Grateful Acknowledgements

Thanks must go to all  who have helped to make the production of The Better Land possible:

-for the help and encouragement of all the surviving ‘boys’: Derek Barsham; Major Denis Barthel M.B.E.;  Messrs Billy Corkill-Callin (Billy Neely);  Donald Collup;  Robert Harris O.B.E.;  Harold Langston;  Thomas Meddings;  Brian Moody;  Graham Payn; and Denis Wright.

-for the help of the late Freddy Firth and of his son, Nick, and also for that of the late Kenneth Purves’ son, Peter.

Records have been obtained from many sources and especial thanks must go to Martin Carson, Everson Whittle, Douglas Carrington, Graham Lough, Raymond Langston, Stuart Orr, Roger Fisher,  Graham Butcher and Peter Regent.

Ruth Edge and Sonita Cox at EMI Archives have found and dated much material and have given invaluable advice; Eve Barsham has given hours of her expert professional advice; Colin Johnson has spent many hours  painstakingly reassembling two of the discs on this CD and has given much support.

David Lewer has checked all of my research on the Temple Church soloists and choir, has contributed to the booklet,  solved ‘The Moody Mystery’ and has been responsible for tracing Harold Langston.           

Martin Carson

Special thanks must go to Martin Carson who has so enthusiastically been involved from the beginning.  He has provided  many of the records and without his involvement the project would not have got off the ground.  It is fitting that he should provide the following by way of a postscript:

'In the 1960s I discovered  St. John's College, Cambridge, or rather its Chapel Choir, and I rushed out to buy a handful of LPs.  A friend jovially rebuked me for my enthusiasm and, observing my already large collection of choral music recordings, said that I could not collect every record made by cathedral choirs.  I decided, there and then, that I might just try - but there had to be a clearly defined boundary.  As the college choirs of King's and St. John's already formed the basis of a collection, I chose the boy soprano voice as being the primary limiting factor.  Thirty-five years on, the collection has grown to several thousands and has allowed the entry of soloists, secular choirs and choirs from overseas.  The soloists on 78 rpm became a special interest which involved much research in reference libraries in order to discover more about the singers and what their critics thought about them in the first half of the twentieth century.  It has been a great pleasure, as a result of my collaboration with Stephen Beet, to find and to meet some of these talented "boys".'

  ...Martin Carson

'Far beyond the clouds and beyond the tomb,
‘Tis there my brothers, the better land.'


Copyright © 2015