Vox at the Russell Hotel Trade Fair, August 1962

British Musical Instruments Industries Fair, 27th-31st August

The Fair at the Russell Hotel was, until 1963, known as the "British Musical Instrument Industries" Fair, the Board of the "Association of Musical Instrument Industries" (AMII) overseeing its activities and regulations. The question of whether the public should be admitted was a regular topic of discussion. Exhibitors and dealers were the primary focus.

Jennings stand at the Russell Hotel Trade Fair, London, August 1962

Detail from a British music trade journal, September 1962.

The Jennings display of 1962 is briefly described in the overviews of the Fair published in various British Music Trade journals. Keynote items were for the most part transistor - the Continental organ (three models); the T60 bass, with different speaker configurations; the space-age Vox Transonic (T30); an electronic guitar tuner - the "Transtuner"; and the new wireless microphone system. An outline was also given in the mainstream music press following an advert for the T60 amplifier.

Late August 1962.

Shortly before the fair, Jet Harris collected a pre-production amp from Dartford Road - "Featuring the world's first built-in transistor guitar tuner...", which was evidently compact enough to be incorporated in guitars too (see further below).

A long thin advert divided in two for convenience here, Jet's surname misprinted unfortunately.

No tuner has come to light so far in a JMI amplifier. Later, however, a rudimentary unit was incorporated in the Vox solid state amps made by the Thomas Organ Company in the USA. The effects in these amps were wholly derived from original JMI designs (as one might expect).

An overview of the JMI display was also given in a short piece in the popular music press - "Transistoristion". The text of the right-hand column (which disappears slightly into the crease) has been transcribed below:

"This model is the forerunner of others in the present Vox range which will be completely transistorised in the next few months. A transistor guitar-tuner unit is also a feature of the display.

A new Vox development to be operated under GPO [General Post Office] licence by professional musicians, is a miniature transmitter which fits into the pocket, a Vox Shure microphone, and a compact receiver unit which attaches to any make of amplifier.

This dispenses with a trailing microphone lead.

A new semi-acoustic shaped electric guitar will be the first departure from the extensive solid body series available at present.

Two additional non-acoustic electric guitars are to be exhibited - the Soundcaster and the Symphonic Bass both with a new feature, the dual operational string mute which gives various tonal effects."

Alan Harding recalls demonstrating the Radio Microphone (exhibited in public at the Fair for the first time) at Pinewood Studios during the shooting of "Dr No", summer 1962. There was considerable interest, but no order resulted. The transistor amplifiers displayed - the T30 Transonic, and the T60 Bass - were not officially "released" however until late 1962. A note in the music press, 1st November, 1962, states that "protoypes were well underway".

The "standard" line-up of Vox amplifiers before the show can be seen in the advert from July 1962 at the foot of this page: the AC4, AC10 (in two formats), AC15 (also in two formats); the AC30 Twin and AC30 Super Twin.

The photos below are from tightly-bound volumes of the magazines - apologies for the waviness. The text is legible enough though.

AMII promotional page for the Russell Hotel Trade Fair, 1962

"Music Trades Review", June 1962, advert for the show.

Review of the new Jennings items ar the Russell Hotel Fair, 1962

Review of the new Jennings items ar the Russell Hotel Fair, 1962

British Music Trade journal, August 1962.

Note on the JMI display at the Russell Hotel Trade Fair, August 1962

"Record Retaile and Music Industry News", 23rd August, 1962.

Reviews of the displays at the AMII Trade Fair, August 1962

Reviews of the displays at the AMII Trade Fair, August 1962

The Vox amplifier line before the Fair

JMI advert, British musis trade magazine, July 1962

Music trade magazine, July 1962

On to the page for the .