Basil Tait had a long career in music prior to moving to Cornwall in 1968. For many years he had been the musical director for Frankie Vaughan between 1960-68, playing on many of his recordings. By 1968 he made the decision to semi-retire. He had always been impressed with the natural musical ability of the Cornish people, with their brass bands and choirs and made the decision to move to the county.
Basing himself in Polzeath, around 1972 he received a call from Bob Crooks. Bob was in need of a new keyboardist for the cabaret band he was leading at the Bodmin Jail nightclub. The current keyboardist wasn't working out and Basil was approached to join the band, which brought him back into the professional music world. Soon afterwards he would join up with Colin Pryce-Jones, Manny Cockle and others to perform as Apollo Sound, playing the ballroom at Perran Sands campsite, which was owned by Colin’s family. The band would record an EP of material penned by Basil.
Around this time Basil almost had another taste of fame when a song he had penned (‘Hip Hip Horray’) was picked up as a potential single by Derek Nimmo. At the time Derek was one of the most famous TV celebs in the UK and was just about to collect an award for TV personality of the year. Basil entered a studio in London and laid down ‘Hip Hip Hooray’, along with the b-side ‘Your Love Will Keep You Warm’. Unfortunately the single didn’t see the light of day, however in a bizarre twist it was reported in the press in New Zealand that the single had been recorded and when Derek later visited the country he recorded a new version which would be released in New Zealand only on DJM Records (DJM 4623. 1972). Basil prided himself on his professionalism and had high standard, unfortunately the new version was far inferior to the original recorded by himself and band back in London.
Basil had always had an interest in recording so setting up a recording operation was a natural progression. Tom Cox was a technical boffin and a friend of Basils. The pair joined together to form TC Recording (Tait-Cox) and began offering their recording services around the county.
TC would record a variety of artists, from brass bands to folk to jazz, whoever required their services. One recording was made in Wadebridge Cinema with the vocals recorded in the toilets, which provided excellent reverb!
Recordings would also be made 'out in the field', where Basil would arrive with his home made 4 track mixing desk set up in a horse box. With this recordings could be made in church halls, clubs, schools, etc. These recordings include the Newquay School project, ‘Nearly all their own work’, where Basil’s friend Goff Richards was music teacher at the school and was looking for an outlet to showcase his students work. After much rehearsal Basil arrived with his horse box studio and set up outside the school, with a feed into a large room in the school. Throughout the day each performer would play their piece.
Basil would also record the Viv Rodd Jazz Orchestra at the Talk of the West, St Agnes. Sessions took place in the afternoon when the space was available, later moving to the Grand View Hotel Newquay when the group could no longer make use of the space.
TC Recording was never a record label, they would make the recordings and it would be down to the individuals to arrange for artwork, distribution, etc. Many artists would also arrange for the pressing of the vinyl, although this service could also be arranged by TC. Although not a record label, TC would often appear on the labels of the finished product. As there was no record pressing plant in Cornwall, records would be pressed up out of county. With the introduction of tapes many of the sessions would be recorded straight to cassette, for performers to distribute themselves.
Many bands would also record at Basil’s make shift studio in his property at Polzeath. As TC grew Basil in 1986 Basil would move to Newquay, building a small studio in Berry Rd which continued to operate until fairly recently.
In his 80s Basil still had a passion for music continuedto writes and produce the music for Lane Theatre productions as well as the annual Mawgan Porth cabaret.
Basil passed away on the 1st December 2014, aged 89