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.




9 comments:

  1. "We ‘Gramophonists’ are apt to sit about all day listening to 'stuff' and looking at blogs so flab is a certain unwelcome byproduct" - say, you don't have to get personal about it!

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  2. Disclaimer for this blog - For 'we' read 'some'

    Jols

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  3. W.T. Best was one of the most famous and brilliant organists of his day: not many could equal him, especially when it came to transcriptions of orchestral music.

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  4. Sadly that W.T. Best is William Thomas Best (1826-1897) who was dead and buried well before this record was made The pianist W.T. Best must be someone else. I have a note of my pianist using just 'T. Best' in some of his recordings from the 1940s, possibly because even he was being confused with his namesake!

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  5. Thanks so much for this, Jols - it does sound good, like all your transfers! I wonder why she uses such telegraphic speech ('raise leg' etc.)? Where did you get the fab pictures - did they come with the disc? It's not her, is it? Are both post cards? As for the sedentary habits of us gramophiles, I think I'm unfairly lucky - despite being averse to all exercise except walking, and being fond of a drop, I suspect my quasi-permanent grumpiness expends so much nervous energy that I seem not to pile on the pounds, to the annoyance of my dear sister! What I certainly do need is exercises for the brain - my memory for melody is going, along with everything else... I've managed to identify the 15th of Brahms's 16 Waltzes Op.39 on the first side, but the Tchaikovsky waltz on the second is eluding me - is it from Swan Lake? Oh yes, and I second your appeal for information on Mme Adami - she's been driving me potty. Not a pseudonym, is it? Does anyone know? Thanks again, G

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    1. Ah it is postcard, I think the card was sent out as an advert as it only shows two of the four movements recorded. Having tried these out with my wife (lots of huffing, puffing amd giggles) they are quite easy to follow.

      Jols

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  6. The waltz on the second side is by Offenbach; I don't know which original work that it is from, but I remember it being part of "Gaite Parisienne".

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  7. I can't lie- this record is so intriguing. Was it part of an album? If so, I'd love to see the rest make their way online.

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    1. Dear S.S

      The record was a one off although Elizabeth Ann did make other records of the same sort of stuff through another label – Unfortunately I don’t have these in my collection.

      78's like this one were made usually as novelty items to spice out the monthly record lists mixed in among the popular music of the day.

      There are other such records produced on all sorts of exercise topics this might interest you o the British library sight.

      http://sounds.bl.uk/Accents-and-dialects/Early-spoken-word-recordings/024M-1CS0026311XX-0100V0

      Also you can download from my mediafire account this 1929 recording by Agnete Bertram

      http://www.mediafire.com/download/b4pnv7v3ykmvknv/Bertram.flac

      You can find more on her at http://www.kvinfo.dk/side/597/bio/135/origin/170/

      Jolyon

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