Melody Maker was a British weekly music magazine, one of the world's earliest music weeklies, and—according to its publisher IPC Media—the earliest. It was founded in 1926 as a magazine for dance band musicians, by Leicester-born composer, publisher Lawrence Wright. In 2000 it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express; the Melody Maker concentrated on jazz, had Max Jones, one of the leading British proselytizers for that music, on its staff for many years. It was slow to cover rock and roll and lost ground to the New Musical Express, which had begun in 1952. MM launched its own weekly singles chart on 7 April 1956, an LPs charts in November 1958, two years after the Record Mirror had published the first UK Albums Chart. From 1964, the paper led its rival publications in terms of approaching music and musicians as a subject for serious study rather than entertainment. Staff reporters such as Chris Welch and Ray Coleman applied a perspective reserved for jazz artists to the rise of American-influenced local rock and pop groups, anticipating the advent of music criticism.
On 6 March 1965, MM called for the Beatles to be honoured by the British state. This duly happened on 12 June that year, when all four members of the group were appointed as members of the Order of the British Empire. By the late 1960s, MM had recovered, targeting an older market than the teen-oriented NME. MM had more specialised advertising, it ran pages devoted to "minority" interests like folk and jazz, as well as detailed reviews of musical instruments. A 1968 Melody Maker poll named John Peel best radio DJ, attention which John Walters said may have helped Peel keep his job despite concerns at BBC Radio 1 about Peel's style and record selection. Starting from the mid-Sixties, critics such as Welch, Richard Williams, Michael Watts, Steve Lake were among the first British journalists to write about popular music, shedding an intellectual light on such artists as Steely Dan, Cat Stevens, Led Zeppelin. Pink Floyd and Henry Cow. By the early 1970s, Melody Maker was considered "the musos' journal" and associated with progressive rock.
But Melody Maker reported on teenybopper pop sensations like The Osmonds, the Jackson 5, David Cassidy. The music weekly gave early and sympathetic coverage to glam rock. Richard Williams wrote the first pieces about Roxy Music, while Roy Hollingworth wrote the first article celebrating New York Dolls in proto-punk terms while serving as the Melody Maker's New York correspondent. In January 1972, Michael "Mick" Watts, a prominent writer for the paper, wrote a profile of David Bowie that singlehandedly ignited the singer's dormant career. During the interview Bowie claimed, "I'm gay, always have been when I was David Jones." "OH YOU PRETTY THING" ran the headline, swiftly became part of pop mythology. Bowie attributed his success to this interview, stating that, "Yeah, it was Melody Maker that made me, it was that piece by Mick Watts." During his tenure at the paper, Watts toured with and interviewed artists including Syd Barrett, Waylon Jennings, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Caroline Coon was headhunted by Melody Maker editor Ray Coleman in the mid-1970s and promptly made it her mission to get women musicians taken and between 1974 and 1976 she interviewed Maggie Bell, Joan Armatrading, Lynsey de Paul and Twiggy.
She went on to make it her mission to promote punk rock. In 1978, Richard Williams returned - after a stint working at Island Records - to the paper as the new editor and attempted to take Melody Maker in a new direction, influenced by what Paul Morley and Ian Penman were doing at NME, he recruited Jon Savage, Chris Bohn and Mary Harron to provide intellectual coverage of post-punk bands like Gang of Four, Pere Ubu and Joy Division and of new wave in general. Vivien Goldman at NME and Sounds, gave the paper much improved coverage of reggae and soul music, restoring the superior coverage of those genres that the paper had in the early 1970s. Despite this promise of a new direction for the paper, internal tension developed, principally between Williams and Coleman, by this time editor-in-chief, who wanted the paper to stick to the more "conservative rock" music it had continued to support during the punk era. Coleman had been insistent that the paper should "look like The Daily Telegraph", but Williams wanted the paper to look more contemporary.
