Sunday, 2 February 2014

Use your gramophone every morning and Slenderise

Elisabeth Ann Loring [& W.T Best piano]
How to Slenderise

Columbia DB 1327 
(CA14236-1 & CA14327-1)
(recorded 5th January. 1934)

 1 Flac , Here at Mediafire. [about 18Mb]

Well it is the time of year for a bit of exercise. We ‘Gramophonists’ are apt to sit about all day listening to 'stuff' and looking at blogs so flab is a certain unwelcome byproduct. Thankfully a number of helpful records were issued to combat this problem. Our record comes with a nice card showing the delectable 'Elisabeth Ann' showing you idlers the way to fitness through her movements whilst you listen to her firm instructions.

Miss Elisabeth Ann Loring was the ‘Woman's Page’ editor for the Sunday Dispatch, and Modern Weekly, using her first names as her pen name. She was born in London in 1908, although I have not been able to confirm this, and her accent is redolent of a cross between Miss Jean Brodie and Margaret Thatcher, maybe it is just the result of some elocution lessons or my imagination. She appears to have started out as a novelist with Ladies' paradise. The story of a fashion in marriage of 1933 the earliest work I have been able to trace. She studied diet and became the beauty editor for a number of women's monthly magazine and was the creator, Bread and Butter Diet for Slenderising. Further contributions under her pen name found their way into the likes of Good Housekeeping, Woman's Journal, Modern Home, Miss Modern, Woman and Beauty, etc. together with a number of books with such titles as Beauty adorned, the cultivation of personal loveliness 1935. 

She made a special study of physical culture and hormone therapy, but was still turning out the odd novel with titles that included Night After Bond Street, 1936; Designs by Jo 1936; and Bronze Angel 1937. During the war she turned out the unlikely title Hutchinson's knitted comforts for the forces 1940 and later in a similar practical work A Book for Women 1946. Later ‘Elisabeth Ann’ became the editor of Portland Publications and a director of Medistat until her death in 1978.

The unnamed pianist, accompanying with strict tempo versions of well known classics, is one W.T. Best. He  is something of a  mystery and  although he worked for Columbia throughout the 1920s & 30s & 40s with various singers and instrumental groups I  have been unable to trace anything about him. His equivalent on HMV was the ubiquitus Madame Adami who is just as mysterious, does anyone even now know what her full name was by the way? W.T. Best disappears from the recording rooms during the mid 1940s when Gerald Moore generally takes over his role in the 'better class of material'.

For some reason recordings of the voice, where the record has enormous amounts crackle as here, seem to start gurgling. I assume this is due to the smoothing of the ticks and pops which in turn create some sort of distortion in itself. In these UK pre-war recordings the noise is about 7-10% of the recorded time so some sort of distortion is apt to take place with this sort of intervention. Anyway it sounds none too bad for all that.