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The First A and R Man

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 13 June 2009

Paul Gambaccini delves into EMI's Hayes archive to uncover the remarkable story of Fred Gaisberg, the music collector, technician and entrepreneur who brought recording to Britain over 100 years ago.

Fred became the first man to record Caruso and the first to record the court music of the Chinese and Japanese Emperors. In a series of adventures in the early years of the 1900s, transporting his bulky apparatus - including an acid bath - across continents, he amassed hundreds of discs of indigenous music. Nearer home, he recorded the last ever castrato and made precious recordings of the great music hall and operatic stars.

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