THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Sound and vision blog

07 January 2011

Recording of the Week: Australia’s top batsman Bradman in full swing - on a piano #cricket #ashes

Richard Ranft, Head of Sound and Vision at the British Library, writes:

Legendary cricketer Sir Donald "the Don" Bradman (1908-2001), who was once named the "greatest living Australian" by former  Prime Minister John Howard, and acclaimed by Wisden as the 20th century’s greatest cricketer, here shows off another cricket record.  But not on the pitch - on the keyboards.

A skilled piano player who grew up in a musical household, he was a boy soprano in his school choir, composed music and made several records (his grand-daughter Greta inherited The Don's love and talent for music and is one of South Australia's pre-eminent classical singers).

Here the Don plays solo “Old Fashioned Locket” and “Our Bungalow of Dreams” on a 78 rpm shellac disc, Colombia DB270, recorded in England in the Colombia Record studios during the 1930 cricket tour to England:

http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=024M-1CS0028982XX-0200V0.xml

The British Library’s copy of this particular disc includes a copyright stamp affixed to the label:

Bradman02

The A-side of the disc, labelled “How it’s done – a friendly chat”, features Bradman discussing cricket, including differences between Australian and English cricket:

http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=024M-1CS0028982XX-0100V0.xml

Bradman01

'Recording of the Week' highlights gems from the Archival Sound Recordings website, chosen by British Library experts or recommended by listeners. This item was selected by audio engineer Tony Harris.

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