He commissioned an updated design. In 1980, after a strike which had taken the paper out of publication for a period, Williams left MM. Coleman promoted Michael Oldfield from the design staff to day-to-day editor, for a while, took it back where it had been, with news of a line-up change in Jethro Tull replacing features about Andy Warhol, Gang of Four and Factory Records on the cover. Several journalists, such as Chris Bohn and Vivien Goldman, moved to NME, while Jon Savage joined the new magazine The Face. Coleman left in 1981, the paper's design was updated, but sales and prestige were at a low ebb through the early 1980s, with NME dominant. By 1983, the magazine had become more populist and pop-oriented, exemplified by its modish "MM" masthead, regular covers for the likes of Duran Duran and its choice of Eurythmics' Touch as the best album of the year. Things were to change, however. In February 1984, Allan Jones, a staff writer on the paper since 1974, was appointed editor: defying instructions to put Kajagoogoo on the cover, he led the magazine with an article
BIBSYS is an administrative agency set up and organized by the Ministry of Education and Research in Norway. They are a service provider, focusing on the exchange and retrieval of data pertaining to research and learning – metadata related to library resources. BIBSYS are collaborating with all Norwegian universities and university colleges as well as research institutions and the National Library of Norway. Bibsys is formally organized as a unit at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, located in Trondheim, Norway; the board of directors is appointed by Norwegian Ministry of Research. BIBSYS offer researchers and others an easy access to library resources by providing the unified search service Oria.no and other library services. They deliver integrated products for the internal operation for research and special libraries as well as open educational resources; as a DataCite member BIBSYS act as a national DataCite representative in Norway and thereby allow all of Norway's higher education and research institutions to use DOI on their research data.
All their products and services are developed in cooperation with their member institutions. BIBSYS began in 1972 as a collaborative project between the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters Library, the Norwegian Institute of Technology Library and the Computer Centre at the Norwegian Institute of Technology; the purpose of the project was to automate internal library routines. Since 1972 Bibsys has evolved from a library system supplier for two libraries in Trondheim, to developing and operating a national library system for Norwegian research and special libraries; the target group has expanded to include the customers of research and special libraries, by providing them easy access to library resources. BIBSYS is a public administrative agency answerable to the Ministry of Education and Research, administratively organised as a unit at NTNU. In addition to BIBSYS Library System, the product portfolio consists of BISBYS Ask, BIBSYS Brage, BIBSYS Galleri and BIBSYS Tyr. All operation of applications and databases is performed centrally by BIBSYS.
BIBSYS offer a range of services, both in connection with their products and separate services independent of the products they supply. Open access in Norway Om Bibsys
Annunzio Paolo Mantovani, known mononymously as Mantovani, was an Anglo-Italian conductor and light orchestra-styled entertainer with a cascading strings musical signature. The book British Hit Singles & Albums states that he was "Britain's most successful album act before the Beatles...the first act to sell over one million stereo albums and six albums in the US Top 30 in 1959". Mantovani was born in Venice, into a musical family, his father, served as the concertmaster of La Scala opera house's orchestra in Milan, under the baton of Arturo Toscanini. The family moved to England in 1912, where young Annunzio studied at Trinity College of Music in London. After graduation, he formed his own orchestra, which played around Birmingham, he married Winifred Moss in 1934, having two children: Paula Irene. By the time World War II broke out, his orchestra was one of the most popular British dance bands, both on BBC radio broadcasts and in live performances, he was musical director for a large number of musicals and other plays, including Noël Coward's Pacific 1860 and Vivian Ellis's musical setting of J. B.
Fagan's And So to Bed. After the war, he concentrated on recording, gave up live performance altogether, he worked with arranger and composer Ronald "Ronnie" Binge, who developed the "cascading strings" effect. His records were used for demonstration purposes in stores selling hi-fi stereo equipment, as they were produced and arranged for stereo reproduction, he became the first person to sell a million stereophonic records. In 1952, Binge ceased to arrange for Mantovani but the distinctive sound of the orchestra remained. Mantovani recorded for Decca until the mid-1950s, for London Records owned by the Decca Company, he recorded in excess of 50 albums on that label. His single tracks included "The Song from Moulin Rouge", which reached Number One in the UK Singles Chart in 1953. In the United States, between 1955 and 1972, he released more than 40 albums with 27 reaching the "Top 40", 11 in the "Top Ten", his biggest success came with the album Film Encores, which attained Number One in 1957. Mantovani Plays Music From'Exodus' and Other Great Themes made it to the Top Ten in 1961, with over one million albums sold.
