100 Years Ago Today

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

Archive for the category “recorded”

Recorded July 16, 1912

Between 1900 and 1920 14 million immigrants came to the US from Europe. Although African-Americans had been portrayed as caricatures for years in minstrels shows, these new arrivals appeared in performances at museums, circuses and variety houses as “dialect acts” – German dialects, Irish dialects, Jewish/Yiddish dialects as well as African American dialects were all extremely common at the time. The comedy came from the mangling of the English language and misunderstanding of ideas as they were new to life in America. These stereotypes fostered prejudices against these groups but were popular in music and stage. They continued as vaudeville developed and very little stigma was attached to them. Some even considered these portrayals as sympathetic to the plight of minority groups.

Joseph Morris Weber and Lew Fields (born Moses Schoenfeld) teamed up together in a “Dutch” act, portraying German immigrants Mike and Meyer. Weber played Mike, the short, clever schemer always trying to involve Fields’ Meyer, the tall simple one in some caper or ruse. They became one of the most popular and profitable acts in vaudeville opening the Weber and Fields Music Hall in 1896 where they produced very successful satires of popular Broadway shows they called “burlesques”.

Their relationship was a testy one and the duo broke up in 1904. Fields took over the musical hall, producing many successful musicals. Weber continued to perform. With the developing popularity of records, they would occasionally team up again in the recording studio.

Edward Easton distributed and sold Edison phonographs and phonograph cylinders in Washington, DC, Maryland and Delaware. He called his company Columbia from the District of Columbia where he was located. Columbia broke ties with Edison in 1894 and continued making recording devices and recordings. They started making disc records in 1901 and in 1908 started to manufacture 10-inch discs with the recording grooves stamped into both sides of each disc called their “Double-Faced” discs. In July 1912 Columbia decided to make disc recordings only. Competing with both the Edison Phonograph Company cylinders and the Victor Talking Machine Company disc records, Columbia is one of the top three names in American recorded sound.

On July 16, 1912 Weber and Fields recorded SINGING SCENE for Columbia Phonograph.

SINGING SCENE by Weber and Fields

Weber as Mike(right) and Fields as Meyer(left)

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Recorded July 11, 1912

Will Oakland was born Herman Hinrichs in Jersey City, New Jersey to German-American immigrant parents. Oakland began singing after leaving the US Army in 1905 joining Lew Dockstader’s minstrels. He began recording for Edison Records in 1908 often with Billy Murray sometimes singing the female part in love songs. Oakland sang woeful, sentimental songs that contrasted with Murray’s usually upbeat performances. Starting in 1912 Oakland recorded in the Heidelberg Quintette.

Will Oakland

Louis Wolfe Gilbert was born in Odessa, Russia in 1886. His family moved to the US and Gilbert began singing in a small cafe at Coney Island, New York. He toured with the retired boxer John L Sullivan (who was trying his hand on the stage) when he was discovered by a English producer who brought him to London. He returned to New York still writing lyrics and working part-time as a journalist.

Louis Meuer was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1884. He was a pianist performing at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. He changed his name to Lewis F Muir and moved to New York in 1910. Vaudeville entertainer Bert Williams used Muir’s song in his shows. Other compositions by Muir written 1910-1912 include “Oh, You Bear Cat Rag”, “The Matrimony Rag” and “When Ragtime Rosie Ragged the Rosary”.

In 1912 Gilbert wrote an article in the New York Clipper severely criticizing Muir for the sacrilege for having dared to incorporate the rosary into a rag-time song. Muir and Gilbert confronted each other in person and almost came to blows until Muir challenged Gilbert that if he were so smart and right, he should come home and write a song with him. They came up with 2 songs, one of which was “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee.” Gilbert wrote the lyrics and Muir the melody and it was published by F A Mills Music Publishers. It was Gilbert first success.

On July 11, 1912 Will Oakland and the Heidelberg Quintette went into the Victor Recording studios in Camden, New Jersey and recorded “Waiting For The Robert E Lee”.

B-12181-Waiting_for_the_Robert_E._Lee

Much thanks to the UCSB Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings :
http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

Recorded June 26, 1912

Will Oakland was born Herman Hinrichs in Jersey City, New Jersey to German-American immigrant parents. Oakland began singing after leaving the US Army in 1905 joining Lew Dockstader’s minstrels. He began recording for Edison Records in 1908 often with Billy Murray sometimes singing the female part in love songs. Oakland sang woeful, sentimental songs that contrasted with Murray’s usually upbeat performances. Starting in 1912 Oakland recorded in the Heidelberg Quintet.

On June 26, 1912 Oakland and the Heidelberg Quartet went into the Victor Recording studios in Camden, New Jersey and recorded “Way Down South”.

B-12085-Way_down_south

Will Oakland

Recorded June 19, 1912

Victor Records records collections of tunes from opera and folk music called “Gems.”

https://100yearsagotoday.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/recorded-on-june-11-1912/

On June 19, 1912 the Victor Mixed Chorus had a busy day in the Victor Recording Studios in Camden, New Jersey:
Lucy Isabelle Marsh (vocalist: soprano vocal)
Christie MacDonald (vocalist: soprano vocal)
Olive Kline (vocalist: soprano vocal)
Harriette Keyes (vocalist: soprano vocal)
Marguerite Dunlap (vocalist: contralto)
Lambert Murphy (vocalist: tenor vocal)
Reinald Werrenrath (vocalist: baritone vocal)
William F Hooley (vocalist: bass vocal)

The chorus recorded selections from the operettas Robin Hood and The Mockingbird, various Italian folk tunes and these Songs of Scotland :

Songs of Scotland by the Victor Mixed Chorus

Victor recordings of June 19, 1912 :
http://victornew.library.ucsb.edu/index.php/date/browse/1912-06-19

Much thanks to the UCSB Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings :
http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

Victor Record Player logo – 1912

Recorded On June 11, 1912

Lucy Isabelle Marsh sang in church choirs, and became lead soprano in important churches in New York City. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera between November 1904 and March 1905. In 1909 Marsh was engaged by The Victor Talking Machine Company. The Victor Talking Machine Company employed several fine singers as recording artists. Singers were required whose sound quality registered well through a mechanical diaphragm, who were reliable workers, and who were quick studies at learning the latest song or an arrangement prepared for a recording. A popular specialty of the Victor company was the production of “Gems” from operas, operettas and shows.

On June 11, 1912 Marsh was at the Victor Recording Studio in Camden, New Jersey where she recorded “The Sunshine Song” form Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt.

“The Sunshine Song” from Edvard Greig’s PEER GYNT

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

Lucy Isabelle Marsh

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