If you were to ask people to name the top ten groups of the 1960s then you would expect "The Beatles" to feature somewhere in the list. In the same way, artists like Gus Elen, Harry Champion and Florrie Forde would feature in a Music Hall "Top Ten". "CDR37 - A Music Hall Sampler" forms a great introduction to the styles of music hall songs, and includes some famous songs as well as the more obscure. As a taster of Music Hall songs then CDR14 "Music Hall Medleys" can be thoroughly recommended since it combines extremely clear recordings with a whole range of different styles and songs. CDR15 "Costers & Cockneys" harnesses the talents of specifically London Artists and forms a good introduction to an earlier style of performance and recording technique. Another artist, whose diction is very clear and has songs of immediate appeal for today is Lily Morris featured on CDR18.
Music Hall songs were the pop music of their day. The songs deal with all the timeless things of life - love, money (or lack of it), politics, enjoyment, heartache. In addition, many had very catchy tunes. Some of them, such as "My Old Dutch", "Oh Oh Antonio" , "Hello, Hello, Who's your lady friend" and "A little bit of what you fancy does you good" have been incorporated into folk memory. Others conjure up a long lost time of servants, butlers, maids, hansom cabs and foggy Winter Evenings or Excursion Trains to the Seaside.
There is a misconception that all old "78" recordings must be scratchy and tinny. This is probably borne of experiences with worn records and old "wind-up" horn gramophones. Modern equipment and computer techniques, when used properly, can accurately bring out the sounds recorded in the grooves of both discs and cylinders whilst minimising any unwanted noises. Windyridge CDs are transferred electronically using state of the art equipment - we do not "stick a microphone down the gramophone horn". To get a flavour of the sound quality, you can listen to some sample tracks.
Each CD Page includes one sample track to audition.
No. These are available only by mail order from ourselves.
For UK delivery, post and packing is £ 2.50 per order. A per order charge is also made for airmail postage outside the UK.
The old "78" records which we use as the source material fall into two main types - those recorded directly into a horn (known as acoustic records) and those which used a Microphone (known as Electrical records). In general the Electrical recordings are more attuned to modern ears and have a wider bass and treble response. Whilst the older acoustic records have a charm all their own, they repay more careful listening. The Regular Music Hall CDs feature artists from the late 19th and the earliest part of the 20th Century, and so are generally taken from acoustic recordings. The Variety Series use only the later electrical records (with a few exceptions which are clearly shown on the track listings).
No, we are completely independent.
If you have a collection of Music Hall material (discs or cylinders) then we are always interested so please contact us.
Suggestions for future issues are always welcome.
We do not supply sheet music as some works are still in copyright. For songs and lyrics you are advised to visit a good second-hand bookshop. Extracts of words to some short choruses are included with the CD Melodies of the Music Hall (CDR38) for your personal use.
Handle the disc only by the outer edge to keep fingerprints from the surface. Don't touch the unlabelled shiny side of a disc as that is the recording surface. Use a soft, lint-free cloth for cleaning the disc to remove dust, only wiping from the centre to the outer edges and never wiping in a circular motion. Don't put a disc down on hard surfaces that could scratch the recording surface. Don't use abrasive or solvent cleaners, audio CD disc cleaners, or conventional vinyl record cleaning solutions on the disc. Store discs in their storage cases to avoid scratches, and in a cool, dry place, away from direct light. Don't leave the discs in direct sunlight or in a hot, humid environment. Don't spill liquids or allow moisture to condense on the disc.
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