Mantovani starred in his own syndicated television series, produced in England and which aired in the United States in 1959. Thirty-nine episodes were filmed. Mantovani made his last recordings in the mid-1970s, he died at a care home in Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. His funeral was held at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium and Cemetery on 8 April 1980; the cascading strings technique developed by Binge became Mantovani's hallmark in such hits arranged by Binge as "Charmaine". Binge developed this technique to replicate the echo experienced in venues such as cathedrals and he achieved this goal through arranging skill alone. Author Joseph Lanza describes Mantovani's string arrangements as the most "rich and mellifluous" of the emerging light music style during the early 1950s, he stated that Mantovani was a leader in the use of new studio technologies to "create sound tapestries with innumerable strings", that "the sustained hum of Mantovani's reverberated violins produced a sonic vaporizer foreshadowing the synthesizer harmonics of space music."
His style survived through an ever-changing variety of musical styles prompting Variety to call him "the biggest musical phenomenon of the twentieth century". From 1961 to 1971 David McCallum Sr was leader of Mantovani's orchestra. At this time, his son David McCallum Jr was at the height of his fame, prompting Mantovani to introduce his leader to audiences with the quip, "We can afford the father but not the son!"Mantovani is referred to by name in The Kinks song "Prince of the Punks". He had a big influence on Brian May, Queen guitarist. During his lifetime, Mantovani did not always get respect from his fellow musicians; when George Martin first suggested overdubbing Paul McCartney's recording of Yesterday with strings, McCartney's initial reaction, according to Martin, was that he didn't want it sounding like Mantovani. Martin therefore used a more classical sound. Much of his catalogue has reappeared on CD. There are many compilations. A large number of CDs are available containing unauthorised recordings, billed as Mantovani or Mantovani Orchestra, for example the CD titled "The Mantovani Orchestra" released in 1997 contained a track from the 1980s Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats", which would have required posthumous conducting on the part of Mantovani.
There have been CDs released under the Mantovani name of recordings made by others while Mantovani was still alive. Following Mantovani's death in 1980, the Mantovani Estate continues to authorise numerous concerts worldwide and recordings using original and newly commissioned arrangements. A Mantovani Program, London ffrr LPB-127, 1949 Musical Moments, London ffrr LPB-218, 1950 Waltzing with Mantovani, London ffrr LPB-381, 1951 Strauss Waltzes, London ffrr LL 685, 1953 re-recorded in stereo as London 118, 1958 Plays The Music of Victor Herbert, London ffrr LL 746, 1953 An Album of Favorite Melodies, reissued as An Enchanted Evening with Mantovani, London ffrr LL 766, 1953 An Album of Romantic Melodies, London ffrr LL 979, 1954 Plays The Music of Sigmund Romberg, London ffrr LL 1031, 1954 Song Hits from Theatreland, London f
Framus is a German string instrument manufacturing company, that existed from 1946 until going bankrupt in 1975. The Framus brand was revived in 1995 as part of Warwick GmbH & Co Music Equipment KG in Markneukirchen, Germany, their headquarters and custom shops are located in Markneukirchen, New York City, Nashville. 1946: The foundation of Fränkische Musikinstrumentenerzeugung by Fred A. Wilfer KG in Erlangen, Germany to help resettle luthiers displaced from Schönbach in the Sudetenland. 1954: A larger factory is built in Bubenreuth, Germany to house the 300-strong workforce. 1967: Further expansion sees the building of a second facility in Pretzfeld, Germany. 1975: The changing market forces the company into bankruptcy. 1995: Framus musical instruments enter into production under Warwick GmbH & Co Music Equipment KG. Framus originated in the town of Schönbach, today called Luby u Chebu in the area of Eger; the city at the foot of the Erzgebirge was shaped by the music. Violins and other string instruments have been exported from Schönbach worldwide.
