The Tears of a Clown

Now if there's a smile upon my face…

The Marconiphone Radiogram

I took a lot of musical influences from my family, the more obvious being 1960s Mod from my older sister but not only.

My mother came from a large family with music embedded in its soul, professionally. Saturday visits to my English grandmother’s home would always hear lots of music ringing out from a magnificent Marconiphone radiogram in the small living room with the piano in the corner and those songs and artists became part of my life too. Sinatra, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza, the great Ray Charles and all.

They were a thing of wonder emerging in their rich, deep bass tones from that handsome French-polished cabinet which I have never forgotten. Not least of all Jim Reeves and this song which to my young eyes, the words of which seemed to resonate with my mother when it was played over and over.

I give you a version of it which also found favour from her son.

Ry Cooder – He’ll Have To Go

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November 20, 2017 - Posted by | I CAN HEAR MUSIC | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. There is still a beautiful old stereogram in my mother’s living room back in Edinburgh, Stu. Like you say, it has a stunning deep timbre which I remember well from my youth, listening to John Peel shows on it in the late 70s. Records that sounded absolutely amazing on the VHF frequency coming out of that solid mahogany just didn’t sound quite the same after I rushed out and bought them and then played them on my brother’s plastic ‘music centre’. It was the valve amplifier as well of course – I used to be fascinated by the way the little green light on the display would brighten until the sound faded in as the valves warmed up. It still works, although the record deck only plays in mono now. One of these days I’m going to get it fixed…

    Comment by Fraser | December 12, 2017

  2. I know exactly what you mean, Fraser. It’s a sound quite unlike any other and I’ve often thought about it as the years and different technologies have come and gone. You’re just reminded be of the ‘warming up’. I also remember buying my first music centre and being pretty happy about it but not too long afterwards was using the Marconi again. If you would take my advice I’d definitely get that lovely old piece restored and kept for the future. I’ve always regretted not having the radiogram still – especially since it had been beautifully restored by French polishing.

    Comment by Stuart | December 12, 2017


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