Marianne Mantell, Co-Founder of Caedmon Records, 93

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Marianne Mantell and Barbara Cohen founded Caedmon Records in 1952, focusing on the spoken word. Their first release was Dylan Thomas reading poems and "A Child's Christmas in Wales," and it was a success. I owe Caedmon a lot because their Tolkien releases have meant a lot to me. Poems and Songs of Middle Earth, with Tolkien reading several of his poems including one in Elvish, was something I grew up on from about age 15. I had the LP; it suffered a bit of wear and I got another; then came the cassette tape version; then came CD format. In the mid-1970s Caedmon released non-professional recordings of Tolkien reading from the then-unpublished Lord of the Rings as well as the Gollum episode from The Hobbit. I found the first release at a store in downtown Medford, Oregon, that sold sheet music and musical instruments, as I recall. The later two LPs I ordered by mail from T-K Graphics of Baltimore. I seem to remember still looking them over in the kitchen for the first time, after walking up the hill and bringing them home from the post office (we had a post office box). I am truly grateful to Mantell and Cohen.

Some Chronsters might be more familiar with Caedmon's output than I. It included recordings of Ursula Le Guin reading and someone reading from Dune, if I'm not mistaken. David McCallum read a Lovecraft story or two.

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