Club hears talk on music history

John Bowes and Ray Stephenson at the Whitley Bay Willow Club meeting.
John Bowes and Ray Stephenson at the Whitley Bay Willow Club meeting.

A history of recorded music was given at the latest Willow Club meeting in Whitley Bay.

Guest speaker Ray Stephenson took along part of his 5,000 piece collection of machines and records as part of his talk.

He told about the term phonograph to record music, and later gramophones, before summarising the activities of several companies competing with each other in order to make money.

Recordings of the world famous tenor Enrico Caruso were the most expensive while a German company made chocolate records which sold as Christmas novelties.

As early as 1902 there were produced novelty puzzle discs with more than one spiral cut into the disc. It was pot luck which groove the needle settled into.

Miniature records were Christmas presents for children and featured songs and nursery rhymes.

Ray played several records on the equipment he had brought along including one of Harry Lauder singing.

The Willow Club meets each Thursday between 10.30am and noon in the Wesley Hall, St, John’s Church, Ilfracombe Gardens, Whitley Bay to listen to an invited speaker.

The Club is open to all retired men.