The Sound of the Hound #1: Fred Gaisberg arrives in London

Summer 1898. Fred Gaisberg arrives in London to set up The Gramophone Company at the behest of his American boss Emile Berliner, who invented the flat-disc gramophone. Before Berliner, music only lasted for as long as the notes hung in the air.

Now, Fred is under orders to commit as many artists as possible to disc. The recording technology is rudimentary to say the least, but 25-year-old Fred has big dreams. Having sailed from New York to Liverpool with £10 in his pocket, a bicycle and an instruction manual, Fred travels to a sweltering and vice-ridden Covent Garden to open Europe’s first recording studio at 31 Maiden Lane. The delights and temptations of the buzzing city – and the challenges of starting an industry from scratch – soon become all too clear.

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