Joni James - Nina Non 1956.mp3
Leon Ponce 1939_The Revelers - Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake.mp3
Bransby Williams - The Street Watchman's Christmas 1913.mp3
Mouth Music in the Americas
When they came across the ocean the ancestors of modern Scottish Americans brought their music with them, including mouth music, which was often incorporated into the lyrics of songs. It became an integral part of Appalachian music, roots music, and bluegrass, from whence it spread into many forms of American music. Its lasting influence can be seen in scat singing , a jazz technique where vocalists "play" melodies without words, and in modern beatboxing, a form of vocal percussion that is associated with modern hip hop music.
La Bolduc with fellow band members 1928.
Included in the lineup this week are also several Christmas carols. Hope you enjoy them all.
Vaughn De Leath, Vesta Pallis, Jimmy Rosen,H Knoll - Santa Claus Land 1 & 2 1927.mp3
Thomas Chalmers - Birthday of a King 1914.mp3
Steve Porter - The Sleigh Ride Party 1898.mp3
Robert Price - Christ, The New Born King 1904.mp3
Robert Gayler - Christmas Bells 1919.mp3
Petit Septuor de la Bonne - Whence O Shepherd Maiden 1937.mp3
Olive Kline - Merry Christmas_Sleighing Song 1914.mp3
Mme. Edouard Bolduc - Le Bas de Noel (The Christmas Stocking)1931.mp3
Metropolitan Quartette - Song of Ages 1918.mp3
Metropolitan Quartet - Christmas, Christmas, Blessed, Blessed Day 1917.mp3
Louis Chartier - Oh, Cradle 1929.mp3
George P. Watson - Santa Claus Song 1906.mp3
This is a Standard gramophone.
There are several Christmas carols included in this week's download. I suppose that most folks know that "Silent Night" was originally written in German. So how did we get the English lyrics that we all know? A direct translation would not yield the correct rhymes and beat to match the music. So it had to be translated, then English lyrics that matched a general translation were written. As you can guess, there was more than one version in earlier times. For this reason, the version included in the download today has different lyrics than the version everyone sings today. How would you have written them?
Santa didn't always say "Ho, Ho, Ho". In Ernest Hare's "Santa Hides in the Phonograph" from 1926, he said more like "ha, ha, ha, ha." Interesting. Where is that voice of Santa coming from? The new phonograph? How did his voice get in there? Is Santa in the phonograph? Well, apparently, yes he is. Probably makes sense to every 4 or 5 year-old.
Just for something different, I have included Fiddlin' John Carson - "Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over". The fiddling is fun, but I really don't understand the lyrics. Why does Christmas time have to be over before we can join the band? And what is he saying, "Come on Gals, let's go xxxx"? Any ideas?
These blues come fallin' like drops of rain when you have to spend Christmas locked up in jail. Ain't that a pain! Leroy Carr claims it is. This is a good example of some early blues, actually a little more melodic than some.
This is folder #2 containing 10 songs.Edison Concert Band - Christ is Come 1908.mp3
Byron Harlan - Why Don't Santa Claus Go Next Door original recording in 1909. Another poverty heart-strings song, but I like it.
I posted a similar duo by Brunswick Concert Band in my last post. This one is by the Columbia Orchestra - The Kiddie's Christmas Frolic_ Evening.
Here is the second of the duo from Columbia Orchestra - The Kiddie's Christmas Frolic_Morning
Here is a reading of a poem. I think it says a lot about the Christmas spirit.
Of course bells have always been popular in Christmas music, but I think they were particularly well-suited for the cylinder recording method. Making a cylinder recording was always "live" and the proximity of the musical instrument to the recording horn determined the sound volume. Bells were able to come through loud and clear on this type of recording.
For several years now I have been collecting old Christmas songs, looking for those songs that I did not know or had not heard often. They also had to be recorded before the 1960s (except for a few that I couldn't live without that were a little more recent). At first, I had to search very diligently and could only find a few songs that met these criteria. But as I learned more about the artists who were recording in that time frame, and the types of music, etc., I was more successful in my searches. Consequently, my collection has grown much larger than I had originally anticipated.
After I realized that other people, namely my family and friends, would also enjoy hearing these songs, I started making CDs every year that had my newest finds on them. That has worked well until I have recently had new friends that are requesting copies of previous years' collections. It is getting to be rather much to make CDs for all of these songs, for all of these folks, every year, as you can imagine.
For Christmas 2007, I found the fascinating website that the University of California, Santa Barbara has started which has digital recordings of cylinder music. I am amazed at the amount of time, ingenuity, and dedication that the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project has given to the world in order to give us a chance to hear these antique recordings. If you listen to any of these recordings, you will hear them exactly as they sound TODAY on the cylinder, including all the noise, hiss, pops, and sometimes even missing parts. Although I found them interesting as they are recorded, I did not find them particularly pleasant sounding. For the ones that I wanted to include in my Christmas So Long Ago collection, I wanted to remove most of the noise, pops, and other problems so that I could enjoy listening to them over and over. Therefore, I purchased some software that did a good job of restoring the music to a better listening level. Of course, the changes I made using the software were determined by my own preferences, which could very well be different from others' ideas of what is the best sound. I do think that I did a pretty good job on them, though, and invite you to listen to my revitalized recordings.
As I get going on this blog, I will add more songs. Right now I am going to put a few of my favorites here for download. Hope you enjoy them! Al Campbell and Henry Burr - "I'd Rather Be Kissed Neath the Mistletoe Bough" was recorded in 1913. In it the girl says she would rather be kissed beneath a mistletoe bough than spoon under any old tree. I have the feeling that the boy would be willing to "spoon" just about anywhere, though. Give it a listen.