Recording Pioneers


Gustave William COOK  ("Gus")1908 - 1993   arrowarrow PIONEER    PARENTS    LIFE    NOTES    LABELS    PHOTOS    THANK YOU

PIONEER

Gustave William COOK  ("Gus")1908 - 1993

aka Gustave W. Cook, Gustave Cook, G. W. Cook, G. Cook, Gus W. Cook, Gus Cook
nationality
occupation
birth 15 June 1908, Southwark, London, ENGLAND
baptism
death .. Nov 1993, Weymouth, Dorset, ENGLAND
burial
marriage on .... July/Aug/Sep 1937, Lambeth, London
Bice ASPA

b. ..........
d. ..............

children
  • .............

PARENTS

father Gustave COOK

b. .... 1876, Bermondsey, London
d. ...........

mother

b. ..........
d. ...........

children
  • Gustave William

    b. 15 June 1908, Southwark, London
    d. .. Nov 1993, Weymouth, Dorset, ENGLAND


LIFE


Gustave Cook started in the employ of Columbia Graphophone.

Joined The Gramophone Company on 15 April, 1929.



G. W. COOK (21y; Engineer)
+ Frank CHOWN (29y; Engineer)
SS "WALMER CASTLE" (Union Castle Mail Steamship Company Limited)
dep.: 2 May 1930, Southampton, ENGLAND
arr.: .. May, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA
Last Residence: ENGLAND
Address in the UK: c/o 73 Petty France Westminster, London S.W.I.
Port of Destination: Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA.

Gustave Cook and Frank Chown made recordings in Columbia's WEA-prefixed ten-inch (25cm) matrix series.
Peter Copeland gives two Cape Town recording dates: 24 & 26 May 1930 (WEA 71-86).
The exact total number of Cape Town recordings is not known to me.
The subsequent Johannesburg recording dates apparently were not known to Copeland.

Fortunately an article by Siemon Allen on the website of the South African Audio Archive provided further information.
According to Allen in Cape Town approximately 150 recordings were made.
Cook and Chown arrived in Johannesburg on 11 June 1930 and began recording there on 16 June 1930.
- Recordings WEA 152-202 were recorded on 16 June 1930.
- Recordings WEA 238-245 were recorded on 29 June 1930.
- Recordings WEA 472-483 were recorded on 22 July 1930.
- Recordings WEA 484-502 were recorded on ca. 25 July 1930
- Recordings WEA 654-935 were recorded ca. August 1930 (location(s) uncertain)
All recordings were issued on Columbia's REGAL label with GR-prefixed coupling numbers.

Peter Copeland also cites a number of 12-inch (30cm) Columbia recordings, allegedly made in Cape Town:
- Recordings WEAX 1-11 (before 8 September 1930)
- Recordings WEAX 13-24 (17 to 25 September 1930)
I have no idea how accurate this information is.
It is not known when the Chown/Cook recording team left South Africa.

In addition to that, Copeland lists some 12-inch (30cm) recordings, made in Cape Town on 12 and 19 March 1933:
- Recordings WEAX 29-36 (engineer(s) unknown)




G. W. COOK (22y) engineer
+ F. CHOWN (30y) engineer
+ Mrs. K. C. CHOWN (23y)
SS "ORSAVA"
dep.: .... 1931, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
embarked at Melbourne
arr.: 25 Mar 1931, Plymouth/Tilbury, ENGLAND
Home/business address G. W. COOK: c/o 73 Petty France, Westminster, S.W.1
Home/business address F. / K. C. CHOWN: c/o 73 Petty France, Westminster, S.W.1


Engineer in charge of electrical maintenance at Abbey Road and recording expeditions emanating from Abbey Road (March, 1954).

He was Head of Abbey Road Studios from c. 1970 until his retirement in 1974.
He went to live in the West Country.


NOTES

  • Continental Columbia 78rpm Recordings - A Dating Guide, Part One by Peter Copeland (in: Historic Record, No. 37, Oct 1995)
  • South Africa Audio Archive (www.flatinternational.org)
  • https://www.flatinternational.org/template_volume.php?volume_id=289
  • Rand Daily Mail of 5, 12, 17 and 30 June 1930


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David A. Pickett