On Air Now
The Full Works Concert with Catherine Bott 8pm - 10pm
With HMV possibly being rescued thanks to Hilco, we take a look back at the golden era of the famous record shop, label, recording studio and factory. Which composers and artists were there at the beginning? Enjoy these stunning archive photos…
HMV's origins lie in The Gramophone Company, who in 1899 bought the copyright to a painting by Francis Barraud. The painting shows a dog, Nipper, listening to his late master's voice emanating from a gramophone.
An early shop display shows Nipper in his usual pose. The first HMV shop was opened in London in 1921.
Sir Edward Elgar, an early adopter when it came to making recordings of his own music, records a session for HMV in 1925.
Singer Tito Schipa, famous for his stints with the New York Metropolitan Opera and regular performances at La Scala, inspects one of his own records at the HMV factory in Hayes, Middlesex in 1927.
The inimitable Fats Waller looks pretty pleased with his portable radios purchased from HMV in 1927.
Elgar and Beatrice Harrison record the former's iconic Cello Concerto at Abbey Road for HMV.
Factory workers make the cylinders for HMV's gramophones in 1930.
Who's that standing outside HMV's Abbey Road Studios with Edward Elgar in 1933? Why, it's none other than the great Yehudi Menuhin, after recording Elgar's violin concerto.
Workers leaving the HMV factory in Hayes, Middlesex, in 1930. Soon after, the HMV trademark in the UK was acquired by the EMI record label.
The Australian bass-baritone singer Peter Dawson poses with Alfred Clark, the chairman of the Gramophone Company and Russian-born British pianist Mark Hambourg in 1931. Oh, and Nipper as well.
As the HMV shops became more and more successful, listening booths were installed so that customers could try before they bought. This shot comes from the London HMV store in 1958.
Pop pickers of 1961 scrabble to get the latest releases in HMV.
Yehudi Menuhin, Chinese pianist Fou Ts'ong, Kinloch Anderson of HMV and pianist Hephzibah Menuhin work on a recording of Mozart's Concerto in E Flat Major for Two Pianos and Orchestra in 1964.
This shot from 1973 shows shoppers eagerly browsing records in HMV.
The great André Previn paid a visit to HMV's Oxford Street branch in 1999 to promote a release.
Classical music has always been an important part of HMV, as this 2000 in-store performance from cellist Nina Kotova showed.
Voice of an Angel Charlotte Church showed up at the Cardiff branch of HMV in 2005 to promote her first foray into pop music, her album Tissues and Issues.
The recent recession and a changing digital marketplace have seen many physical retailers struggle, and HMV has been no exception. After confirming that the administrators were being called in, speculation has been rife about what will become of the chain.
Could this plaque, unveiled in 2000 by the legendary Beatles producer George Martin, be the last remnant of the HMV store on Oxford Street? If the lifeline offered by Hilco, who also own the Canadian wing of HMV, turns out to be a lasting one, it might not be time to close the doors just yet...