In 1897, Emile Berliner's Agent set sail for England to establish The Gramophone Company in London, with records being imported from the USA. In August 1898, their first disc recording studio was established in Maiden Lane to produce recordings aimed at the British market. The main requirements to make a successful record were stamina and a strong penetrating voice. Established artists, with a few exceptions, did not appear, their songs being recorded by professional recording singers such as Charles Foster. Today, some 110 years later, few of the little seven inch discs can be found, and when they are discovered time and the ravages of the early gramophones have generally taken their toll. Now, careful digital restoration has lifted these tracks from historic relics to the highly entertaining.
The repertoire of these early discs covered the popular entertainments of the day - bands, ballads, recitations. On this CD is assembled a specifically Music Hall Selection of 35 tracks (In the listing below you can find the names of the original artistes associated with each song).
Three bonus tracks are included. Although sound quality is compromised these include Gus Elen from 1899, and one of the earliest recordings from around 1890, thought to be of Emile Berliner himself, with the Mohawk Minstrels song "Whist the Bogey Man"
For Music Hall enthusiasts and students of the earliest English recordings, this is a treasure trove indeed.