Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

56. Aldous Huxley - Visionary Experience

Broadcast on 30th November 2010

The author of Brave New World, The Perennial Philosophy, The Doors of Perception, The Devils of Loudon and more delivers a superb lecture to an audience at Los Alamos laboratories, effortlessly drawing on art, science and mysticism to express his ideas with tremendous eloquence.

Speaking Personally... Aldous Huxley
Lansdowne, 1975

Here's a short extract from this wonderfully recorded album released on Lansdowne as a taster of Huxley's voice and engaging charm as a speaker.

Aldous Huxley, Visionary Experience
A series of talks on The Human Situation, Recorded Live from The Lecture Hall
Volume Two.
Laura Archera Huxley/ Gifford Associates, undated but suggested as 1969.
Aldous Huxley Aldous Huxley
This is the entire lecture. Check out the back of the sleeve for his notes for this lecture.

Monday, November 22, 2010

55. Ludwig Koch

Broadcast on 23 November 2010

Ludwig Koch was the first person to record the voice of an animal, recording an Indian Sharma bird in 1889 on an Edison Cylinder. His interest in sound recording led him to make some of the most amazing field recordings over many decades, and we present excerpts of two records in which he is interviewed and some of his recordings are played and remarked upon.

A Salute To Ludwig Koch and a selection of some of his finest recordings
BBC Wildlife Series No. 1
BBC Records,
Adapted from a BBC programme "The Best of Ludwig Koch" originally broadcast on 11th November 1968 in "The World Of Sound" series in honour of his 87th birthday.

Ludwig Koch - recollections and recordings The pioneer of nature recordings looks back over his life. With a further selection of his unique recordings.
BBC Wildlife Series No. 6
BBC Records,
koch_recollections koch_recollections_back
A longer version of a BBC programme produced by John Burton and originally broadcast on 14th November 1969 in the Radio 4 series "listen" to mark Ludwig Koch's 88th birthday.

54. JB Priestley and Gerard Hoffnung

Broadcast on 16th November 2010

The warm Bradford tones of Priestley reading from Delights, finished off with the effusively rumbunctious mirthfulness of the inimitable Gerard Hoffnung.

An Informal Hour with J.B.Priestley
Spoken Arts, undated
JB Priestley
Orchestral Conductors
Smell of Tahiti
Smoking in a Hot Bath
Not Going

No School Report
Long Trousers
Pleasure and Gratitude of Children
The Mineral Water in Bedrooms of Foreign Hotels
Orchestras Tuning Up
The Delight That Never Was
But This is Where We Came In

BBC Records, 1973
hoffnung_importance hoffnung_middle
Two excerpts:
The Film Fan recorded in 1955 and broadcast originally on "Talking About Films".
My Life recorded in 1953 and originally broadcast on "Woman's Hour" thus earning it, in my humble opinion, clearly the best ever Woman's Hour broadcast honours.

Friday, November 12, 2010

53. Sherlock Holmes and the Redheaded League

Broadcast on 9th November 2010.

Here is an entire Sherlock Holmes story along with a selection of Aesop's Fables read by Boris Karloff.

Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Basil Rathbone
The Redheaded League
Caedmon, 1963
Sherlock Holmes 2

Aesop's Fables - read by Boris Karloff
Wing, 1967

Sunday, October 31, 2010

52. Science Fiction - Science Fact

Broadcast on 2nd November 2010

A story from the pen of Ursula Le Guin read by the author, the dulcet and infinitely reassuring tones of Peter Jones as the Book in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and a comprehensive account of the theory or relativity by Dr Edward Teller - easy reading for your ears!

Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I have loved the work of Douglas Adams since I watched the very first episode of the BBC TV production of Hitchhikers Guide as a small boy. Peter Jones' voice is one those very special voices that send a tingle up the spine when I hear them. I wish I could play more of this.

The Size And Nature Of The Universe. Relativity Dr. Edward Teller
Spoken Arts/General Dynamics Corporation, New York, c1957

This time we hear all about Relativity. If you're not interested in Relativity then marvel in the germanic accent that Dr Teller rolls around his tongue. Informative and entertaining! Notably this record was also directed by the fabled Arthur Luce Klein who was responsible for most of the Spoken Arts recordings, many of which we have played on the show.

