You are browsing the archive for Audio: 1900s.

Come Take a Trip in my Airship (1904)

- September 25, 2013 in airship, Audio, Audio: 1900s, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, george evans, hot air balloon, Internet Archive, j.w. myers, Underlying Work: PD 50 Years, Underlying Work: PD 70 Years

Rendition by Welsh-born baritone singer J. W. Myers of a song written and composed in 1904 by fellow countryman George "Honey Boy" Evans. The song would go on to be recorded, with slight variations, by a string of popular musicians including Jonny Cash and more recently Natalie Merchant.

Adelina Patti singing “The Last Rose of Summer” (1905)

- January 28, 2013 in Adelina Patti, Audio, Audio: 1900s, Audio: Classical, collections, opera, verdi

A recording from 1905 of one of the 19th century’s most famous opera singers Adelina Patti singing “The Last Rose of Summer“, a song based on the poem by Irish poet Thomas Moore. Although the sound quality isn’t great and her voice is past its prime (she was 62 yrs old), through the dust and scratches we can hear glimpses of why Giuseppe Verdi, writing in 1877, described her as being perhaps the finest singer who had ever lived. Patti’s piano accompanist for this recording and others she made at the time, Landon Ronald, recalls his experience working with her: “When the little (gramophone) trumpet gave forth the beautiful tones, she went into ecstasies! She threw kisses into the trumpet and kept on saying, ‘Ah! Mon Dieu! Maintenant je comprends pourquoi je suis Patti! Oh oui! Quelle voix! Quelle artiste! Je comprends tout!’ [Ah! My Lord! Now I understand why I am Patti! Oh yes! What a voice! What an artist! I understand everything!] Her enthusiasm was so naïve and genuine that the fact that she was praising her own voice seemed to us all to be right and proper.” (Wikipedia) MP3 Download Internet Archive Link SIGN UP TO THE [...]

Music Hall Performer Billy Williams

- January 14, 2013 in Audio, Audio: 1900s, Audio: 1910s, Audio: Pop, billy williams, burlesque, collections, music hall, vaudeville

Richard Isaac Banks (1878–1915), who changed his name to Billy Williams after leaving his birthplace of Australia, was one of the most recorded popular entertainers of his time. Born in Melbourne, Williams tried a number of jobs before embarking on an entertainment career which led him to come to England in 1899. He became a popular entertainer in the music halls singing what were known as chorus-songs, and also appeared in pantomime. The year 1912 seemed to be the zenith of Williams’ career – he appeared in the first Royal Command Performance of that year and achieved glowing reviews in the national press. Sadly this fame was not to last as Williams became ill in late 1914 and died in Hove near Brighton in March 1915, the proximate cause being complications after an operation, but rumoured to be connected with “previous social excesses.” (Wikipedia) MP3 Download Internet Archive Link Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

The Yama Yama Man – Ada Jones (1909)

- August 2, 2012 in ada jones, Audio, Audio: 1900s, Audio: Pop, broadway, non-article, three twins, yama yama



“The Yama Yama Man” was written by Karl Hoschna (music) and Collin Davis (lyrics) for the Broadway show The Three Twins (1908). Bessie McCoy’s signature performance of the song, in a satin Pierrot clown costume with floppy gloves and a cone hat, was key in establishing the song’s popularity. The July 25, 1908, edition of Billboard magazine reported the following story how the song originated. When The Three Twins was rehearsing in Chicago, prior to first opening, Karl Hoschna, the composer, was asked to furnish a “pajama man song”. He wrote one called The Pajama Man only to learn that it could not be used owing to another pajama number booked at the Whitney Opera House the next day. Gus Sohlke, the stage director, happened to pass a toy store and saw in the window a doll built out of triangles. Realizing that this had never been used in stage work he decided to have a triangular man chorus in place of The Pajama Man. That afternoon as he, Collin Davis and Hoschna sat together wondering what they would call the song, Sohlke kept repeating “Pajama jama yama yama”. Suddenly he brightened up and cried “Did either of you fellows ever hear of a Yama Yama Man?” Of course neither one had and Sohlke confirmed “Neither have I! Lets call the new song Yama Yama Man”. Quickly Davis set to work to write a lyric around the title and that night Sohlke and Hoschna locked themselves in a room with Bessie McCoy and rehearsed the Yama song and dance for five hours. Ada Jones recorded “Yama Yama Man” in 1909 for Victor Light Opera Company. The lyrics for verse two and three were changed, verse two being more bawdy. It spent five weeks at #1 in 1909 and was the most popular song of her career. (Wikipedia)

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Aeolian Piano Rolls (1903)

- July 20, 2012 in aeolian company, Audio, Audio: 1900s, Audio: Classical, Audio: Jazz/Ragtime, automatic piano, autopiano, non-article, piano rolls, pianola

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The piano roll was the first medium which could be produced and copied industrially and made it possible to provide the customer with actual music quickly and easily. It consisted of a roll of paper with perforations punched in it, the position and length of which determined the note played on the ‘autopiano’ (also known as a player piano, or pianola). These self-playing pianos contained a pneumatic mechanism that operated the piano action via the pre-programmed rolls. These recordings are from the rolls of the Aeolian Company, one of the biggest producers of the automatic piano. By 1903, the Aeolian Company had more than 9,000 roll titles in their catalog, adding 200 titles per month. (Wikipedia)

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    Scott Joplin

    - May 25, 2012 in Audio, Audio: 1900s, Audio: Jazz/Ragtime, entertainer, maple leaf rag, non-article, ragtime, scott joplin




    Scott Joplin (1867? – 1917), “The King of Ragtime”, wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the Maple Leaf Rag, became ragtime’s first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag. He was born into a musical African American family of laborers in Northeast Texas, and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers, most notably Julius Weiss. While growing up in Texarkana he formed a vocal quartet, and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880s he left his job as a laborer with the railroad, and travelled around the American South as an itinerant musician. He went to Chicago for the World’s Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897. In 1894 he moved to Sedalia, Missouri, and earned a living teaching piano and going on tour across the Southern US. During this period he taught future ragtime composers Arthur Marshall, Scott Hayden and Brun Campbell. Joplin began publishing music in 1895, and publication of his Maple Leaf Rag in 1899 brought him fame and had a profound influence on subsequent writers of ragtime. It also brought the composer a steady income for life. During his lifetime, Joplin did not reach this level of success again and frequently had financial problems. In 1901 he moved to St. Louis where he continued to compose and publish music, and regularly performed in brothels and bars in the city’s red-light district. By the time he had moved to St. Louis, Joplin may have been experiencing discoordination of the fingers, tremors, and an inability to speak clearly, as a result of having contracted syphilis. The score to his first opera, A Guest of Honor, was confiscated in 1903 with his belongings due to his non-payment of bills, and is considered lost. He continued to compose and publish music, and in 1907 moved to New York City, seeking to find a producer for a new opera. He attempted to go beyond the limitations of the musical form which made him famous, without much monetary success. His second opera, Treemonisha, was not received well at its partially staged performance in 1915. In 1916, suffering from tertiary syphilis and by consequence rapidly deteriorating health, Joplin descended into dementia. He was admitted to a mental institution in January 1917, and died there three months later at the age of 49. (Wikipedia)

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