There, in the Bohemian area, the founder of Framus, Fred Wilfer was born in 1917. After World War II, when he heard about the expulsion plans of the allied forces in his south eastern Germany homeland, he decided to build up a new basis for his countryman and the music industry in the west. Before the first train was going to transport violin makers from Schönbach to other areas, Fred Wilfer contacted different government authorities in Bavaria and told them about his plans; the Bavarian government welcomed his plans and asked him to create all conditions needed for the settlement to Bavaria. In 1946 he founded the FRAMUS works... the name being an acronym of FRAnconian MUSical instruments and designed to draw attention to the fact that the celebrated violin makers of Schönbach had made Franconia their new home. When the first train transporting violin makers from Schönbach arrived in Erlangen he was the man in charge to find housing for them, he made arrangements for the establishment of the first workshops.
In March 1946 the first group of Schönbach violin makers arrived in Erlangen, with Fred Wilfer and the refugee commission arranging accommodations. A factory was set up in a former wheel warehouse in Möhrendorf in autumn 1946. At the end of 1948 the factory was moved to a former brewery in the nearby town of Baiersdorf. Soon this large space proved inadequate. In late 1949 Bubenreuth became the center of settlement for the Schönbach violin makers. There, Wilfer began building one of the most modern factories of the time, in the summer of 1954 about 170 employees went to work at the new facility. With 2200 square meters of space at their disposal, they were soon producing more than 2000 instruments in a month. Vintage Framus guitars The guitar - the electric guitar - became the new bestseller. Sales increased enormously due to the popularity of roll music at the end of the 1950s; because of this development, several technologic advances were introduced, a second factory was built in Pretzfeld, 25 km north of Bubenreuth in the Franconian Switzerland, in 1966.
Framus became the largest guitar producer in Europe. In the 50s Paul McCartney owned a model of a Framus Ivor Mairants "Zenith" guitar, he had been given a trumpet for his 14th birthday in 1956 but he learned he could not sing playing a trumpet so he swapped it for a Framus "Zenith" model 17. He used it to compose some of his first songs with it including "When I'm Sixty-Four", it still hangs in his studio. The company included a musical kindergarten in the Bubenreuth factory. Supported by a young teacher, Gertrud Fischer and a book that used little, colored "note men" that helped children start learning musical notation at the age of three. Visitors to the factory in Bubenreuth included the Vienna Saengerknaben, who delivered a special concert in the Framus workshops, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who toured the factory and its musical kindergarten during a visit to the violin-making-village. In an interview Fred Wilfer summarized his all-embracing concept with the following words: It's not only important to produce instruments, over a long period it is important to "produce customers".
This motto is found in other Framus projects, as well. The price dumping by companies from Japan along with other factors, both external and internal forced Framus into bankruptcy at the end of the 1970s. Many aspects of the history of Framus are still in the dark; this is due to the bankruptcy of the company when the whole archives were lost. In 1995, Hans-Peter Wilfer revived the Framus name to produce musical instruments as part of Warwick GmbH & Co Music Equipment KG in Markneukirchen, Germany. Along with a range of electric guitars, the company produces replacement parts for their vintage models, a small range of high-end tube amplifiers; the company produces its amplifiers using carbon-neutral principles. It gets all the electricity it needs through its own natural-gas-powered plant, solar roof-mounted facilities, a boiler fueled by wood waste from its guitars and through wind power. Wood is from sustainable sources; the entire production process follows the regulations of the European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, a voluntary program designed to continuously improve companies’ environmental performance.
