1929

At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is a cut-down 45 minute mix, for the full 180-minute version please come to centuriesofsound.com to stream, or patreon.com/centuriesofsound for downloads and a host of other bonus materials for just $5 per month.

MP3 preview download | Patreon | Apple | Mixcloud | Spotify | Castbox | Stitcher | Radiopublic | RSS

It’s rare for a decade to top and tail itself as well as the 1920s does. Ten episodes ago we saw the introduction of prohibition, gangsters and speakeasies, Mamie Smith, classic female blues and the race records boom. By 1929, whatever the feeling on the ground, everything sounds very different on record. We have sound film, radio stations and electrical recording technology. No longer is the record industry confined to New York – engineers are now travelling around the USA, recording sounds, spreading their influence across the world. And while we are not operating at quite the pace of 1927 now, as we head into 1929 there are few signs that anything is slowing down.

It is unlikely that most of the musicians here were watching the stock market, but as with all the other external factors above, it was about to have a huge impact on their work. In the summer of 1929 some financiers warned that the market was slowing down, though this was not thought to be a cause for great concern. Economist Irving Fisher, featured in this mix, commented that “stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” By September, however, there was a clear downward trend, with the London Stock Exchange crashing on the 20th. On the 24th October, now referred to as Black Thursday, the New York Stock Exchange also crashed, though it was the still-unmatched 25% two-day fall of the 28th and 29th which saw the most damage done.

The effect on the music business was devastating. Some analyses have record sales falling by 95% over the next couple of years – and there was no way that the majority of labels were going to survive that sort of shock. For the majority of performers, for whom this was already a part-time gig, this was the end of their professional careers. Some would manage to move to radio, or the movies, the two still-profitable fields of entertainment during the great depression, but for many of these artists, these are the last records they would make.

So it’s tempting to think of the music in this mix as something of an end-of-term party, but it isn’t really true. As far as anyone was concerned, it was business as usual, and if anything most artists seem a little more polished, and in some cases even restrained – though there is still plenty of passion here. The relentless innovation and experimentation of the last two years is still present, but it’s being recorded in a more careful, more deliberate way – from small-scale almost field recordings to professional studios, this is the absolute peak of engineering for quite a few years to come.

So that was the 1920s, then – maybe not the best decade for recorded music overall, but easily the one with the greatest improvement from start to finish.

