Ever wondered how to make an Archive on 4? Here’s your chance to find out!
Alan Dein enters the strange world of instructional records where you can teach yourself just about anything – from yodelling to training your budgie to talk.
It all started in 1901 when Polish émigré Jacques Roston harnessed the new technology of sound recording to teach foreign languages, signing up such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw and JRR Tolkien to lend their support.
By the 50s and 60s you could buy LPs on how to do just about anything – from keep fit to playing a musical instrument, relaxation and passing your driving test.
Perhaps the most surprising are those which help you to train your pet budgerigar to talk – with help from Sparkie, Britain’s favourite budgie, who supposedly had a vocabulary of over 500 words.
With help from Sparkie, Alan Dein tells the story of instructional records and, along the way, reveals a few of the secrets of how to make an Archive on 4.