Phillips Sound Recording Services
In 1955, several customers asked if Phillips could make demo discs, so he bought a 1/4 inch tape recorder (replaced in 1963 with a Vortexion portable), an MSS disc cutting machine, an amplifier, a 4-track mixer, three microphones (a Reslo, an HMV ribbon microphone, and an AKG), and three pairs of headphones for £400,while on a trip to London to visit his son Frank, who was there for a sound recording course at EMI Electronics.
Phillips set up the equipment behind his shop in the (12 square feet) middle living room with a piano and an overturned tin bath in the cellar as a reverb chamber, with a speaker and microphone linked to the studio above. The recordings would normally be on tape, and then transferred to disc, although the tape was recorded over again during the next session. Because of trams, trucks, and horses going up and down Kensington, Phillips had to hang heavy blankets over the studio door and a rear window to minimise the noise. Phillips' first recording was of himself singing "Bonnie Marie of Argyle", (unaccompanied) and a few days later he recorded "Unchained Melody", with local dance band singer Betty Roy. The first disc he cut in the studio was on 7 August 1955, with his eight-year-old daughter, Carol, singing, "Mr Sandman". All the discs had "Play with a light-weight pick-up" on the label, as this would increase the life of the disc, which would eventually wear out.
Phillips advertised the studio as Phillips' Sound Recording Services (also advertised as P. F. Phillips' Professional Tape & Disc Recording Service), and his business cards read: "PF Phillips, 38 Kensington, Liverpool, 7. Television and Battery Service. Gramophone Record Dealer. Professional Tape and Disc Recording Studio."