Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Web Page 924
First Picture: A 1960’ Perdio portable radio
Second Picture: One of the first portable record players an Oscar for the princely sum of 19 gns.
Music on the Move
It really is amazing to look back and see the development of the portable music especially the portable radio since we were youngsters. The whole thing has gone through an amazing revolution due in the main to the invention and development of the transistor and miniaturisation.
Nowadays most children from an early age have a radio or music player of some type, when we were kids if we wanted to play records out in the garden or away from a power supply we had to use an old wind up gramophone, probably acquired from a Jumble sale or elderly relative but these only took 78rpm’s and needed replaceable needles!
But I really want to concentrate on portable radios. My first one came second hand from somewhere, I really cannot remember where, and it was a grey and blue Philips valve radio and looked rather like a small attaché case and ran on an enormous PP3 Every Ready battery which took up over a third of the carrying case. Looking back that is something else, in the 1950’s and 60’s there only seemed to be two producers of batteries Ever Ready and Vidor now every supermarket has its own brand. This particular Philips radio travelled miles with me in my saddlebag but as there was no socket for earphones so I could only use it when I had stopped and it also travelled with me when we went away on holiday. Sometime in the early 1960’s managed to acquire, from a second hand shop I think, a reel-to-reel battery driven tape recorder. This was a marvellous bit of kit but only took 3” tapes. This was a great boon and I diligently recorded Pick of the Pops each week so I could listen again during the week. When this machine eventually died and it was too expensive to repair I dumped it along with the tapes. Oh! If only I still had those tapes today, they had some real classics on them.
From my Saturday earnings as a pump boy at Smiths Garage in Farlington I bought myself a smart grey and chrome Pye portable radio (it matched my new Pye record player that I had had for my birthday, no Dansette for me!) and joy of joys this came with an earphone socket and mono earphone. This lasted for years and I think it was still going when I moved to Worcester for a year in 1965.
I never did have a battery portable record player but my wife, Pam, did. This player was a strange thing. It was a Grundig and was bought in Germany when her family moved there for a couple of years. The player came in two halves, the deck in the bottom and the speaker (only one) in the top that was detachable and stood separately. Many an evening we spent closeted in her fathers front room in the dark listening to records on this when we were courting!
Actually the Pye record player was not my first record machine, I bought an old walnut bodied radiogram and my father and I removed the old 78rpm only record deck, rewired the amplifier and fitted a BSR multispeed record deck into it. It had no stereo but with a wooden cabinet it had great bass response.
But things have progressed so far since our teenage years when you could spot a schoolmate walking along with a Pifco, Bush or Perdio radio clamped to their ear. We have gone from mono to stereo, from enormous portables to pocket portables, then on to Ghetto Blasters and back in size to tiny scanners, I-players and MP3 players and most of us can even get radio stations on our mobile phones today.
We have also been through the era of mobile television sets from large 12” screen ones that ran off of the car battery, down to 3” screens and smaller which ran off normal AA batteries, this was a product I never invested in!
But what I really do regret is that when I was a kid I taught myself about radio receivers and could take a valve radio set apart repair it and reassemble it, I somehow got left behind with the transistor revolution and I never did comprehend what did what was in a transistor set. What a thing to say and me the son of a prewar radio engineer!!!
All of you must have some radio memories, most of us had a portable radio of some sort so come on, lets hear them.
It was good to be reminded of our school productions. I will never forget trying to sing in "Trial By Jury" with an immobile face glued to side whiskers. In our epic production of Handel's "Messiah" (happily without side whiskers), we were supported by semi professional singers. About ten years later I joined Sadlers Wells Opera Company ( now the English National Opera) as a scenic artist. In the rehearsal studio's canteen I recognized a vaguely familiar face. It was David Hillman , the tenor who had supported us in our production . He remembered it well . He was a quantity surveyor ,training to be a professional singer when he performed with us. During the late sixties, seventies and early eighties he became an important opera singer. But I like to think we gave him his first breakthrough role!
your latest got me remembering some of the old ads and jingles........
The faintly disgusting one...."You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent"
Then "Tick a tick Timex"
Tom Thumb Cigars for Christmas Tom, Thumb in Tins of Ten, da dee dit da dee dit da da (never could remember that bit),,,,the Christmas gift for men!!!!!"
Do 'ave a Dubonnet
Sanatogen fortifies the over forties...........crikey we are over 60 now..........we were young at 40 and surely didn't need fortifying
The countless and now non PC adverts for cigarettes especially the Peter Stuyvessant one that extolled the "glamour of smoking cigarettes in New York, Melbourne or Johannesburg.
So thanks again for the memory of all those booze and fag ads that persuaded you to consume alcohol and smoke and then clean off the tar on your teeth with whitening paste.......
News and Views:
Marianne Faithfull was given the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters honour by the French government during her concert in Paris on April 22nd.
On this day 27th March1960-1965.
On 27/03/1960 the number one single was Running Bear - Johnny Preston and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/03/1961 the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was The Dickie Henderson Show (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/03/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/03/1963 the number one single was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/03/1964 the number one single was Little Children - Billy J Kramer and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Earthquake hits Alaska.
On 27/03/1965 the number one single was The Last Time - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.