. . . . . . . .
This mini information magazine on old records is issued monthly and covers many aspects of collecting 78rpm records
As I haven't been invited on to Desert Isle Discs, here are the records I would happily share for ever with myself on my Desert Island.
The Georgians: Charleston Baby O' Mine (Columbia 3673)
Born in 1931, and educated at La Sargasse Convent, Ann started in records at the age of only nine when she won the audition arranged by HMV to star in their 1941 recording of Alice in Wonderland. It must have been quite an experience for a young girl to appear alongside such household names as Florence Desmond and Robertson Hare. The four sides were issued on HMV C3243/4. Alice Through the Looking Glass followed on C3245.
After that Ann made a number of successful recordings listed in the HMV catalogue as 'Children's Recordings' on the BD label. Perhaps most interesting is her effort as Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz selections (BD1228). She recorded a number of Disney songs and a series of 8 records titled "Ann Stephens' Nursery Rhymes" including the best selling Buckingham Palace (BD973) and Teddy Bears' Picnic (BD1090), which turns up in almost every collection of 78's you ever find!
After the war, with radio favourite Franklin Engelmann she also appeared in "Cinderella and the Glass Slipper" (HMV C3930) before retiring gracefully from the recording scene. However through the 1950's she also appeared as a young actress in various television programmes, including a number of dramatic roles made in series such as Mark Saber.
I'd be very pleased if anyone can add to the information given in this article. TALKING MACHINE SOCIETIES
Before the first war there sprang up societies devoted to the playing of gramophone and phonograph recordings. After the war the movement flourished extensively. Here are accounts of some meetings.
Belfast -The first ever meeting was on Wednesday 5th March 1919 at Central Hall in Rosemary Street. "Those present, who are keen Gramophonites, were much surprised at the fine reproduction given by the latest Edison model," the Edison Diamond Phonograph, loaned by hon sec Mr A Sibbins.
Chairman Alfred Wilson described some of the earliest phonograph machines in vogue about twenty years previously, claiming to be the first purchaser of such a machine in the city. John Stilling acted as operator and lecturer.
The aims of the society were that it would be open to all users of instruments (ie phonograph and gramophone), with demonstrations of various types of machine and "all that are new and up-to-date in records." The aim was to have "free and easy meetings" with ample opportunity for discussions.
Edinburgh- November 16th 1922's meeting was "sustained by the lady members." The hon sec of the society reveals something about attitudes of the time in his report:
"A very varied selection proved that the ladies' tastes can rise above a new hat when they become gramophonists. It was unfortunate that the society soundbox should have been out of adjustment, and therefore some of the records did not get the reproduction they deserved." At least he refrained from any comment about ladies being unable to repair the box.
The music chosen included Caruso- O Sole Mio, Homer- Old Black Joe, Rachmaninoff- Prelude, "a good Scala"- Cotton Fields Medley, Sammons and Tertis- Passacaglia, Coldstream Guards- Mountain Gnomes, and Peter Dawson- Gay Highway, his latest November offering in the HMV catalogue, "notable for its smooth surface."
To the Start of mag