Tracks

0:00:20 Movietone Newsreel – Trooping the Colour (Excerpt 1)
0:00:38 Various – Early Sound Footage of Kyoto, Japan (Excerpt 1)
0:00:57 James Joyce – Anna Livia Plurabelle (Finnegans Wake) (Excerpt 1)
0:01:03 Victor Symphony Orchestra feat. George Gershwin – An American In Paris (Excerpt 1)
0:01:56 Burns and Allen – Lambchops (Excerpt 1)
0:02:24 Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra – Cotton Club Stomp
0:04:46 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 1)
0:04:54 Fats Waller – Handful Of Keys
0:07:35 Laurel & Hardy – Unaccustomed As We Are (Excerpt 1)
0:07:47 Bessie Smith – Kitchen Man
0:09:24 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 2)
0:09:36 Bing Crosby – Spell Of The Blues
0:11:59 Walter Ripman MA – Good Speech Lecture (Excerpt 1)
0:12:07 Jack Payne BBC Dance Orchestra – Riding On A Camel In The Desert
0:14:45 James Joyce – Anna Livia Plurabelle (Finnegans Wake) (Excerpt 2)
0:14:58 Messrs. Vyas Bros. – Jalatharangam-Mandolin Duet- Bhupali
0:18:02 David Lloyd George – Unemployment (Excerpt 1)
0:18:06 Don Azpiazu & His Havana Casino Orchestra – El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor)
0:21:34 Domingo Aguirre – El Gato De Aguirre
0:22:36 Horacio Paolantonio and Alfredo Pelaia – Uruguayita
0:23:28 Agustín Barrios – La Catedral
0:24:43 Movietone Newsreel – Trooping the Colour (Excerpt 2)
0:24:51 Sekiya Toshiko – Field Thorns
0:27:15 Various – Early Sound Footage of Kyoto, Japan (Excerpt 2)
0:27:27 Sato Chiyako – Beniya no Musume
0:28:05 Various – Early Sound Footage of Kyoto, Japan (Excerpt 3)
0:28:33 Hotaru Koi – Sekiya Toshiko
0:29:59 Various – Early Sound Footage of Kyoto, Japan (Excerpt 4)
0:30:32 Blind Willie Dunn – Jet Black Blues
0:33:32 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 3)
0:33:50 Jelly-Roll Morton and His Orchestra – Burnin’ The Iceberg
0:35:39 Laurel & Hardy – Unaccustomed As We Are (Excerpt 2)
0:35:54 Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra – Ain’t Misbehavin’
0:38:32 John Carson & Moonshine Kate – Okeh Medicine Show (Excerpt 1)
0:38:41 Charlie Poole – If The River Was Whiskey
0:40:00 AA Milne – Reads from Pooh’s Corner (Excerpt 1)
0:40:31 Bert Ambrose – Tip Toe Through The Tulips
0:41:58 Ramsay MacDonald – Unemployment (Excerpt 1)
0:42:04 Blind Sammie – Travelin’ Blues
0:45:05 Robert Wilkins – That’s No Way To Get Along
0:46:12 Freeman Stowers – Railroad Blues
0:47:44 Jimmie Rodgers – Waiting For A Train
0:50:25 Eddie Mapp – Riding The Blinds
0:51:13 British Pathe – Monologue from Henry V (Excerpt 1)
0:51:24 Tampa Red’s Hokum Jazz Band – My Daddy Rocks Me With One Steady Roll
0:53:47 Emmett Miller & Bud Blue – Okeh Medicine Show (Excerpt)
0:54:48 Ethel Waters – Get Up Off Your Knees
0:57:32 Burns and Allen – Lambchops (Excerpt 2)
0:57:57 Alberta Hunter – My Particular Man
0:59:37 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 4)
0:59:48 The Jungle Band – Jungle Jamboree
1:02:46 David Lloyd George – Unemployment (Excerpt 2)
1:02:49 Jabbo Smith’s Rhythm Aces – Jazz Battle
1:04:47 John Carson & Moonshine Kate – Okeh Medicine Show (Excerpt 2)
1:05:22 Andy Kirk 12 Clouds Of Joy – Mess-A-Stomp
1:06:06 Jelly Roll Morton – Pep
1:07:45 Fats Waller – Numb Fumblin’
1:08:16 James Ensor – Discours prononcé à l’occasion de son exposition rétrospective au Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles en 1929 (Excerpt 1)
1:08:25 Amadie Breaux, Ophey Breaux & Cleoma Breaux – Ma Blond Est Partie
1:09:45 James Ensor – Discours prononcé à l’occasion de son exposition rétrospective au Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles en 1929 (Excerpt 2)
1:09:53 Bartmon Montet – Je Me Suis En Alle
1:10:35 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 5)
1:10:44 Fred Sugar Hall – I Faw Down And Go Boom (vocal – Arthur Hall)
1:12:02 Burns and Allen – Lambchops (Excerpt 3)
1:12:33 Fred Rich – Singin’ In The Rain
1:14:54 Song Mei-Ling – Newsreel Speech
1:15:00 Nicholas DeHeer – Ewuri Beka