Framus Panthera Supreme Studio 7-string 8-string Framus Diablo Progressive
A guitar solo is a melodic passage, instrumental section, or entire piece of music written for a classical guitar, electric guitar or an acoustic guitar. In the 20th and 21st century traditional music and popular music such as blues, jazz, jazz fusion and metal guitar solos contain virtuoso techniques and varying degrees of improvisation. Guitar solos on classical guitar, which are written in musical notation, are used in classical music forms such as chamber music and concertos. Guitar solos range from unaccompanied works for a single guitar to compositions with accompaniment from a few other instruments or a large ensemble; the accompaniment musicians for a guitar solo can range from a small ensemble such as a jazz quartet or a rock band, to a large ensemble such as an orchestra or big band. Unaccompanied acoustic guitar music is found in folk and classical music dating as far back as the instrument has existed, the use of an acoustic guitar as a solo voice within an ensemble dates back at least to the Baroque concerto.
The classical guitar is an acoustical wooden guitar with six strings nylon, as opposed to the metal strings used in acoustic and electric guitars. Classical guitar is played by plucking individual strings with the fingernails or the fingertips. A classical guitar solo concert is called a recital; the most important composer who did not write for the guitar but whose music is played on it is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose baroque lute works have proved adaptable to the instrument. Of music written for guitar, the earliest important composers are from the classical period and include Fernando Sor and Mauro Giuliani, both of whom wrote in a style influenced by Viennese classicism. In the 19th century guitar composers such as Johann Kaspar Mertz were influenced by the dominance of the piano. Not until the end of the nineteenth century did the guitar begin to establish its own unique identity. Francisco Tárrega was central to this, sometimes incorporating stylized aspects of flamenco's Moorish influences into his romantic miniatures.
This was part of late 19th century mainstream European musical nationalism. Albéniz and Granados were central to this movement; some classical guitarists play concertos, which are solos written for performance with the accompaniment of an orchestra. Not many classical guitar concertos have been written, which may be laid to the imbalance between the volume of multi-instrumental orchestra as compared to a single guitar; some guitar concertos are nowadays wide known and popular Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasía para un gentilhombre. Composers who wrote well known guitar concertos are: Antonio Vivaldi, Mauro Giuliani, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Manuel Ponce, Leo Brouwer and Lennox Berkeley. In the 2000s, contemporary composers are writing guitar concertos. Composers of the Renaissance period who wrote for four course guitar include Alonso Mudarra, Miguel de Fuenllana, Adrian Le Roy and Guillaume de Morlaye; some well known composers of the baroque guitar were Gaspar Sanz, Robert de Visée and Francesco Corbetta.
From 1780 to 1850, the guitar had numerous composers and performers including: Filippo Gragnani, Antoine de Lhoyer, Ferdinando Carulli, Francesco Molino, Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani, Niccolò Paganini, Dionisio Aguado, Luigi Legnani, Matteo Carcassi, Napoléon Coste and Johann Kaspar Mertz. Beginning in the 1920s, guitar soloist Andrés Segovia popularized the guitar with tours and early phonograph recordings. Modern classical guitar solo performers who are known for playing modern repertoire include Leo Brouwer, John Schneider, Reinbert Evers, Maria Kämmerling, Siegfried Behrend, David Starobin, Mats Scheidegger, John Williams, Magnus Andersson. Though guitar solos are used in a wide range of genres, the term "guitar solo" refers to electric guitar solos played in blues and in rock. Unlike acoustic guitars like the classical guitar or steel-string guitar, the electric guitar is played through a guitar amplifier to make the instrument loud enough. Guitar amplifiers have preamplifier and tone controls, in some cases, overdrive controls that modify the tone.
The use of a guitar solo as an instrumental interlude was developed by blues musicians such as John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, jazz like Charlie Christian. Ernest Tubb's 1940 honky tonk classic, Walking the Floor over You was the first "hit" recording to feature and highlight a solo by a standard electric guitar–though earlier hits featured electric lap steel guitars. Blues master Lonnie Johnson had recorded at least one electric guitar solo, but his innovation was neither much noted nor influential. Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, J
Joshua Daniel White was an American singer, songwriter and civil rights activist. He recorded under the names Pinewood Tom and Tippy Barton in the 1930s. White grew up in the South during the 1930s, he became a prominent race records artist, with a prolific output of recordings in genres including Piedmont blues, country blues, gospel music, social protest songs. In 1931, White moved to New York, within a decade his fame had spread widely, his repertoire expanded to include urban blues, traditional folk songs, political protest songs, he was in demand as an actor on radio and film. However, White's anti-segregationist and international human rights political stance presented in many of his recordings and in his speeches at rallies were subsequently used by McCarthyites as a pretext for labeling him a communist to slander and harass him. From 1947 through the mid-1960s, White was caught up in the anti-communist Red Scare, as a consequence his career was damaged; however White's musical style would go on to influence several generations of musical artists.
