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Sound Bites

Sound Bites — Recordings from Denzil’s Collection

London Tube Tour

Denzil takes the listener on a journey on the London Tube system from Earl’s Court Station to Piccadilly Circus. Recorded on 24th and 25th July 1952.

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (8.8mB).

Technical Notes: This short programme survived on 1/4 inch tape, but like many of Denzil’s tapes from that era, had been spliced and many of the splices had come apart. The tape was re-spliced and then played on a Revox B77 recorder, with azimuth and speed adjusted for this particular tape. It was digitised and then cleaned up and re-mixed using multitrack DAW software.

London Airport Documentary

A short documentary about London Airport recorded by Denzil during two visits to the airport on 8th August and 9th September 1952. It includes an interview with the Commandant of the Airport, Air Marshall Sir John D’Albiac, as well as recordings of the “Ground Control Approach” radar truck and take-off of the De Havilland Comet.

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (15.7mB).

Technical Notes: Broken splices in the original 1/4 inch tape recorded in 1952 were repaired, and then the tape was played on a Revox B77 recorder, with azimuth and speed adjusted for this particular tape. It was digitised and then broken down into separate segments and these were individually processed to remove hum and background noise. The segments were then digitally re-mixed.

John McCallum “Melba” Interview

On 18th September 1952, Denzil visited Nettleford Studios at Walton on Thames where Sam Spiegel (producer) and Lewis Milestone (director) were filming “Melba” in Technicolor. The film featured Metropolitan Opera soprano Patrice Munsel in the title role, supported by Robert Morley, John Justin, Alec Clunes and Australian actor John McCallum in the role of Melba’s husband, Charles Armstrong. Denzil recorded this short interview with John McCallum.

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (5mB).

Technical Notes: This short programme survived on 1/4 inch tape, which was played on a Revox B77 recorder, with azimuth and speed adjusted for this particular tape. It required only addition of some EQ.

Googie Withers and John McCallum at Home, London 1952

On 20th October 1952, Denzil and Dot visited Googie Withers and John McCallum at their home in St John’s Wood in London. Denzil noted in his diary: “We met also their young daughter, Joanna, and Muntz, a magnificent bull mastif. After an enjoyable afternoon tea and a chat, we recorded a three way interview.”

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (9.7mB).

Technical Notes: This short programme survived on 1/4 inch tape, which was played on a Revox B77 recorder, with azimuth and speed adjusted for this particular tape. It required only minor repairs and addition of some EQ.

Clifford Guest at the London Palladium, 1952

Denzil interviewed Australian ventriloquist Clifford Guest at the Palladium in London on 5th June 1952. Clifford Guest, who had recently returned from 5 years in the USA, was appearing in a show with Lena Horne.

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (4.5mB).

Technical Notes: This interview is one of a series on “Tape Number 3”. Old splices were cleaned and repaired. Then the interview was digitised using a Revox B77 with azimuth and speed adjusted for this tape. The interview had significant hum and background noise from machinery. These were removed using iZotope RX and some eq was added.

Alan Rowe, London 1952

Denzil interviewed Australian performer Alan Rowe who came for dinner at 45 Nevern Square, where Dot and Den were staying during their time in London.

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (7.7mB).

Technical Notes: This interview is also one of a series on “Tape Number 3”. Old splices were cleaned and repaired. Then the interview was digitised using a Revox B77 with azimuth and speed adjusted for this tape. Hum was removed using iZotope RX and some eq was added.

Sefton Daly, Composer, London 1952

Denzil interviewed Australian composer Sefton Daly on the morning of Thursday 12th June, 1952. They discussed how to get a break with the BBC and the variety of work Mr Daly was doing in London.

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (4.4mB).

Technical Notes: This interview is also one of a series on “Tape Number 3”. Old splices were cleaned and repaired. Then the interview was digitised using a Revox B77 with azimuth and speed adjusted for this tape. Hum was removed using iZotope RX and some eq and level balancing was added in Soundtrack Pro.

