Page Text


The Gramophone, December, 1929

into the gramophone world, for which we should be very grateful to him. He is, of course, the Philip Lewis of the old Edison Bell Palladium Octette records, and of the Co-optimists in their first triumphs, and is the husband of Miss Lilian Davies. Lissenden was successful with him, for he is far too kindly to have given a visitor any trouble.

Of the six representatives of The Gramophone Company that Lissenden has somehow got together on one page, Mr. Alfred Clark, the Managing Director, may be said to introduce himself to our readers in the interview which appears elsewhere in this number. Mr. \iV. lYI. Brown, whose appointment as General Manager last summer


was very popular, is, as Lissenden points out, something of a Regency beau in appearance, a man of charm and ability in generous degree. Mr. Leslie Neck, the head of the London Office, succeeded Mr. A. T. Lack at Oxford Street, and is always to be found calm, tactful, urbane-with the slight hesitation of manner that often goes with wide vision and power.

I f one had not seen and treasured the photograph of Mr. Fred Gaisberg and Chaliapine that accompanied the former's reminiscences in TliE GRAMOPHONE in April, 1928, one might fear that Lissenden had risked offending Mr. Gaisberg. But this most lovable of l i t t le great men is far too witty and too wise to be offended by what I personally consider the gem of Lissenden's collection; and his good friends all over the world-there is not a celebrity in the H.M.V. catalogue who is not his friend-will chuckle affeciJionately over i t .

The two others are, relatively speaking, Lissenden's failures, for the very good reason that they have both such mobile faces as to defy the caricaturist. Mr. A. T. Lack, the joint S:).les Manager at Hayes, is a live wire of a pronounced type; restless, voluble, indefatigable, full of humour and anecdote, he flashes from subject to subject with every variation of tone, from a most attractive laugh to a portentous seriousness.' Mi.'.Alec Robertson, the head of the

Education Department, is equally vivid in expression: an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, he is the right man in the right place, and one of the most deservedly popular members of the staff. Since he is one of the Advisory Committee of the National Gramophonic Society, we know him very well indeed. He is not in the least like Lissenden's caricature. In fact I cannot help wishing that. his corner of the picture had been occupied by lYIr. H. L. Buckle, the Works Manager at Hayes, and the man to whom, above all other individuals, we owe the successive H.M.V. models that have set a standard for the world year after year. Mr. Buckle would have been a fine capture for Lissenden, but I suspect that he was one of the specially shy ones who showed a disposition to get under a sofa and glare at the intruder.

The Columbia gToup delights me, because the caricaturist has hit the mark every time. All the world has heard of Mr. Louis Sterling, the Managing Director, and reads from t ime to t ime his views on current gramophone topics, and honours him for the miracle that he has wrought in Columbia fortunes since the war. A small man with deeply marked features, shrewd kindly eyes and humorous moutH, he dominates wherever he goes and is the head of a devoted gang. Mr. Arthur Brooks, too, the Artistic ' Director, who contributed his reminiscences to TliE GRAMOPHONE in May, 1928, is surely one of the best . known and best loved men in the gramophone world; a great Savage and raconteur, he is the best company and the truest friend that a man could find. I t was Mr. Joseph Batten who came from Edison Bell two years ago to succeed him as Recording Manager at Petty France. Mr. A. E. Liedtke, the British Manager, has rather a grim smile in the picture and masks good nature with SOmething approaching sternness; but I have known him only in his sunny hours, and can only judge his reception of Lissenden by the result. He has many athletic distinctions to his credit, as has also PHILIP LEWIS.

Mr. W. T. Forse, the Joint General Manager and Chief of the works at Earlsfield, whose sporting proclivities evidently attracted the artist.

As for Mr. H. C. Ridout, the Advertising Manager,