100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Archive for the category “recorded”

Recorded January 2, 1913

John Francis Count McCormack was born in Athlone, Ireland in June 1884. He received vocal training at school and college. Conradh na Gaeilge(Gaelic League), an Irish cultural organization founded in 1893, started a music festival in 1897 called Feis Ceoil that promote Irish song and dancing. In 1903 McCormack won the coveted gold medal of the Dublin Feis Ceoil. He met writer James Joyce who was trying his hand at singing and encoraged him to compete in the 1904 Feis Ceoil. In 1905 McCormack traveled to Italy for training and made his operatic debut there in 1906. He returned to Great Britain and attained success as an operatic tenor. In 1909 he debut in the US and quickly became the most celebrated lyric tenor of his time thanks in part to the many records he made for Victor Talking Machine Company.

On January 2, 1913 John McCormack went into the Victor Recording studios in Camden, New Jersey and recorded the Irish ballad “Where The River Shannon Flows”.

“Where The River Shannon Flows” by John McCormack

Tenor John McCormack

Tenor John McCormack

Ragtime Song Recorded in New York

African music entered the American culture when the slave trade brought almost half a million Africans to the United States. Festivals at such places as Congo Square in New Orleans allowed slaves to perform their music and similar gatherings took place in New England and New York. As African-Americans became familiar with western music and instruments and were introduced to harmony through religious hymn, they mimicked what they heard through cakewalk dances and spirituals. White America also started absorbing African American music expressed through composers like Stephen Foster and through minstrels shows.

Where segregation limited employment opportunities for most African Americans, black musicians were able to provide entertainment in dance-halls, minstrel shows and in vaudeville. Black pianists played in bars, clubs, and brothels. By the 1890′s from this mix Ragtime with its “syncopation” developed. At first Ragtime was passed to white musicians who started making early sound recordings. Tom Turpin published his HARLEM RAG in 1899, the first rag published by an African-American. In 1899 a classically trained African American pianist Scott Joplin became the “King of Ragtime” with his international hit “MAPLE LEAF RAG”.White musicians like Ben Harney began to pick up on ragtime style and produce songs that popularized the music to white America.Mike Bernard was born in New York City, New York in March 1881. He was a child prodigy on piano and once played for the Kaiser. In 1900 Bernard heard Harney perform and decided to compete against him. He soon became known as one of the best ragtime performers in the country. He pioneered a style of music that appealed to the public but is often derided by purists as “pseudo-ragtime that was looked down upon by the admirers of the “genuine ragtime” that is played by African-American musicians.On December 2, 1912 Mike Bernard recorded “Everybody Two Step” written by Earl C Jones and Wallie Herzer on Columbia Records.
"Everybody Two Step" sheet music

“Everybody Two Step” sheet music

Recorded November 21, 1912

The zither is a musical string instrument most commonly found in central and eastern Europe. Kitty Berger was recognized at an early age for her musical ability on the zither. As a youth she traveled to England to perform. She was frequently engaged to perform in private homes, restaurants and concert halls. In her spare time she also offered zither lessons and would call on students in their homes. In England Kitty Berger’s music elevated her to the highest social circles. In Windsor Castle Queen Victoria and members of the royal family were also charmed by her zither playing. Impressed, Queen Victoria presented her with a solitaire diamond. In February 1907 President Theodore Roosevelt, Mrs. Roosevelt and a group of distinguished guests were entertained by Berger and thoroughly impressed to learn that her zither was made in the United States.

On November 21, 1912 Kitty Berger recorded “The Fisher Boy” for Victor Records.“The Fisher Boy” by Kitty Berger
Thanks to the incredible collection at University of California Santa Barbara Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings :http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

Kitty Berger performing on zither in a New York City hospital
1911

Recorded October 14, 1912

Billy Murray was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May 1877. He joined a traveling vaudeville troupe in 1893 and also performed in minstrel shows early in his career. In 1897 Murray made his first recordings in San Francisco, California. In 1903 he started recording regularly in the New York City and New Jersey which were the centers of recorded music. In 1906 Murray started recording with Ada Jones and became one of the most popular recording artists in America. Along with John Bieling, Steve Porter and William F. Hooley they formed the American Quartet for Victor Records. The same group recorded for Edison Records as the Premier Quartet and recorded with Will Oakland as the Heidelberg Quintet.