Anne Crawford, Actress, London 1952

Denzil interviewed British actress Anne Crawford at Chelsea, London on the evening of Thursday 2nd October, 1952. Ms Crawford was on set for the film “Street Corner” about the work of female police officers. Denzil wrote in his diary: “The unit was shooting outdoor night sequences. Owing to the fact that earlier shots had been taken on a wet night, the road on this perfectly fine night had to be wet, so the fire brigade was called in to completely douse the road surface, and gentlemen with watering cans doused walls and footpaths in the line of the camera.”

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (3.5mB).

Technical Notes: This interview was digitised from the original 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tape, using a Revox B77 with azimuth and speed adjusted for this tape. Eq was done in iZotope RX and level balancing was added in Soundtrack Pro.

Don Banks, Australian Composer, London 1952

In June 1952, Denzil interviewed Australian composer Don Banks in London. They discussed the newly formed Australian Musical Association. The Australian Dictionary of Biography states: “Proud of his Australian identity, in the early 1950s Banks had founded—with Margaret Sutherland—the Australian Musical Association as ‘a platform for Australian performers and to get exposure for Australian composers’.”

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (3.5mB).

Technical Notes: This interview was digitised from the original 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tape, using a Revox B77 with azimuth and speed adjusted for this tape. Eq was done in iZotope RX and level balancing was added in Soundtrack Pro.

Ada Reeve, Actress, London 1952

Denzil interviewed well known British actress Ada Reeve in London on 25th June 1952. Miss Reeve would have been about 78 years old, but comes across as a lively and energetic lady. In the interview, Miss Reeve talks about her fondness for Australia and sends a greeting to her two daughters living in Australia. Denzil’s tape identification is included at the start.

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (6.5mB).

Technical Notes: This interview was digitised from the original 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tape, using a Revox B77 with azimuth and speed adjusted for this tape. Eq was done in iZotope RX and level balancing was added in Soundtrack Pro.

The Flight of the Uiver — Parts 1 and 2

The 1934 “Centennary Air Race” from London to Melbourne attracted numerous entrants from around the world, including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Keen to exploit the possibilities of world air travel, KLM entered a DC2 aircraft named the Uiver. On its way to Melbourne, the Uiver became lost in a heavy storm and was forced to make an emergency night landing on the racecourse at Albury, New South Wales.

The story of how the local ABC radio announcer alerted the townsfolk of Albury to set up an emergency landing strip on the local racecourse, illuminated by car headlights, has become part of aviation folklore and a celebrated part of Albury’s history. During the 1984 re-enactment of the landing, Denzil Howson made two radio documentaries as part of his “This Australia” series. You can read more about these in this blog post on this website.

Enjoy the story of the Uiver — in two parts.

Part 1 — The Flight of the Uiver

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (14.1mB).

Part 2 — The Uiver Flies Again

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (14.1mB).

Technical Notes: The original four-track component tapes were copied using a TEAC four-track recorder onto an Edirol four-track digital recorder, then transferred into a digital audio workstation (DAW). The tracks were cleaned up, equalised and re-mixed. Being a generation closer to the originals, these new transfers should sound even better than the original analog mixes.

“Assignment in April” — A 1950s Australian Radio Thriller Hinting At Post-War Nazi Intrigue

“Assignment In April” focuses on two young Australians, played by Bob Peach and Sidney Conabere, who are in London circa 1956 and who are and planning to make a return journey to Australia via the Continent. Through a chance meeting with an attractive young German woman, they find themselves drawn into a web of intrigue.

This pilot episode was written and produced by Denzil Howson during his tenure at Australian Radio Productions.

Here are parts 1 and 2 of Episode One of “Assignment in April” as it was recorded in 1956. Enjoy this trip back in time to the pre-television era when radio drama was a popular source of entertainment.

Assignment In April Episode One — part 1

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (14.1mB).

Assignment In April Episode One — part 2

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (16mB).

Technical Notes: Denzil Howson’s tape library contained a reel-to-reel recording of the two-part pilot episode of “Assignment in April”. This was copied on a Revox B77 with azimuth adjusted for optimum highs from the original tape. Audio was captured on an Edirol digital recorder. Izotope RX was used to remove hum, clean up unwanted artefacts and add some equalisation. Gain adjustments, trimming and export to aiff and mp3 formats were done in Logic Pro X.

Page generated on 2015-11-17.