ENRICO CARUSO

ENRICO CARUSO

jueves, 22 de mayo de 2014

William Grimshaw, "Gramophone King" of Heaton Park in Prestwich



David initiated this webpage by providing the two images below. The first is a photo of Grimshaws Vauxhall many years ago. The second is an image of a flier for William Grimshaw, "Gramophone King", who is described further down on this webpage.As noted, William Grimshaw owned a bicycle shop and began selling gramophones in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Apparently in connection with his promoting the new machine, William played the gramophone in public, which proved immensely popular for a period of time, drawing as many as 40,000 at Heaton Park.
The following article is from the BBC online.BBC Proms in the Park takes place on Saturday with 15,000 people expected to turn out to watch the BBC Philharmonic perform live on stage in Heaton Park. The finale to the evening, will be a live link up with the Last Night of the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall for a flag-waving patriotic sing-along. It’s the first time the Proms event has gone urban – and been staged in a city venue. But Heaton Park has a tradition of playing classical music to the masses which dates back almost a century... Gramophone King: William Grimshaw That tradition was started early last century by William Grimshaw from Prestwich. Grimshaw originally sold bicycles from his shop on Bury New Rd but expanded his trade to include the new invention of the day – the gramophone. In 1909, William Grimshaw listened to the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso perform at the Free Trade Hall. He wanted to share this experience with the ordinary people of Manchester so, a few days later, he took his gramophone to Heaton Park and played recordings of Caruso to an assembled crowd of 40,000 people!
"He always liked the public and I think that was why: because he wanted to bring pleasure, to bring music to people who weren’t able to afford it" Susan Cahal Local papers such as the Manchester Evening Chronicle and the Crumpsall Guardian reported that the trams from Manchester and Bury were unable to cope with the huge numbers of concert-goers. An extract from the Sound Wave and Talking Machine Record, printed in December 1909 reports the occasion as follows: “In the course of his tour of the provinces, Signor Caruso’s engagements took him to Manchester on September 13 and with his usual enterprise, Mr Grimshaw gave a Gramophone concert in Heaton Park on the following Sunday embracing all the items sung by Caruso…
A vast crowd, estimated to number at least 40,000 assembled to hear the Gramophone.” Caruso himself wrote to Mr Grimshaw expressing his thanks and appreciation of the way his voice had been reproduced. He even sent Grimshaw a signed cartoon of himself! (see below) Caruso: by Caruso Photographs show crowds dressed formally in Edwardian suits and dresses, wearing caps and hats all listening attentively. Indeed, in the words of the Prestwich and Heaton Park Guardian… “… they remained as if spellbound from the moment of arrival to the close of the programme, which, it is hardly necessary to say, was intensely enjoyed.” Grimshaw was the first man in England to give gramophone concerts in the open and the idea spread rapidly around the country. He was soon contracted by Manchester Corporation to hold them in Heaton Park for several seasons and the popularity of these events grew and grew. In effect, he was the very first club DJ in the world. And for his tour bus? He used a Prestwich Co-op horse-drawn milk cart to transport his equipment to the Park. William Grimshaw’s great-granddaughter is Susan Cahal who lives in Radcliffe. She says his concerts were so popular he became known across Lancashire as the Gramophone King.