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Old 25th Jan 2018, 8:18 pm   #1
camtechman
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Default Embassy records

In my early years of record buying I could only afford the Woolies "Embasy" sound-a-like 45's but, as my pocket money was increased, I proudly went to my local record shop: "The Record Cabin" (in Edmonton Nth London).

Then one day, flushed with pocket money, 15th birthday money & a Pye Golden Guinea voucher (claimed from Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate promotion). I went mad and bought the ; Ball, Barber & Bilk Pye Golden Guinea LP and my first ever EP; Acker Bilk's Band Of Thieves.

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Old 25th Jan 2018, 8:58 pm   #2
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Default Re: Best ever self contained music centre?

Some information about Embassy here, they put a lot of effort into it by this account and had some success.
http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/19...ssyrecords.htm
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Old 25th Jan 2018, 9:36 pm   #3
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Default Re: Best ever self contained music centre?

My Dad used to off-load any Embassy records he was given as a gift onto his sister.
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Old 25th Jan 2018, 10:21 pm   #4
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Default Re: Best ever self contained music centre?

I too have a few Embassy label 45s from Woolies from the early 60s when my pocket money didn't stretch to the genuine one. One of them is a cover version of the Tornado's Telstar by an artist called Bud Ashton. I seem to recall they cost 3s/3d in old money where the genuine one was 7s/6d. I've read they are quite collectable but only in good condition which I'm afraid mine are not.

Alan.
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Old 25th Jan 2018, 10:26 pm   #5
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Default Re: Best ever self contained music centre?

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Originally Posted by Richard_FM View Post
My Dad used to off-load any Embassy records he was given as a gift onto his sister.
I still offload any that I get - to anyone who will take them. Dreadful things!
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Old 25th Jan 2018, 11:06 pm   #6
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I still offload any that I get - to anyone who will take them. Dreadful things!
The sold quite well and they were for the moment, within a couple of weeks there was another title to buy, must have given quite a lot of pleasure to many or even at that price they wouldn’t have sold.

I was not an avid collector of records, didn’t have the money for Embassy never mind the big brands.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 8:01 am   #7
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Default Re: Embassy records

I always found that Embassy 78's played on a wind up gramophone used to wear out quickly as if the material used to make the disc was not the same quality as other makes.
The tracks wore away and went a grey colour. No problem if only played on an electric machine with a lighter weight arm.

John
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 9:12 am   #8
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Default Re: Embassy records

I think I may have one or two. I had always thought they were something to do with the cigarette brand! You learn something new everyday on here.

Martin

Last edited by sortedradio; 26th Jan 2018 at 9:14 am. Reason: grammer
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 10:13 am   #9
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Smile Re: Embassy records

Hi,
I remember well seeing Embassy records for sale in our local Woolies, and even our friendly neighbourhood newsagent stocked them.
As it happens, I never bought any as I used to pinch my elder brother's Beatles or Stones records instead.
The Embassy 78s that I've seen back in the day were vinyl rather than shellac.
Cheers, Pete.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 10:18 am   #10
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Default Re: Embassy records

I still have several Embassy records, including 78s, most of which would have been played on a wind-up 'gram when I first bought them. Most are still in good condition for their age. My collection also includes half a dozen 45s, including the Maureen Evans/Brian Matthew cover of 'Goodness Gracious me', several EPs including 'Skiffle Session', which some beleive features Chas. McDevitt & either Nancy Whiskey or Shirley Douglas (both uncredited), and at least one including 'Bud Ashton' in it's line up. One of the 45s is 'Johnny Worth' singing 'What do you Want', J. Worth being a nom-de-plume for Les Vandyke, who wrote, WDYW, Poor me, and 'Someone Else's Baby', amongst other songs. Just to correct a point in post #4, with respect, Alan, your memory of prices is wrong. Embassy 78s & 45s were 4/-(20p), but may have increased to 4/6 (22.5p) Singles on the major labels were either 5/7d(28p) or 6/- (30p) in the 50s & early 60s, A few years later they went up to 6/7.5d(ca. 39p). Some Embassy records were quite good. I still play them from time to time, and recall a Radio 2 programme called 'Mantovani with Three Violins' about the Embassy Label, and how it's records were made. AFAIK, though, Embassy recorrds were never included in the NME record charts, but they were mentioned in some lists of available versions of songs in the Sheet Music Charts, and are included in the(possibly now out of print)chart book 'First Hits', whch covers 1945-1959.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 11:42 am   #11
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Default Re: Embassy records

