Recording Pioneers

William James CLENSHAW  ("Jimmy")1882 - 1958   arrowarrow PIONEER    PARENTS    LIFE    NOTES    LABELS    PHOTOS    THANK YOU


William James CLENSHAW  ("Jimmy")1882 - 1958

aka William J. Clenshaw, W. J. Clenshaw, William Clenshaw, W. Clenshaw, Jimmy Clenshaw
birth 12 Oct 1882, Bethnal Green, London, ENGLAND
baptism 29 Oct 1882, Hackney, London, Middlesex
death .. Apr/May/June 1958, Eastbourne, Sussex (75y) (GRO 5h 243)
marriage married on 4 July 1908 in Hackney, All Saints, Clapton Park, London to:
Blanche Alexander NAIRNE

b. .. Jan/Feb/Mar 1886, Hackney, London
d. .. Apr/May/June 1967, Hackney, London (GRO 5B 481)

(Blanche Alexander NAIRNE/CLENSHAW married Francis S. MARTIN on .. Jul/Aug/Sep 1948 at Wandsworth, Surrey)
  • Hilda E.

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1911, Wandsworth

  • Adeline Blanche

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1915, Wandsworth
    d. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1992, Maidstone, Kent


father James Henry CLENSHAW

b. .. Jan/Feb/Mar 1857, Bethnal Green, London, ENGLAND
d. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1928, Hackney, ENGLAND (72y)) coffeehousekeeper in 1882

mother Adeline (NOT: Adelaide) Eliza BROWN

b. .. Jan/Feb/Mar 1865, Bethnal Green, Middlesex, ENGLAND
d. .... 1959, ........., Middlesex, ENGLAND

marriage they got married on 15 Aug 1881 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, ENGLAND
  • James

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1882, Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England

  • Adeline

    b. .. July/Aug/Sep 1884 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England

  • Minnie

    b. 1 Mar 1889 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England

  • Rose

    b. .. Dec 1890 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England

  • Beatrice

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1892 in Hackney, London, England

  • Lily/Lilly

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1894 in Hackney, London, England

  • Albert

    b. .. Apr/May/June 1896 in Hackney, London, England)
    d. 21 Sep 1916, ........, Greece (20y)

  • William

    b. .. Oct/Nov/Dec 1897 in Hackney, London, England)


joined GRAMCO in Nov 1906 (letter 3/3/1936 in Holmes files)

1911 CENSUS (38 Tranmere Road, Earlsfield)
James CLENSHAW (28y ; b. Bethnal Green) Disc Record Pressman // Talking Machine Co.
Blanche A. CLENSHAW (25y ; b. Clapton)

1911 CENSUS (114 Clifden Road, Clapton Park)
James CLENSHAW (55y ; b. Bethnal Green)
Adeline CLENSHAW (47y ; b. Bethnal Green)
- Adeline (b. ABT 1885 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England)
- Minnie (b. ABT 1889 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England)
- Rose (b. Dec 1890 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England)
- Beatrice (b. ABT 1893 in Hackney, London, England)
- Lilly (b. ABT 1895 in Hackney, London, England)
- Albert (b. ABT 1897 in Hackney, London, England)
- William (b. ABT 1898 in Hackney, London, England)

joined COLUMBIA afterwards (Fonotipia by Henstock p. 471/note 1155)

Early in 1926 Reg. (Reginald) Southey (later Director of EMI (Australia) Ltd.) installed the electrical recording system in the newly acquired Milan Studio. In October 1926 Columbia engineers James Clenshaw and Walter S. Barrell made a series of recordings there. In all, they stayed six weeks and recorded among others Eva Turner and Mariano Stabile.
They were staying at the Diana Hotel, where three HMV engineers were also staying (HMV was recording at the Scala Theatre).
(source: "I was there - No. 3" by W. S. Barrell in The Gramophone of Nov. 1958, p. 283)

11 Jan 1927: Columbia's principal balance engineer in Italy (source: Keith Hardwick)

"JAMES CLENSHAW was born in London where he studied, graduating very young in engineering.
For 25 years he has been part of "COLUMBIA" and is among the few technicians who not only know recording in great detail but also the complete process of manufacturing the Disc.
He has been a welcome guest in Milan for five years, where his intelligence, the gentlemanly presentation and the authority of his studies have gained him the greatest sympathy in the artistic and theatrical world in Italy.
Apart from his value as sound technician, he has also a distinct musical sense and a good knowledge of our operatic repertoire, which greatly facilitates the task as recorder of voices and sounds.
All the complete Italian operas contained in this brochure are recorded by James Clenshaw, whose certain authority and sensibility are a precious assistance to the artistic director and the interpreters themselves.
(from a 1932/1933 Italian Columbia catalogue)


  • I was there - No. 3 by W. S. Barrell (in: The Gramophone of Nov. 1958, p. 283)



George Brock-Nannestad