Gwilan's Harp and Intracon read by the author Ursula K. Le Guin
Caedmon, 1977

Here's an author I'm not that familiar with, but since finding this record in a junk shop in Portland round the corner from Matty and Kimberley's place, I will be looking out for some of her novels. The sleeve notes to this record are priceless and written with true wit and style. I will try to scan them or get a good quality photo and will post them here at some point soon.

51. Comedy and Comedians

Broadcast on 26th October 2010

Ooops, left it a bit late to update this page and can't remember the strapline or running order, so below is subject to change or correction.

Several comedians and comic actors at work.

Steptoe And Son
Pye Golden Guinea, 1962

Wilfred Brambell as Albert and Harry H Corbett as Harold in this excerpt from The Diploma entitled The Gentle Art Of Totting. Vintage double act from the BBC series, music by Ron Grainer of Doctor Who theme-tune fame.

Scott Dobson's Larn Yersel' Geordie with George Russel and Mike Neville.
MWM Records, undated.

Should have been a double header with Teach Thissen Tyke but I only just found this at the car boot sale last week. Hello to Bennett Hogg and all at the Toon Uni.

Watch Out For The Bits! The explosive exploits of Blaster Bates volume four.
Big Ben, 1971

Blaster tells the tale of the Butterless Butty and dispenses other pearls of northern wisdom. Sorry about the swearing but it's all good fun.

Barry Humphries by permission of Dame Edna Everage PROUDLY PRESENTS Housewife Superstar!

Actually, we don't hear from Dame Edna herself but the fellow who introduces her show with a warm act of his own as his capacity as the Australian Cultural Attache to the Court of St James, Les Patterson.

Friday, October 22, 2010

50. Betjeman and Larkin

Broadcast on 19th October 2010

Welcome to our landmark fiftieth show. Standing back for a moment that suddenly seems like an awful lot of broadcasting and all the effort that has gone into the show has, I hope you will agree, been absolutely worthwhile.

I am delighted to present two wonderful recordings of the late poet Laureate John Betjeman and the late refused-Poet Laureate Philip Larkin, together with Michael Hordern reading Kipling and the weird world of Arthur Lipsett.

John Betjeman reads selected poetry
Argo, 1959

Directed by Arthur Luce Klein, recorded by Spoken Arts but released in the UK by Argo, with a photo on the cover by Cecil Beaton. Also features Betjeman introducing each poem and providing some rare and illuminating extra details.

Philip Larkin, reading his own poems, soon to be released on Trunk Records but at the moment I have no further information...

Arthur Lipsett, Soundtracks

Globala Records, 2003
This is a reissue but from an undated original, and I played the track Very nice, very nice. I guess strictly speaking, it's music, but since there is so much spoken word in it I thought it would be very nice to play it for you. Seems to originate from the National Film Board of Canada - if you listen carefully you can hear someone say "aboot". Sadly the sleeve has almost no information on it at all.

Just So Stories vol.2
Readers, Michael Hordern, Barbara Jefford, Richard Johnson.

Argo, 1973
This is a double album box set but I played only one side, so more later...
We played you La Crabbe qui jouait avec le mer in about episode 12 in the show on Musique Concrète, and here is the original English version read by (Sir) Michael Hordern.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

49. Scotland

Having made three shows each on Wales and Ireland, and one on English dialect through the ages, it is only fitting that we should make a show about Scotland, especially given that the show is written, recorded and produced in Edinburgh. Some might say that the Shetland episode counts as a Scottish episode and some might take umbrage at such an outrageous suggestion. Nevertheless, here it is. Scotland.

Paisley's Own WILLIE McCULLOCH "The Story Teller" OOR WILLIE "The Man With Many Voices"
a product of S.M.D.Recording Studios, Paisley.
Scotia, 1973

Originally recorded in 1947 and transferred from 78s in 1973, produced by Reta McColl, engineered by J.B.Wallace.
I found this in the car boot sale last week. It absolutely reeks of stale fags giving that authentic Glasgow experience, and you can see the encroachment of tar and nicotine around the edges of what used to be the white sleeve. I know nothing about the man himself, but this must be one of the very few records from the 1940s that we've played on Voice On Record, and it's a good document of attitudes and humour north of the border in the mid 20th Century.

English With A Dialect - and Irish, Scottish and Welsh Accents
BBC Records, 1971

Examples from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Ayrshire.

