Tell Your Story….
11. Posted 28-04-19
Please find below the history of our connection to the Ditchburn Organisation: Not   long   after   leaving   the   army   following   service   during   the   Second   World   War   my   late   father   Irving   Wilson (26-09-1924   to   05-02-2017)   wanted   to   pursue   his   passion   for   music   &   set   up   his   music   business.   Firstly   he dealt   in   buying   &   selling   78s   then   moved   into   LPs   when   they   came   along,   establishing   a   record   store   in   the centre   of   Manchester.   In   the   1950's   he   expanded   into   importing   &   distributing   European   labels   &   became the   exclusive   licensee   for   the   Italian   Cetra   label   -   pressing   &   releasing   the   first   recordings   of   the   likes   of Maria Callas, Giseppe di Stefano etc in direct competition with Decca & EMI. Over   the   years   he   was   involved   in   most   aspects   of   the   music   industry   from   making   recordings   &   creating   a label,    to    publishing,    production,    import    &    export,    &    sourcing    overseas    recordings    for    broadcast, synchronisation,   background   music   &   commercial   release.   From   1966   to   1980   the   Disc   Imports   Limited offices   were   above   my   fathers   record   store   Rare   Records   Limited   at   36   John   Dalton   Street   in   Manchester City centre until we moved both businesses out to Wilmslow Cheshire. I'm   not   sure   when   my   father   first   started   his   working   relationship   with   Ditchburn   but   I   suspect   in   was sometime   in   the   mid   1960's.   My   father   started   to   attend   the   annual   music   publishers   convention   MIDEM held   in   Cannes   every   January   &   it   was   here   that   he   sourced,   licensed   &   became   publisher   of   many recordings   over   the   years   -   I   expect   representatives   of   Ditchburn   may   well   also   have   attended.   Looking   at the   list   of   releases   on   the   Domino   label   there   are   a   number   of   names   that   are   very   familiar   to   me   &   I   know my   father   worked   with   recordings   of   these   artists:   Shep's   Banjo   Boys,   Carlos   Romanos,   The   Copenhagen Police   Band   -   &   I   strongly   suspect   the   LP   credited   to   the   Ditchburn   Studio   Orchestra   of   TV   themes   is   in   fact non other than the Henry Salomon Orchestra. I   started   to   spend   time   working   occasionally   for   my   father   in   the   mid   1970's   when   still   in   my   teens,   firstly   in the   record   shop   then   helping   in   the   office.   When   I   left   collage   in   1976   I   joined   the   business   full   time   as   a sound   engineer   preparing   sample   reel   tapes   &   cassettes   of   music   to   send   out   to   customers   &   clients, copying   15ips   master   production   tapes,   editing   &   spicing   masters   with   pause   leaders.   It   was   during   this   time that   I   met   a   gentleman   from   the   Ditchburn   Organisation   whom   my   father   had   worked   with   for   a   number   of years. As   I   recall   his   name   was   John   Poole,   he   appeared   like   ex   military   type   with   a   clipped   mustache   &   always wore   a   dark   suit.   John   used   to   call   into   the   office   in   Manchester   regularly   to   audition   new   recordings,   collect samples   &   purchase   tracks   for   Ditchburn’s   background   systems   &   for   commercial   release   on   Ditchburn’s labels - a fact which I must have forgotten. Throughout   the   1970's   &   up   to   the   early   1980's   we   made   numerous   orchestral   recordings   primarily   for   the US   market   of   pop/standard   covers   for   MUZAK   &   other   US   background   companies   &   'Beautiful   Music'   FM stations.   My   father   always   squeezed   in   a   few   'original'   titles   to   the   recording   sessions,   mainly   arrangements of    public    domain    classical    pieces    which    he    could    then    publish.    The    non    exclusive    recordings    were sold/licensed to many users/broadcasters around the world including Ditchburn in the UK. As   the   music   industry   changed   in   the   1980's,   background   music   system   use   declined   &   CDs   came   along around   1988   &   the   market   changed   dramatically.   We   revived   our   own   label   again   to   issue   new   recordings   & fell   back   into   importing/exporting   &   distribution   activities   again.   Although   we   still   worked   with   our   large archive of master tapes the business moved in different directions & a lot of the music wasn't in fashion. My   father   eventually   retired   in   1998,   I   sold   the   record   store   to   concentrate   on   the   publishing,   production   & distribution   side   of   the   business.   After   several   office   moves   I   had   to   dispose   of   a   large   quantity   of   master tapes unfortunately but possibly there may well be some in the Ditchburn archive! With kind regards Alan Wilson
Disc Imports Ltd. Our connection with Ditchburn by Alan Wilson