Caruso was Italian and was a mega star of his era – roughly 1902 to 1920. He made 290 recordings and one of them was the first to achieve one million sales. He was a great friend of American Geraldine Farrah (some say it was more than friendship). She, too, was a star of her time. Her following of fans were known as ‘Gerry-flappers’. Her active singing era roughly coincided with Caruso’s, but whilst he died young she lived to a ripe old age.

This recording dates from 1908.

Not the only happy nerd in the world

November 23, 2013

From time to time I get to visit my pal Nick up in Norfolk. I have known him since we were at junior school so he is a very old friend. He’s very different from me, but he has nerdy tendencies and one of these was in evidence when we paid a quick visit last year.


On the table, there was Nick’s wind up gramophone, complete with record. He also had a book of HMV records so he could date his record. There are obviously other records there in a case. I spot a Broadcast 12 in the sleeve – a cheap record which used narrower grooves so a 10 inch record could play as much as a normal 12 inch one, albeit at a slightly reduced volume. A toolkit is there as well so maybe Nick had needed to do some running repairs on his gramophone. I believe it is a Columbia portable.


The record is from the dance band era being a performance of ‘Loving you the way I do’, a fox trot, by Ambrose and his Orchestra. It dates from 1931.

Nick and his wife provide a real home from home for us. Like me, he seems such a happy nerd.

Lazy Mary!

October 1, 2013

Today we are looking at another cheap record produced for Woolworth stores. In 1930 a new label was introduced – ‘Eclipse’. In this case we are looking at a children’s record of a nursery rhyme.


The record sleeve makes it really – a sleeve featuring many favourite nursery rhyme characters.  The record itself is ‘of the era’ with a very correct and clear voice singing ‘Lazy Mary won’t you get up’ with piano accompaniment. I can’t say this is a favourite for listening to and you’ll be able to feel the same if you try it by clicking here.

But it is altogether redolent of its time and I love it for that.

It can go back in the sleeve now and get filed away!