William Shakespeare Macbeth
The Shakespeare Recording Society
Caedmon, 1960
The final part of the Scottish Play.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

48. Planes, Trains and Wes Harrison

Broadcast on 5th October 2010

I came across this record in Amsterdam whilst doing a short intro at STEIM. My interest in sound design was the reason for buying it and I was amazed when I got it home and listened through to it. Despite the questionable taste of some of his jokes, Wes manages to recreate certain sounds with an amazing aptitude for detail, and there are many lessons here for sound designers in any medium.

Also on today's show is the third part of our four part serialisation of Macbeth.

The World Of Steam Steam locomotives heard at work on railways in Britain, Germany, Spain and Turkey.
Argo, 1970

Salute In Sound Aircraft of the RAF, specially recorded in Stereo, introduced by Group Capt. Douglas Bader CBE, DSO, DFC.
Music For Pleasure, 1968

You Won't Believe Your Ears Wes Harrison
The Comedy And Sound Effects Of America's Funniest Man.
Philips, undated
I just played side 2 of this record - The Duck Hunt.

William Shakespeare Macbeth
The Shakespeare Recording Society
Caedmon, 1960
With a cast including Robert Hardy as Duncan, Ian Holm as Malcolm, Stanley Holloway as the Porter, Jill Balcon as Lady Macduff and Anthony Quayle in the lead role. Another cracking production under the direction of Howard Sackler on Caedmon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

47. Work

Broadcast 28th September 2010

Three perspectives on work including the radio premiere of Sarah Roberts' piece The Bloody Avant-Garde delivered in Sarah's own inimitable style - think Matthew Collings meets Les Dawson and you're a quarter of the way there!

The second half of the show is the second part of our four-part serialisation of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
The Dialect of the Black American
Western Electric, 1970

Interesting linguistics record which presents different (staged) examples of African American dialect (as well as some cod-Scottish) and presents the linguists' perspective that such dialects are simply different and not inferior.

The Bloody Avant-Garde written and performed by the artist and cleaner Sarah Roberts.
A witty and incisive investigation of art as a job of work from the perspective of someone with a far deeper insight than the subjects of her monologue. Great stuff!

Cotswold Craftsmen
Saydisc, 1973

Totally absorbing accounts of crafts and occupations, most of which have now died out, at least in their pre-industrial form. Voices from a different era, interspersed with questions from a very BBC-voiced interviewer, which conjure visions of a very different world.

William Shakespeare Macbeth
The Shakespeare Recording Society
Caedmon, 1960
With a cast including Robert Hardy as Duncan, Ian Holm as Malcolm, Stanley Holloway as the Porter, Jill Balcon as Lady Macduff and Anthony Quayle in the lead role. Another cracking production under the direction of Howard Sackler on Caedmon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

46. Shetland with Christine De Luca

Broadcast 21st September 2010

We welcome our very first studio guest to Voice On Record, the Shetland poet Christine De Luca. Christine reads some poems from North End Of Eden in English and in the Shetland dialect, and talks to me about a record I found in Orkney, a copy of which she hasn't seen since she was a child growing up in Shetland.

Also, to stick with a broadly Scottish theme, we begin our four part serialisation of Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Eftir Da Hümin Words and Music of Shetland
Presented by the Shetland Folk Society
Waverley, undated (post 1945)
Shetland Shetland Landscape

North End Of Eden
Christine De Luca
(2010) Luath Press Ltd., Edinburgh
recorded for the show by Sean Williams
De Luca
For more information please visit Christine's website www.christinedeluca.co.uk

William Shakespeare Macbeth
The Shakespeare Recording Society
Caedmon, 1960
With a cast including Robert Hardy as Duncan, Ian Holm as Malcolm, Stanley Holloway as the Porter, Jill Balcon as Lady Macduff and Anthony Quayle in the lead role. Another cracking production under the direction of Howard Sackler on Caedmon.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

45. Sherlock Holmes 1

Broadcast on 14th September 2010
Two stories featuring the famous resident of 221b Baker Street read by Basil Rathbone. I picked up two of these records in Millenium Music in Portland Oregon. This is a shop I've spent many hours in over the past 10 years and has changed with the times but still manages to stock a load of cool second hand vinyl and CDs as well as staying on the pulse of current releases. And it's open til 10 o'clock at night!

Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Basil Rathbone
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
The Final Problem
Caedmon, 1963
Sherlock Holmes 1

Alec Guinness, A Personal Choice
RCA Victor, 1965
Alec Guinness

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

44. Voice of the Theatre

Broadcast on 27th July 2010
Voices of incredible actors talking about the craft of the theatre.

talking about Theatre
Noël Coward, Albert Finney, Peter Hall, Sean Kenny, Siobhan McKenna, Harold Pinter, Sybil Thorndike, Kenneth Tynan, Peter Ustinov.
Argo, 1962

43. Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Broadcast on 20th July 2010
Richard Burton's reading of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic poem.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, read by Richard Burton with John Neville and Robert Hardy
An Argo recording, Spoken Arts, undated
Ancient Mariner

Animal Sounds - Fishes
Commentary by Peter Scott, script by Cathy Jarman.
Produced for Purnell's Encyclopedia of Animal Life and MacDonald Junior Reference Library by Procaudio Ltd.
BPC, 1970
Animal Sounds

42. John Arlott

Broadcast on 13th July 2010
My favorite voice ever to grace the airwaves, and a great friend of Dylan Thomas, John Arlott was the quintessential cricket commentator, bringing a poet's mastery of the
English language to elevate the wonderful game to new heights of aesthetic pleasure. Sit back and marvel in John's consummate skill.

John Arlott talks Cricket
Charisma, 1982
John Arlott
1. Early Memories
2. May's Bounty
3. Mead/Brown/Tennyson/Strudwick
4. The Golden Days
5. Laker/Hobbs/Sutcliffe/Fry

The Lord's Taverners: Best of Test Match Special featuring Brian Johnstone, John Arlott, Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Fred Trueman and Trevor Bailey.
Haven Records, 1984
Test Match Special

41. Wales part 3. Land of My Fathers.

Broadcast on 29th June 2010
Rounding off our Welsh trilogy with another tale from the Mabinogion, more Dylan Thomas, and finally, Oliver Postgate's famous creation, Ivor The Engine.

The Mabinogion extracts from the four branches.
read by Gwyn Jones
A Welsh Arts Council Oriel Record, 1976
Pryderi Lost and Found
The Sorrows of Branwen
Catching a Mouse
Lleu and the Flower-Bride

Poets of Wales John Ormond, Raymond Garlick
Argo, 1971
Poets Of Wales Poets Of Wales cover
Some more Raymond Garlick poems.

Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas with Richard Burton and all Welsh cast in the original BBC production.
Argo, 1954
Under Milkwood
Quite possibly the finest spoken word recording of all time. If you don't already own this it can be purchased on CD and should be a part of your collection.

R.S.Thomas reading his own poems, recorded at the poet's home, July 1976
Welsh Arts Council Oriel, 1976
RS Thomas

Ivor the Engine reading his own poems, recorded at the poet's home, July 1976
Trunk Records, 2006
With music lovingly composed by Vernon Eliot, who also plays the bassoon which is Ivor's voice. This always brings tears to the eyes. Oliver Postgate's amazing work continues to make so many people so happy. We love you Oliver.

And another thing that always brings tears to the eyes, especially during the Six Nations is Land Of My Fathers despite not being at all Welsh.This is one of the truly magnificent songs. You could count on the fingers of one hand the number of audio experiences in the same league as this song sung by a stadium full of Welsh voices or a small church choir.

40. Wales part 2

Broadcast on 22nd June 2010
Welsh poets including three Thomas'

Poets of Wales Dannie Abse, Leslie Norris
Argo, 1971
Poets Of Wales Poets Of Wales cover
Some of Leslie Norris' poems including Skulls, A Girl's Song, Ransomes for Edward Thomas.

R.S.Thomas reading his own poems, recorded at the poet's home, July 1976
Welsh Arts Council Oriel, 1976
RS Thomas

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, read by Richard Burton with John Neville and Robert Hardy
An Argo recording, Spoken Arts, undated
Ancient Mariner
Richard Burton reads Frost at Midnight from this record.

The World of Dylan Thomas in Poetry and Prose with excerpts from Under Milkwood. Richard Burton, Emlyn Williams and other readers.
Argo, 1971
World Of Dylan Thomas
The Hunchback in the Park and Fern Hill read by Richard Burton, and In My Craft Or Sullen Art read by Richard Bebb.

This is followed by more poems by Dannie Abse and Leslie Norris.