For the Gramophone & Typewriter Company, a key ingredient in the 1904 signing of Nellie Melba was the young pianist, composer and budding conductor, Landon Ronald. G&T’s producer, Fred Gaisberg, had first met him in 1901. Gaisberg was impressed with Ronald’s dynamism and his easy command of the orchestra, and this led him to become one of G & T’s main conductors and accompanists.
At the same time, Gaisberg saw in him a credible conduit to the “untouchables”, the stars who still remained aloof, reluctant to record for the gramophone, seeing it as just a fad, a new toy. Melba and Patti were at the top of that list. +