The Gramophone, July, 1928
strength, but once more I must insist that no other company can compete with them in the nice arrangement of their bulletins, and in the remarkably high level of their records. I f I only mention two or three this month i t is because, if I mentioned more, I should have to mention all, for I did not come across one that was not good ot i ts kind.
Several correspondents have been writing to protest against my writing too l i t t le for THE GRAMOPHONE and refusing to accept my weekly articles in the Sunday Pictorial as a substitute. I would beg such readers to remember that I produce two novels a year, and this year I shall be adding to my two novels the first volume of my War reminiscences, not to mention a big original film and a great deal of journalistic work unconnected with the gramophone. It is almost true to say that I never stop working, and i t must be remembered that the output of gramophone records now must be five t imes as much as i t was when I first started the paper. I must repeat once again that we have a staff of reviewers second to none in the world, and even if I never wrote another word about records our readers might consider themselves most efficiently served. From t ime to t ime correspondents write and demand this or that impossibility from them, and to such correspondents I can only say, " Come here and try reviewing for yourselves." Another valued correspondent writes this month deploring the loss of amateur status which the paper has gradually achieved. We all look back with regret on the happygo-lucky days of youth, but alas, that first fine careless rapture cannot by the laws of nature endure. Moreover, i t must be remembered that the gramophone itself is a much less amateur instrument than i t was, and that if we started the paper to-day we should not be able to start i t in quite the same spirit as we started i t in April, 1923. Pioneers have a difficult task, i t is true, but from another standpoint they have a very easy task. In old days the road was always a new one,and i t is always much easier to write interestingly about a new road than an old one. In old days there was always the chance of some happy fluke in recording which gave one an opportunity to wax lyrical. Nowadays recording is on such a high level of excellence that we miss these happy flukes. However, there will be plenty of excitement for me when I get my electric apparatus installed and when I get back to my Balmain, separat ion from which has been the only fly in the amber of these recent weeks.
Just as I finished this I hear that Columbia are issuing shortly an album ot Mr. Ketelbey's works, which will be good news for his immense public. I think this is a very happy compliment to pay a man who, as musical director of the Columbia Company for tWLnt v years, did so much to raise the standard of gramoph~ne music, and who must have been the agent f.)r introducing countless people to the joys of the I,rchestra. COMPTON MACKENZIE.
B:y HUGH CHESTERMAN III.-THE CELEBRITY RECORD.
When Mabel Marion Mistlethwaite Sang Solveig's Song at the age of eight, Her parents smiled . On the singular child;
" Fancy;" they said, " just eight years old, The Gramophone Company ought to be toldOught to be told at once," they said, " Mabel's a singer, born and bred." Yes, that was how i t happened, and so Mabel sang for the Gramophone Co. A lO-inchrecord was made, and Mabel Found her name on a plum-coloured label. At nine she sang (so runs the story) Timor de me from Trovatore, Sang i t with spirit and fine attack, And the plum-coloured label was changed to black. At ten she rendered i t louder and clearer: l~inch red, and a shilling dearer. Next year on wings of song she glided From a 10 to a 12-inch (single-sided); Her Hymn to the Sun at seventeen Changed her red to the rare pale green, Pale green label at half a quid, And her records sold very well-they did. At twenty-one she trilled Scarlatti. " Ho, ho," Said the Gramophone Co., " We certainly think She ought to be pink, At 12s. 6d. with Adeline Patti." But now that Mabel's twenty-two They haven't a label that will do; Pink, nor green, nor plum, nor sable, There simply isn't a t int for MabeL