Our busiest blogger - sound editor Al Muirden - goes retro...
What’s in a name? Well if CC had been founded in the 1950s, the “Digital” in our company name may well have reflected the audio medium of the time, as the world was still a long way from mass digitisation!
This picture of the Edgar Allan Poe vinyl recording is from an exhibit in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, taken on a recent visit to the Scottish capital - I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I saw it and had to take a quick photograph.
The recording was released I believe around 1956 and was narrated by Nelson Olmsted - credited as “dramatic narrator” - and contains several of Poe’s best stories and I think that this particular version has the original cover.
It made me realise that far from being a relatively recent phenomenon, the audio book does have some major history and provenance - it’s just that I didn’t even consider it until I (by chance) saw this exhibit!
I had a listen to an excerpt of this recording on YouTube when I got home, and this again made me think - were these read in single takes or were they in any way edited? (as an audio editor, I find this a fascinating question). Nelson Olmsted sounds in absolute control of his performance - it wouldn’t surprise me if these were one take wonders!
So audio books on vinyl? Who would have thought it? Moreover, who would have expected to see an exhibit in a museum! Oh, and remember…things often come full circle and vinyl is creeping back for music - maybe one day we’ll see audio books “back in black”! – Al Muirden