Long-playing records ruled the Indian music scene through the 1920s and well into the ’70s. The turntable lost its pride of place to colour televisions in the ’80s. Soon, music went digital with CDs and from there, to formats like the mp3. Here’s how ‘native’ music began to play and thrive in British India, leading to the creation of the first vinyl record factory in Sealdah.
- 1902: London’s The Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd (GTL) sends Frederick W. Gaisberg to Asia on a ‘recording expedition’. He arrives in Calcutta with 600 blank discs and a helper, George Dillnutt. Makes 500 recordings of Indian singers (notably, Gauhar Jan and Lal Chand Boral) on wax masters and ships them on to GTL’s records pressing unit in Hanover, Germany.
- 1903: Finished 7- and 10-inch records arrive in India from Hanover.
- 1904: GTLl sends a second recording expedition to India; Nicole Freres of London, also...