The Gramophone, December, 1929
When the first spring motor built for the phonograph weigbed over 300 pounds.
When the taper tone-arm was invented. \I'\Then the famous Exhibition sound-box was invented.
When the first electric reproducer was heard. When radio broadcasting was first demonstrated by Marconi at Chelmsford and afterwards at Hayes.
As these memories pass through my mind, I come to the conclusion that our industry has had a long and arduous journey. The path has not been easy, nor has development been rapid. Amusing things have happened"':"'-never to the Managing Director. I t has been a drab, plugging career, nothing spectacular, a business of laying one brick upon another. Never were -we able to put a dozen bricks on at a t ime! I pause to salute those who have stuck to the task of building up our industry to the proud position which i t now holds.
The future is bright and full of possibilities. What does i t hold for us, I believe that, before very long, we shall have l i t t le portable boxes which will contain :-
Records of longer playing duration. Electric reproduction. Radio. Television with stereoscopic and colour effects. And perhaps, best of all, the instruments and records will be so inexpensive that they will be within the reach of even the humblest of purses.
And last (and I am sure that you will agree with me), but not least; I am quite sure that Compton Mackenzie's popular paper will soon have a circulat ion of a million.
m WHO m w IS "K.K."?
IT was in February, 1925, that the initials" K. R." . first appeared at the foot of record reviews, and in those more l ight-hearted days pseudonymous initals were the rule. One reviewer assumed the name "Newman Passage" and another "Percy Passage," these being localities close to our old offices in Newman Street. But" N. P." and" P. P." both disappeared and left the field increasingly vacant for the exercise of "K. K.," who in the intervening months of nearly four years has fairly established his qualifications as a musical critic.
Who is the mysterious "K. K.'" Mr. Basil Maine failed to guess, when they crossed swords in a jazz controversy. Others have challenged the unknown in our correspondence ·columns and have no doubt wished to know the identity of the masked fencer who sprang so eagerly to the fray and was so loth to break off the contest. Even one or two of the onlookers have expressed the view that i t was hardly fair on the challenger for " K. K." to maintain his mask inscrutably.
Well, there is really no secret to conceal. "K. K." has often contributed to THE GRAMOPHONE under his own name, W. R. Anderson, and the original adoption of initials may have been due to the fact that in those days he was Editor of our contemporary the .jl1usio Teacher. His standing in his profession is well known to ·all musicians, and the reading public is far more fammar with his writings on musical subjects than i t supposes. As a member of the Critics' Circle, Mr. Anderson has a distinguished background, and i t may reassure some of our readers now to know that the man whom they have appreciated and followed in the past turns out to be one whom they had every reason to trust.
But let "K. K." speak his own epilogue. He writes:
May I be allowed to say a few last words before fading out 1 I chose a nom de guerre not in order to wage war under the shelter of a name other than my own, but because I wanted to see whether the man or the name mattered more. I have always believed that there is a tendency in journalism to go for names, and exalt people into authorities before they have proved their capacity; so that a man who is really good at oue sort of job is often pitchforked into others, because people get used to seeing his name in print. He may, for instance, be a very good choral trainer, and know nothing about piano playing, yet be allowed to talk about i t because he is vaguely known as a musician-that sort of thing. The only thing that matters is the man's skill and experience, and the provable validity of his ideas in any given depa.rtment; and i t seemed to me that, being already known in certain circles under my own name, I might very well try, in others, whether people would care for my ideas, without knowing anything about the reputations that r had been trying to make elsewhere. I always thought that my l i t t le mystification would be seen through, when I wrote in THE GRAMOPHONE under my own name as well. Perhaps quite a lot of people did unmask me, but generously kept the game going by pretending they hadn't spotted the swindle, and by not splitting on me. I thank those good people for their sportsmanship. I t was funny to find Mr. Mackenzie being accused of my sins! I hope my colleagues, Messrs. Klein, Kalisch, Kimbell, and all the other K's there may be, have not suffered similarly. I f they have, I apologise. I f anyone asks" Why' K. K.' ~" I can only answer "Why not'" I took the letters at randomcan't remember now where I got them. Probably I had in mind "Y. Y.," though I can't have expected to match the skill and power of Mr. Lynd. One thing I need perhaps scarcely emphasise-I did not take another name because I was afraid to say, over my own, anything I wanted to say. I am and always have been, thank heaven, as independent as any journalist in this mixed-up world ca.n be. We all depend on someone, and jourllalists, most of all, are dependent creatures, l iving only by the favour of people they never see. Their chief luck is that they don't all depend from lampposts. I f their dear publics had their way, they might! W.R.A. is just a l i t t le sorry to loae "K. K.," though he was somet imes a bit trying. He, before he departs, wishes to thank his indulgent readers, and most of all his over-kind Editor, who has borne with him so mildly. I can't promise that W. R. A. will mend" K. K. 's " ways; he can only try.