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Everybody lost their style after Whitney and Mariah. There's no depth. No taste. It's like cooking collard greens and not putting any meat in them - James Brown, upon turning 70, who was getting ready to take his jumpsuits and high heels on the road again during the summer of 2003. The hardest working man in showbiz has a lot to say about music today, and he doesn't sugarcoat it

Author Topic: Cylinder and Roadside recordings  (Read 687 times)

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Offline wreid75

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Cylinder and Roadside recordings
« on: November 16, 2011, 10:55:41 AM »
Something I know very little about is blues on cylinder and any surviving blues from roadside recording studios like in O' Brother Where art thou. Do these things even exist and if so how many are unknown artists? And where do you go to hear these things?

Offline dj

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Re: Cylinder and Roadside recordings
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 11:14:31 AM »
They're mostly (or maybe entirely) not from cylinders, but the National Jukebox at the Library of Congress has a lot of music from the cylinder era.  It's all from Victor, but there are plans to add stuff from other companies. 

The link:  http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/search/results?fq=take_genre_id%3A5 

Offline Stuart

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Re: Cylinder and Roadside recordings
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 11:19:57 AM »

Offline misterjones

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Re: Cylinder and Roadside recordings
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 08:06:48 AM »
Something I know very little about is blues on cylinder and any surviving blues from roadside recording studios like in O' Brother Where art thou. Do these things even exist and if so how many are unknown artists? And where do you go to hear these things?

I've never heard of a blues on cylinder.  I may be wrong, but I think those were the exclusive domain of Thomas Edison.  I don't think he was much of a blues fan.  (Bessie Smith reportedly auditioned for him and his assessment was "voice NG", meaning her voice was no good in his opinion.)  There probably were some old gospel/jubilee songs recorded on cylinder - and maybe black vaudeville artists of the Bert Williams variety - but by the time blues came into style (that is, record companies realized they could make money off of it) I think cylinders were no longer being used for music.  It was the betamax of its day.

I've never heard of a roadside recording/radio station of the type seen in O Brother Where Art Thou either.  The Coen brothers are usually very good about grounding their work to some degree in history (or other film or literary work or character), so my guess is that they had something in mind.  I'm not sure what, though. 

Offline Alexei McDonald

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Re: Cylinder and Roadside recordings
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 03:43:28 AM »
There are some Edison Blue Amberol cylinder recordings of blues from the period 1923-4, but I think these were all transfers from black disc, and they were swiftly discontinued since Edison really wasn't interested.   Other than that, some ethnomusicologists (certainly Odum and Lomax) used cylinders to record in the field in the very early days, but I don't know if any of these still exist in a playable state.

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