Calling the Tune offers a fascinating look at the fledgeling gramophone industry as it tries to solve the problems of reliable recording and production methods. ‘I predict that the gramophone will be the democratic entertainment of the future’ states unscrupulous record label boss Mr Gordon (Sam Livesey), who finally gets his comeuppance after one dirty trick too far against his rivals. If the film’s love story is perfunctory, the real interest comes with watching performers of the day, from Henry Wood and his orchestra to George Robey and Charles ‘the laughing policeman’ Penrose laying down their recordings direct to record. And something very like a prototype laser disc makes a crucial appearance too.
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