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The RAF: Nightingales-Bombs-Beethoven

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The RAF: Nightingales-Bombs-Beethoven

Old 16th May 2018, 10:04
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The RAF: Nightingales-Bombs-Beethoven

I've just come across this article which is interesting from a historical perspective. The sound recording is both poignant and touching

"The first ever live-to-radio broadcast from an outdoor location wasn’t breaking news, a political event, or a disaster, it was the song of nightingales from the garden of British cellist Beatrice Harrison at Foyle Riding, near Oxted, in Surrey, at midnight on the 18th May 1924.
***
An estimated 1 million people listened to the first nightingale broadcast at midnight on 18th May 1924. It created such a phenomenon the experiment was repeated a month later. In advance of the second annual Nightingale broadcast in 1925, Reith wrote that the Foyle Riding nightingales had swept Britain with “a wave of something closely akin to emotionalism… a glamour of romance has flashed across the prosaic round of many a life.” Thousands of visitors began travelling to Foyle Riding during the Nightingale season. Buses were chartered, guests entertained, and charity visits arranged. The Harrisons received over 50,000 fan letters.
***
The Nightingale live-broadcast tradition was maintained as an annual event by the BBC. Harrison left Foyle Riding in 1936, but the broadcasts continued with birds solo, until May 19th, 1942, the 18th annual broadcast, when the scheduled broadcast was cut dramatically as it was going to air. It was World War Two. The microphones in Foyle Riding had picked up the sounds of 197 aircraft massing over Southern England en route to bomb the German city of Mannheim. Unwilling to warn the Germans of an impending raid, the BBC pulled the plug. The Nightingale broadcast was abruptly halted, but as the phone lines were still open and equipment still in place, both nightingales and bombers were recorded on acetate disc. It is one of the strangely profound audio documents of the British air-war. The 155 aircraft on that May 19th raid reported hitting Mannheim but once the bombing-photographs were developed, they largely showed forest or open country. The force had undershot its target. No more than 10 aircraft loads fell in the city. 600 incendiaries in the harbour area on the Rhine burnt-out four small industrial concerns: a blanket factory, a mineral-water factory, a chemical wholesalers and a timber merchants. Of the 197 planes dispatched, 12 were lost."

Article in full: https://publicaddress.net/im:8577/ni...mbs-beethoven/

Sound recording of the raid assembling

Wokkafans is offline  
Old 16th May 2018, 11:09
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Nightingales and Bombers was also a 1970s album by Manfred Mann's Earth Band and the recording - or one very similar - was used at the end of the track "As Above So Below".
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Old 16th May 2018, 20:15
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Just tried to play that recording and all my dogs went totally loopy!
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Old 16th May 2018, 20:35
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It certainly is an historic recording of birdsong and a departing stream of bombers climbing out to Germany. I believe that the recording includes Manchester bombers with their Rolls-Royce Vulture engines, a rare sound to hear!
Very emotive!

OAP
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Old 17th May 2018, 13:24
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Nightingales and RR Vultures....

tweet tweet tweet rrrumble rrrumble rrrumbKLANG BANG COFF KLANG (Pilot: !! ing piece of engine's stuffed AGAIN)

tweet tweet tweet
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Old 18th May 2018, 08:26
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Strewth, what a fascinating contrast of sounds. I've just played this via a good sound system and the bass response has got my office shaking! Thanks for the post Wok
 
Old 19th May 2018, 00:09
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Such an poignant recording.

I always feel this is an evocative bit of music.

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