Friday, May 23, 2008

More Cylinder Christmas Music

This week I am putting out my last of the cylinder Christmas music from my 2007 Christmas So Long Ago collection. But already I have found several more old Christmas songs with lapsed copyrights for the upcoming Christmas season. These will be put through my music editing software and then I will put them on this blog for download.

I also have lots of music from previous Christmases to put out here. I still need to sort through them to see which ones I bought, which would have current copyrights, and which ones were found elsewhere. Keep watching for these to add to your collection.

Then I will have my copies of Christmas music from my old 78's and other formats. I am in the process of making digital copies of these. When they are done, I will put them here also. So I anticipate lots of Christmas music here at least by Christmas 2008!

This week, we will hear from Vaugh De Leath, Vesta Pallis, Jimmy Rosen, and H. Knoll in "Santa Claus Land 1 & 2" 1927. The start was very noisy so there is some loss of the data, but you can still tell what is said. This was originally recorded on two cylinders, and I put them together into one file so you can hear it all together. It is interesting that Brownies lived with Santa Claus in this story, rather than elves. Then we get to hear the vibraphone, which comes across well on the recording.

Vaughn De Leath (pictured)

We also have "Santa Claus Song with yodel" sung by George P Watson. It is a lively melody. It has some home-made animal sounds in it, to give it pizzazz. And of course there is the yodel. I have recently tried my luck at learning to yodel. You don't want to know how that is going at this point.

One of my favorites is in French, which I do not know at all. Mme. Edouard Bolduc sings Le Bas de Noel. She does what was called puirt a beul or mouth music. This is a section of the lyrics where nonsense syllables are used. Here is a section from Wikipedia about it:

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.

Mme. Edouard Bolduc always performed under her married name. She was also known as Mary Travers and La Bolduc. "During the peak of her popularity in the 1930s, she was known as the Queen of Canadian Folksingers. Bolduc is often considered to be Quebec's first singer/songwriter. Her style combined the traditional folk music of Ireland and Quebec, usually in upbeat, comedic songs." (quoted from Wikipedia again.)

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

Buy my Christmas CDs at Click here.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Christmas Has Changed Since the Early 1900's

Christmas is so commercial nowadays and we also get bombarded by the media starting around Halloween about what to buy, buy, buy for Christmas. But I can remember when Christmas advertisement, shopping, singing, etc. all started around the first of December, not even as soon as Thanksgiving. Guess I'm just an oldie (but Goodie?), but I am not in the Christmas shopping mood until December. By then it is difficult to work all the hustle and bustle into my schedule. So my Christmas shopping has gotten more and more internet-connected in the last few years. I love not having to get hit in the parking lot, wait in long check-out lines, maneuver around shopping carts and shoppers. But I do miss the Christmas decorations that dominate at the malls. So I still do a little of my shopping in "real" stores and malls.

We all know that Christmas has not always been like this. At the beginning of the 1900's, Christmas was much more family- and religion-oriented. You can take a nostalgic trip, or fantasy trip if you are not old enough for nostalgia, back to that time with the Antique Christmas Music links below.

In "Old Jim's Christmas Hymn" from 1910, the hymn that Old Jim traditionally sings, when he is not too sauced to sing apparently, is not a Christmas song at all. It is a hymn, "Rock of Ages", that is still popular. This is supposed to be a tear-jerker, I think. So get your hankies out.

In "Christmas Morning at Flannagan's", you will hear what a typical Irish Christmas (supposedly) sounded like. You might have to listen closely, as this is from a cylinder that was very noisy when I downloaded it. It cleaned up well, but is still a little fuzzy, as many of the cylinder recordings are that I am offering.

One of my favorites of the old-time Christmas spirit genre is "Flanagan's New Year's Call" from 1909. The woman he calls on, Mrs. Riley, is a TRIP! Of course, he is not much better. His son is out of jail now because he got a year off for good behavior. "Oh, it must be a great comfort to have such a well-behaved boy," says Mrs. Riley. And Mrs. Riley forgot to offer a drop to drink to Mr. Flanagan before he left. So naturally she decides she will drink it for him! Lots of other comical lines in this recording! In its original form from my download, I could hardly understand anything that was spoken. This one cleaned up well. Enjoy it!

You know, Santa Claus wasn't always quite the way we think of him nowadays. He has evolved from a much less important figure in past Christmases. But he has always been the most beloved of children. In Gilbert Girard's "Santa Claus Talks About His Toy Shop", you get to hear the funniest sound effects. You could do all of these yourself, for free! I guess they didn't expect to make much money from the sales to pay for even slightly expensive sound effects. I love the pig sounds. I have heard a few pigs in my lifetime, and I am pretty sure that none of them sounded like that!

In the companion song, "Santa Claus Gives Away His Toys", you will notice that the way that the recording simulates Santa approaching is by making "Hello" louder and louder as if he were getting nearer. It works, since I understood that was what was happening. You will also hear what types of gifts children recieved for Christmas back in 1918. Not the big expensive, and expansive, list of toys of today.

As I was cleaning up the sound on these recordings, the hardest thing to correct was taking noise out of a section that had jingle bells playing. I would remove noise and the jingle bells would either disappear or distort. It took a lot of finagling to get the correct sound. But they came out very well, on these particularly.

From the Canadian Historical Sound Recordings - The Virtual Gramophone, I got "The Sleep of the Baby Jesus". I don't understand even a word of French, but the little girl singing this one, Jean D'Arc Charlebois, is just so charming that I don't need to understand the words to enjoy it. Maybe someone can tell me what she is saying. That would be interesting.