On October 14, 1912 the American Quartet went into the Victor recording studios in Camden New Jersey and recorded “That Syncopated Boogie Boo” by Sam M Lewis and George W Meyer.
Thanks to the incredible collection at University of California Santa Barbara Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings :http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

“That Syncopated Boogie Boo” sheet music

Woodrow Wilson Speaks

Democrat New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson is running for president against Republican candidate William Howard Taft and ex-president Theodore Roosevelt on his Progressive “Bull Moose” party ticket.

Victor Records traveled to New York to record Woodrow Wilson giving a series of political talks. Just two days ago they did the same with Theodore Roosevelt while he was campaigning in Kansas.
On September 24, 1912 Woodrow Wilson was recorded speaking about the Third Party.

Woodrow Wilson For President pin

Theodore Roosevelt Speaks

Theodore Roosevelt is running against Republican candidate William Howard Taft and Democrat New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson on his Progressive “Bull Moose” party.

On September 22, 1912 the Victor Talking Machine Company traveled to Emporia, Kansas to meet up with Roosevelt on the campaign trail. There a recording of his speeches were made at the Bartlett Hotel. Mr. Roosevelt arrived at the hotel room (now recording studio) where he threw his hat over on the small dresser and started right on with the work of making the records.

The Colonel made one record of a political talk entitled “The Liberty of the People,” after which he picked up his hat and started for the door. When it was pointed out that he was to make at least 4 recordings of his voice he threw his hat back upon the little dresser and exclaimed “I don’t know what to talk about.” After having finished the 4 records of political talks he was asked about making a non-political record that his voice might be preserved for future generations. Mr. Roosevelt’s reply was “No, I don’t care a damn about the preservation of my voice, no, I would not think of such a thing.”

Teddy Roosevelt

Recorded September 3, 1912

In 1823 American actor and dramatist John Howard Payne wrote an opera “Clari, Maid of Milan” with a song titled HOME, SWEET HOME composed by Sir Henry Bishop with lyrics by Payne. The tune became immediately popular showing up as theme music in several operas all over Europe. During the Civil War in the US the song was banned from being played in Union Army camps for being too emotional and likely to incite desertion. In Japan the song was known as Hanyu no Yado – My Humble Cottage.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home, oh, there’s no place like home!Entire lyrics to “Home, Sweet Home” :http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/home-sweet-home/

Arthur Willard Pryor was born on the second floor of the Lyceum Theater in Saint Joseph, Missouri in 1870. At 15 he was playing trombone with his father’s band and by 22 he was employed as a soloist by march king John Phillips Sousa. He formed his own band in 1903 and toured until 1909 when he moved to Asbury Park, New Jersey and became a staff conductor and arranger for the Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, New Jersey.

On September 3, 1912 the Arthur Pryor Band recorded “Home, Sweet Home” at Victor Record studios in Camden, New Jersey

“Home, Sweet Home” by the Arthur Pryor Band

Thanks to the incredible collection at University of California Santa Barbara Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings :http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

Recorded August 13, 1912

In the 1890s, Eldridge Reeves Johnson owned a small machine shop in Camden, New Jersey, when a customer brought in a Berliner phonograph. Unlike Edison talking machines, Berliner Gramophone Company used disc records instead of cylinders. The sound quality was bad and Johnson spent the next 6 years improving the sound and volume capacity. In 1901 Johnson’s Consolidated Talking Machine Company merged with Berliner’s Berliner Gramophone Company to form the Victor Talking Machine Company.

English painter Francis Barraud had a brother, Mark who passed away. When Mark Barraud died Francis inherited his brother fox terrier Nipper along with a cylinder phonograph and a number of recordings of Mark’s voice. Nipper took particular interest in the recorded voice of his late master emanating from the trumpet of the inherited Edison-Bell cylinder phonograph. Barraud committed the scene to canvas “Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph.”

“Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph.”
by Francis Barraud

Barraud sold it to Berliner as a trademark and modified it to show one of their disc machines. Barraud painted over the Edison machine and added a new Berliner brass sound horn. The new image was called “His Master’s Voice.”

Barraud’s modified painting “His Master’s Voice”

Victor recording studios used Victor staff conductor Walter B Rogers directing Victor’s own “house” orchestras, the Victor Orchestra for popular works and the Victor Concert Orchestra for “classical” music starting in 1907.

On August 13, 1912 the Victor Concert Orchestra was in the Victor Recording studios in Camden, New Jersey to record MARCHE ROMAINE by Charles Gounoud.

Marche Romaine composed by Charles Gounoud performed by the Victor Concert Orchestra recorded August 13, 1912

Thanks to the incredible collection at University of California Santa Barbara Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings :http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

Recorded July 30, 1912

Clarence Whitehall was born in Morengo, Iowa in 1871. He first studied in Chicago, Illinois then later made his stage debut at La Monnaie in Brussels, as Capulet in Roméo et Juliette in 1888. He became the first American to sing with the Opera-Comique in Paris, France. In 1904 he made a highly successful debut at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany as Wolfram in Tannhauser and went on to sing in many Wagnerian roles including at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, in the first Ring Cycle given there in the English language. He made his New York Metropolitan Opera debut in November 1909.

Ciro Pinsuti was a pupil of Rossini who made his home in England since 1848 where he became a professor at the Academy of Music in London in 1856.

On July 30, 1912 Clarence Whitehill went to the Victor recording studios in Camden, New Jersey and recorded Bedouin Lover Song.

Bedouin Love Song by Clarence Whitehill

Thanks to the incredible collection at University of California Santa Barbara Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings :http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

Clarence Whitehill as Wotan in Wagner’s “The Ring Cycle”

Recorded July 26, 1912

African music entered the American culture when the slave trade brought almost half a million Africans to the United States. Festivals at such places as Congo Square in New Orleans allowed slaves to perform their music and similar gatherings took place in New England and New York. As African-Americans became familiar with western music and instruments and were introduced to harmony through religious hymn, they mimicked what they heard through cakewalk dances and spirituals. White America also started absorbing African American music expressed through composers like Stephen Foster and through minstrels shows.

Where segregation limited employment opportunities for most African Americans, black musicians were able to provide entertainment in dance-halls, minstrel shows and in vaudeville. Black pianists played in bars, clubs, and brothels. By the 1890’s from this mix Ragtime with its “syncopation” developed. At first Ragtime was passed to white musicians who started making early sound recordings. Tom Turpin published his HARLEM RAG in 1899, the first rag published by an African-American. In 1899 a classically trained African American pianist Scott Joplin became the “King of Ragtime” with his international hit “MAPLE LEAF RAG”. His work combined syncopation, banjo figurations and sometimes call-and-response.

In 1912 rags and the various dances that spin off from the are loved by the young and frowned upon by the old. Thanks to the popularity of records and cylinders, rags are snapped up and recorded to be enjoyed and danced to by a ever-growing consuming public.

Fred Van Eps was born in Somerville, New Jersey in 1878. He became fascinated with the banjo when he heard a cylinder recording of early Ragtime pioneer Vess L Ossman in 1896. He learned banjo by carefully listening to Ossman’s recordings. He started recording for Edison in 1897. He became a popular musician and called himself a “banjoist.” By 1910 he was recording with his brother William and pianist Felix Arndt calling themselves “The Van Eps Trio.”

On July 26, 1912 the Van Eps Trio went into the Victor Recording studios in Camden, New Jersey and recorded “Florida Rag”.

“Florida Rag” by George L Lowry recorded by the Van Eps Trio

Thanks to the fantastic collection of recordings at the University of California Santa Barbara – Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings : http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

 

 

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