Bud Ashton's "FBI" cover is great, not being very up on the Shadows I didn't realise it was a cover when I first bought it.

It seems an alien concept now, buying covers because they are cheaper. Similar to the top of the pops LPs seen everywhere at car boot sales. The closest you get now is the store music in some DIY stores
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 12:25 pm   #12
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Default Re: Embassy records

I too was in my youth dismissive of Embassy records because they weren't the 'real thing' I don't think I ever bought one.

With hindsight though they're rather interesting, not least from the technical quality point of view. AFAIK most were recorded by Levy Sound Studios in New Bond Street. Jacques Levy, along with his brother, owned successful Oriole records and for 25 years was Chairman of the prestigious Association of Professional Recording Studios (APRS).

Levy was fastidious about technical standards and the discs were technically at least as good as any others. I'd expect that they went through the exact same process as the more expensive Orioles. It's sad that so many were destroyed on wind-up gramophones with worn out steel needles!

I gather that recording were generally made on Thursday mornings with the aim of getting the discs into Woolworths by the following Monday. That left no room for mistakes, so the musicians needed to be experienced skilled professionals. It's said that among the performers were some who later became big names, including Reg Dwight (Elton John).

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Old 26th Jan 2018, 12:38 pm   #13
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Default Re: Embassy records

Embassy also used to use 'fading' stars (for want of a better word) from earlier eras. Amongst my Embassy 78s is a version of 'The Wayward Wind' (b/w 'How Little We Know'), by Denny Dennis, who was a popular singer in the 40s & early 50s, and had made many records for Deccabefore joining Embassy in 1956, where his first recording was ' (love is) The Tender Trap' (WB167), a big hit for Frank Sinatra at the time.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 2:29 pm   #14
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Default Re: Embassy records

Just found this, Joe Brown's hit covered by 'Redd Wayne', but talk about value for money, it's got the 'Happy Knights Jazz band' on the flip covering 'The Green Leaves of Summer! Somewhere I've also got Speedy Gonzales by Redd Wayne
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 2:44 pm   #15
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Default Re: Embassy records

This looks like a complete catalogue:-

http://www.globaldogproductions.info/e/embassy-uk.html
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 3:37 pm   #16
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Default Re: Embassy records

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley118 View Post
I gather that recording were generally made on Thursday mornings with the aim of getting the discs into Woolworths by the following Monday. That left no room for mistakes, so the musicians needed to be experienced skilled professionals. It's said that among the performers were some who later became big names, including Reg Dwight (Elton John).
I think David Bowie did some session work like this before becoming famous.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 4:08 pm   #17
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Default Re: Embassy records

Looking through the listings from the link in post 15, the name Pearl Carr is credited with some titles.
I wonder if that is the same Pearl Carr of the duo Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson who came second in the 1959 Eurovision Song Contest.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 4:11 pm   #18
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Default Re: Embassy records

The launch of the label must have worried the established record companies, the label was banned from the charts.
Cover versions of songs were popular with the established companies but it was ok I suppose for them to do that.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 4:14 pm   #19
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Default Re: Embassy records

A few days ago I enjoyed a programme on bbc iplayer about the hit single. Not sure how many days left to watch. I saw it 2 or 3 years ago as well.
Rob
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 4:21 pm   #20
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What's wrong with 'K-Tel'? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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