Archive Pioneers | Saviours of sound at the BBC
CHANNEL | Other
RECORDED | 30 September 1941
DURATION | 36 minutes 43 seconds
In this recording of the proceedings at a Foyles Literary Luncheon, guest of honour Lynton Fletcher, who ran the BBC Recorded Programmes Department, exhibits some of the items preserved for posterity. After an introduction from Chairman Philip Guedalla, Fletcher reveals some of the highlights of the burgeoning BBC collection, including recordings of former Prime Minister William Gladstone, George Bernard Shaw and a talking budgie called Beauty Metcalf. As a finale, Fletcher plays his own dramatised futuristic vision of a sound archive in 2041.
This speech was recorded for the BBC Sound Archive's own departmental history and has never before been broadcast in full.
Lynton Fletcher was the inventor of the parallel tracking arm, a device that allowed a gramophone needle to be accurately suspended over a particular word or phrase on a recorded disc. The use of this tool was an essential technique in the days before magnetic recording tape existed and banks of four or five gramophones were often used to 'jump cut' between discs when playing-in effects, music or pre-recorded inserts to live broadcasts.
Lynton Fletcher shows off the BBC Sound Library to a literary audience.
Lynton Fletcher and Marie Slocombe on the BBC's growing collection of historic recordings.
In conversation with the first BBC Sound Archive librarian.
From page boy to chief producer over 45 years at the BBC.
The story of the temp who started the BBC Sound Archive.
How a boyhood hobby led to pioneering recordings of the natural world.
Creating, making and archiving sounds in the 1930s and 40s.
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