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Cylinder recording archive - online

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Ah, okay now I've got "Cakewalks & Rags" streaming on my work laptop. The sound quality of these Edison cylinders is surprisingly good!

btw, I just started reading Lost Sounds by Tim Brooks -- so far it looks like a good read & very detailed.

Hey Outfidel

This site looks very interesting, and should be of fun for some time to come. The pages don't work so well at this very moment though, I suspect it's because of all the Weenies who rushed in to find that lost Blind Blake recording...

I searched their archives with the keyword "blues", and had 14 hits. Of course none of them resembled even slightly a "blues" as we know it. (A fellow named F. Van Eps played a banjo tune called "Lonesome Mama Blues" with a slightly boogieyish resembling passage -ending of course to the maj7th interval!)

I found on their "radio"-pages a stream of early American black artists, which I'm going to check next: Did you notice it?

Thank you very much for sharing this with us. I guess it's as close to time-travelling, as one is ever going to get.

Man, those minstrel groups sound incredibly good, those were good musicians at that time!


Hey! I just noticed another program on that site -- Early Black Artists and Composers -- which is curated by the same Tim Brooks who wrote Lost Sounds.

Looks like I'll be spending a lot of time on that site...


--- Quote from: outfidel on January 10, 2006, 01:12:16 PM ---btw, I just started reading Lost Sounds by Tim Brooks -- so far it looks like a good read & very detailed.

--- End quote ---

Thanks for the tip on the book--needless to say its now on my list. I noticed that there is a companion CD:

Has anyone heard it?

Stuart - I don't have the companion CD, but here's how Roots & Rhythm describes it:

Lost Sounds - Blacks & the Birth Of The Recording Industry

Archeophone 1005
CD $26.98
Two CDs, 54 tracks, 154 mins, essential

Fabulous and important collection featuring some of the earliest recordings of African-American music made between 1891 and 1922. This set complements Tim Brooks's groundbreaking book of the same name (available from Roots & Rhythm - $65 - counts as 14 CDs for shipping) which documented the lives and music of the many black artists who recorded well before the 1920s which is the era usually associated with the beginning recordings of black music. Although there is not much here that will appeal directly to diehard blues fans there is much music of great interest and appeal including quartets singing spirituals and secular songs, the first recording of a minstrel group, jazz precursors like Europe's Society Orchestra and Wilbur C. Sweatman and much more including classical performances, novelty songs, comedy routines and a recording from 1891 of The Whistling Coon by George W. Johnson - one of the very first recordings of a black artist who had previously recorded the same song a year earlier and recorded the songs several more times as it was a big "hit." Johnson is thought to have recorded as early as 1878. There are also fascinating spoken word pieces from boxer Jack Johnson and the great black leader Booker T. Washington. Archeophone have done a truly remarkable job in sound restoration and in spite of the age, rarity and wear of these recordings the sound quality is highly listenable and enjoyable in their own right. The aforementioned George W. Johnson cylinder was broken in several pieces when found but you'd never know it. A couple of tracks were in such bad condition that very little could be done to improve the sound but are included because of their historical importance. Includes a 60 page illustrated booklet with notes by Brooks and full recording information. Congratulation to Archeophone for doing such a splendid job in making these important historical recordings available in such an appealing form. (FS)


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