July 21 1921: Edward Elgar opens the first HMV store, at 363 Oxford Street.
“A great deal was heard at the opening of the fine new headquarters of the Gramophone Company in Oxford Street to-day about the artistic mission of the gramophone. Sir Edward Elgar, who opened the building, is a great believer in this mission. What musicians want, he said, is more listeners, and he thinks that the dissemination of good music by the gramophone will give us a new public which, while knowing nothing about the technical side of music, will know how to listen to music with true appreciation. He would like to see a gramophone with a selection of good music in every school. He recommended the modern gramophone with its superior technical accomplishment to the ‘wild and virulent piano playing’ so painfully popular in the suburbs.
“The new building is spacious and attractive, and altogether an interesting example of the super-shop of to-day. The novelty will be the first school for shop assistants in the country. The bright young men from the country will come to Oxford Street to learn all the fine shades and nice feelings of their profession – how to satisfy varying music tastes, how to pronounce the names of foreign musicians, and generally to understand what they are selling and the idiosyncrasies of those who buy.”
BBC television, January 1988: history of the gramophone. Broadcast at the height of the CD era. First few minutes are missing. As it begins, Fred Gaisberg’s assistant is talking. Elgar and Menuhin, of course, appear later.