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.
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