1:15:49 Victor Symphony Orchestra feat. George Gershwin – An American In Paris (Excerpt 2)
1:18:03 Henry Newbolt – Vitai Lampada (Excerpt)
1:18:27 Stokowski – Stravinsky ‘Rite of Spring’
1:19:33 Alfred Hitchcock – Knife scene from Blackmail
1:19:57 Lizzie Miles – I Hate A Man Like You (+ Jelly Roll Morton)
1:21:42 Henry Newbolt – Drake’s Drum (Excerpt 1)
1:21:58 Ricardo Borges de Sousa, João de Matos & Eduardo Alves – Fado Espanhol E Alexandrino
1:23:12 G. de Sousa & S. Freire – Variações sobre o fado corrido
1:25:20 Maria Alice – O Louco
1:27:13 João Pernambuco – Sonho De Magia
1:28:13 João de Matos & Eduardo Alves – Fado de outros tempos
1:29:39 Margaret Bondfield – Speech (Excerpt 1)
1:29:59 Abd-ol-Hoseyn Shahnazi – Mavara’-an-Nahr (Rast!Panjgah)
1:30:14 The Jungle Band – Tiger Rag
1:33:06 Burns and Allen – Lambchops (Excerpt 4)
1:33:11 Seven Gallon Jug Band – Wipe Em Off
1:35:46 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 6)
1:35:58 The Bubbling Over Five – Don’t Mistreat Your Good Boyfriend
1:37:18 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 7)
1:37:34 Bowman Sisters – Old Lonesome Blues
1:38:35 Alabama Sacred Harp Singers – Present Joys
1:39:23 Rev. D. C. Rice and Congregation – In The Battlefield For My Lord
1:41:29 Rev. J.M. Milton – The Black Camel of Death
1:43:56 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 8)
1:44:21 Big Chief Henry’s Indian String Band – The Indian Tom Tom
1:45:26 Roy Harvey & Leonard Copeland – Lonesome Weary Blues
1:48:17 John Carson & Moonshine Kate – Okeh Medicine Show (Excerpt 3)
1:48:27 Dallas String Band with Coley Jones – Shine
1:49:44 James Joyce – Anna Livia Plurabelle (Finnegans Wake) (Excerpt 3)
1:49:57 The Carter Family – John Hardy Was a Desperate Little Man
1:51:49 AA Milne – Reads from Pooh’s Corner (Excerpt 2)
1:51:56 Gid Tanner & His Skillet-Lickers – It Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo’
1:53:03 Emmett Miller & Moonshine Kate – Okeh Medicine Show (Excerpt)
1:53:13 Earl Hines – Everybody Loves My Baby
1:54:28 Walter Ripman MA – Good Speech Lecture (Excerpt 2)
1:54:37 Arthur Miles – Lonely Cowboy Part 1
1:54:56 Luis Russell – New Call Of The Freaks
1:57:04 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 9)
1:57:17 Joe Venuti – Running Ragged (Blue Four)
1:59:22 Ramsay MacDonald – Unemployment (Excerpt 2)
1:59:56 Bessie Smith – St.Louis Blues
2:01:47 Margaret Bondfield – Speech (Excerpt 2)
2:02:01 Clara Smith – It’s Tight Like That
2:05:10 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 10)
2:05:28 Roosevelt Sykes – Boot That Thing
2:07:32 Meade Lux Lewis – Honky Tonk Train
2:09:30 Walter Ripman MA – Good Speech Lecture (Excerpt 3)
2:09:45 Rudy Vallee – Baby Oh Where Can You Be?
2:12:56 James Joyce – Anna Livia Plurabelle (Finnegans Wake) (Excerpt 4)
2:13:01 Frank Stokes – I Got Mine
2:14:25 British Pathe – Monologue from Henry V (Excerpt 2)
2:14:31 Walter Page’s Blue Devils – Squabblin’
2:17:31 Burns and Allen – Lambchops (Excerpt 5)
2:17:55 Karol Stoch – Na Lysej Polanie (On Lysej Polana)
2:19:37 Julie Marsellaise – Yama Na Chauf Haja Tegennen
2:20:51 Mussolini – Movietone Speech 29 Jan 1929
2:21:13 Blind Blake – Hastings Street
2:22:27 Melvin Dupree – Augusta Rag
2:23:12 Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US (Excerpt 11)
2:23:31 Louis Armstrong And His Savoy Ballroom Five – Mahogany Hall Stomp
2:26:41 Movietone Newsreel – Trooping the Colour (Excerpt 3)
2:26:49 Irving Fisher – Speech
2:26:56 Sergei Rachmaninov & Philadelphia Orchestra – Piano Concerto N°2 in C minor Op.18 – III. Allegro scherzo
2:28:12 Eddie Cantor – Tips On The Stock Market (Excerpt 1)
2:28:23 Jabbo Smith’s Rhythm Aces – Till Times Get Better
2:30:10 Eddie Cantor – Tips On The Stock Market (Excerpt 2)
2:30:28 Victor Symphony Orchestra feat. George Gershwin – An American In Paris (Excerpt 3)
2:30:43 James Joyce – Anna Livia Plurabelle (Finnegans Wake) (Excerpt 5)
2:30:54 Movietone Newsreel – Closing Theme

2 thoughts on “1929”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s