Tommy and Molly were awoken on Christmas Eve by Santa's visit. Tommy accidentally hollered when he saw that it was Santy Claus there. But Santy was nice about it, and granted them their wishes for their favorite toys. This is one of the recordings that had the worst noise over the jingle bells. I had to delete that section and copy in another jingle bell snippet. It worked pretty well, I think.

Hope you enjoy all of today's Antique Christmas Songs downloads. Here are the links for Revitalized Antique Christmas Songs #3.

ernest hare - Santa Claus Greetings 1924.mp3
Gilbert Girard - Santa Claus Gives Away His Toys 1918.mp3
Gilbert Girard - Santa Claus Talks About His Toy Shop 1918.mp3
Harry Anthony and James F. Harrison - Old Jim's Christmas Hymn 1910.mp3
Harry Macdonough - Winter - 1916.mp3
Henry Burr - The Star Of Bethlehem - 1904.mp3
Jeanne D'Arc Charlesbois - The Sleep of the Baby Jesus 1929.mp3
Manuel Romain - Christmas Time Seems Years And Years Away - 1909.mp3
Prince's Band - Auld Lang Syne 1914.mp3
Steve Porter - Christmas Morning At Flannigan's 1906.mp3
Steve Porter - Flanagan's New Year's Call 1909.mp3
Walt Bingham And His Orchestra - Im Going Home For Christmas.mp3

Buy my Christmas CDs at Click here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Little Cylinder Info

Cylinders were the first type of commercially used recording media. If you are interested in learning more about how cylinders were recorded, the history of cylinders, and gramaphones, the links on my page will give you some places to start looking for information.

Here is a picture of one of the earlier types of cylinders. I think it is interesting that they came with pieces of paper tucked in them that listed the name of the song and performers. I am not surprised that many cylinders that are still around today do not have the original sheets with them. I suppose it is more surprising that any DO have them. Instead of slips of paper, the very earliest recordings had an announcer declaiming the title and performers' name at the beginning of the recording. Of course that took up precious time on the cylinders, which were limited to 2 minutes. I think the 4 minute cylinders came along a little later, but still not much time to record anything. Maybe that is why the paper slips were used later, so that the time on the recording could be used for recording the main subject.

This is a Standard gramophone.

Now on to my link to some more revitalized Antique Christmas Music. These are more of the music from my Christmas 2007 collection.

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
Edison Concert Band - Ring Out The Bells For Christmas 1916.mp3
Edison Concert Quartette - Silent Night (Sung in English)1910.mp3
Edison Mixed Quartet - Hail, Hail, Day of Days 1913.mp3
Edison Quartette - Hail Smiling Morn 1904.mp3
Elsie Baker - Around the Christmas Tree_Little Christmas Shoes 1914.mp3
Ernest Hare - santa hides in the phonograph 1926.mp3
Fiddlin' John Carson - Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over 1928.mp3
German Kinderchoir - Christkind Kommt 1913.mp3
Leroy Carr - Christmas In Jail (Ain't That A Pain) 1929.mp3

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Old Christmas 78's Purchased

I just bought three 78's on ebay of Christmas music. I hope that Economic Stimulus check is in the mail soon so I can get a turn-table with a recording setup. I don't have either a turn table or the connection equipment to my computer but I have been window-shopping. So I know what I want to get. Then I will be able to listen to the new old records I have now. I am trying to find records of songs I can't find on the web or for purchase. Then I can offer them to my Antique Christmas Music friends so that you can hear them too. Looking forward to this new development in my hobby.

For today I am putting a few more links to my revitalized Christmas mp3's. Hope you enjoy them.

Byron Harlan - Why Don't Santa Claus Go Next Door original recording in 1909. Another poverty heart-strings song, but I like it.

Byron Harlan - Why Don't Santa Claus Go Next Door 1909.mp3

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.

Columbia Orchestra - The Kiddie's Christmas Frolic_Evening.mp3

Here is the second of the duo from Columbia Orchestra - The Kiddie's Christmas Frolic_Morning

Columbia Orchestra - The Kiddie's Christmas Frolic_Morning.mp3

Here is a reading of a poem. I think it says a lot about the Christmas spirit.

Edward Sterling Wright - A Christmas Basket 1913.mp3

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.

Edison Concert Band - Bells of Christmas 1913.mp3

Buy my Christmas CDs at Click here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 2 of Antique Christmas Music

Today was a tough day at work so I am going to be brief here today. I want to get some more of my revitalized Christmas music available to you all (I haven't lived in the South long enough to write "y'all" yet). So here we go.

Kiddie's Patrol (Christmas Eve) - Brunswick Concert Band.
Brunswick Concert Band - Kiddie's Patrol (Christmas Eve) 1920.mp3

Kiddie's Dance (Christmas Morning) - Brunswick Concert Band recorded in 1920. This type of Christmas music seemed to be popular, adding sound effects to the performance. Really kinda cute.
Brunswick Concert Band - Kiddie's Dance (Christmas Morning) 1920.mp3

Down on the Farm - Ada Jones and Len Spencer recorded in 1906. They had hard times back then, too.
Ada Jones and Len Spencer - Down on the Farm 1906.mp3

Oh You Silv'ry Bells by Ada Jones and Billy Murray. Recorded in 1913
Ada Jones & Billy Murray - Oh You Silv'ry Bells 1913.mp3

Buy my Christmas CDs at Click here.