White was born on February 11, 1914, in the black section of Greenville, South Carolina, one of the four children of Reverend Dennis and Daisy Elizabeth White. His father told him, his mother introduced him to music when he was five years old, at which age he began singing in his church's choir. White's father threw a white bill collector out of his home in 1921, for which he was beaten so badly that he nearly died, was locked up in a mental institution, where he died nine years later. Two months after his father had been taken away from the family, White left home with Blind Man Arnold, a black street singer, whom he agreed to lead across the South and for whom he would collect coins after performances. Arnold would send White's mother two dollars a week. Arnold soon realized that he could profit from this gifted boy, who learned to dance and play the tambourine. Over the next eight years, he rented the boy's services to other blind street singers, including Blind Blake and Blind Joe Taggart, in time White mastered the varied guitar stylings of all of them.
In order to appear sympathetic to the onlookers tossing coins, the old men kept White shoeless and in ragged short pants until he was sixteen years old. At night he slept in cotton fields or in horse stables on an empty stomach, while his employer slept in a black hotel. While guiding Taggart in 1927, White arrived in Illinois. Mayo Williams, a producer for Paramount Records, recognized White's talents and began using him as a session guitarist, he backed many artists for recordings before recording his first popular Paramount record as the lead vocalist and lead guitarist on "Scandalous and a Shame", billed as "Blind Joe Taggart & Joshua White", thus becoming the youngest artist of the "race records" era. He was still shoeless and sleeping in horse stables, with all his payments for recordings going to Taggart and Arnold. After Williams left Paramount to start his own label in Chicago, he threatened that if Taggart did not pay White for his recording services he would call the authorities and have Taggart arrested for indentured servitude and keeping the boy out of school.
For a few months after Taggart released him from servitude, White shared a room with Blind Blake at Williams's home before finding his own room in a boarding house. He was being paid for his recordings and for the first time in his life was able to buy proper clothes and shoes. For the next two years, White continued an active recording schedule in Chicago, until he had saved enough money to return to Greenville and take care of his mother and younger siblings. Late in 1930, ARC Records, based in New York, sent two A&R men to find White, the lead boy who had recorded for Paramount in 1928. After several months of searching, they found him recovering from a broken leg at his mother's home in Greenville, they persuaded her to sign a recording contract for her underage son, promising that they would record only religious songs and not the "devil's music". White moved to New York City and recorded religious songs for ARC, billed as "Joshua White, the Singing Christian". In a few months, having recorded his repertoire of religious songs, White was persuaded by ARC to record blues songs and to work as a session musician for other artists.
White, 18 years old and still underage, signed a new contract under the name Pinewood Tom in 1932. This name was used only on his blues recordings. ARC used his birth name for new gospel recordings and soon added "The Singing Christian". ARC released his recordings under the name Tippy Barton during this period; as a session guitarist, White recorded with Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, Buddy Moss, Charlie Spand, the Carver Boys, Walter Roland, Lucille Bogan. In February 1936, he punched his left hand through a glass door during a bar fight, the hand became infected with gangrene. Doctors recommended amputation of the hand, which White refused. Amputation was averted, he retreated from his recording career to become a dock worker, an elevator operator, a building superintendent. During the time when his hand was lame, he squeezed a small rubber ball to try to revive it. One night during a card game, White's left hand was revived completely, he began practicing playing the guitar and soon put together a group, Josh White and His Carolinians, with his brother Billy and close friends Carrington Lewis, Sam Gary, Bayard Rustin.
They soon began playing private parties in Harlem. At one of these parties, on New Year's Eve 1938, Leonard De Paur, a Broad
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment