Centuries of Sound

I’ve put together a promotional clip, or if you prefer “advert” for Centuries of Sound, just as a simple thing to share with people to introduce the project. It includes quotes from the media and samples from the mixes so far, along with some bits of film.

If you would like to share it with anyone, you can find it in these places:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Centuries_Sound/status/1331262907477356545

Facebook: https://fb.watch/1Zbi2fzYdY/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7Yn13Ozz2E

(the best one is probably Twitter, as that’s the social network I spend the most time on. The video is unfortunately too long for Instagram, but since I’ve never really managed to get the show to work on there, it’s no great loss)

Radio Podcast #6 – 1896 to 1897

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James and Sean use their audio archeology skills to take you on another time travel adventure with original recordings from the distant past. This time we visit 1896 and 1897, hear the birth pangs of something not yet called ragtime, find out the true origins of ‘The Laughing Policeman’ and hear some jokes so rude that the performer was actually sent to jail.

Centuries of Sound is an independent podcast without any advertising, and it’s only with the support of my patrons that the show can survive. To download full mixes, get early access to the radio podcast, and a get host of other benefits for $5 (or local equivalent) per month, please come to https://patreon.com/centuriesofsound

The CoS Tapes #4 – Russian Records 1901-1908 #2 – Thou Brilliant Bird in the Forest

The CoS Tapes are a series of CD-sized compilations available to Centuries of Sounds Members. A donation $5 per month will give you access to these compilations and other member benefits. Join here.

1929 in Art

Edward Hopper – Chop Suey
Frieda Kahlo – The Bus
Tamara de Lempicka – Autoportrait (Tamara in a Green Bugatti)
Jeanne Mammen – Boring Dolls
Francis Picabia – Hera
Pablo Picasso – Nude in an Armchair
Salvador Dalí – The Great Masturbator
David Bomberg – Toledo from the Alcazar
Georgia O’Keeffe, The Lawrence Tree
Wassily Kandinsky – Upward
René Magritte – The Treachery of Images

Elsewhere in 1930

February 10 – The Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng launch the Yên Bái mutiny in the hope of ending French colonial rule in Vietnam.
February 18 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh confirms the existence of Pluto
March 5 – Danish painter Einar Wegener begins sex reassignment surgery in Germany, and takes the name Lili Elbe.
March 6 – The first frozen foods of Clarence Birdseye go on sale in Springfield, Massachusetts.
March 12 – Mahatma Gandhi sets off on a 200-mile protest march towards the sea with 78 followers, to protest the British monopoly on salt
March 29 – Heinrich Brüning is appointed Chancellor of Germany
March 31 – The Motion Picture Production Code (Hays Code) is instituted in the United States, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in films for the next 40 years.
April 5 – Mahatma Gandhi breaks the Salt laws of British India, by making salt by the sea at the end of the Salt March
April 6 – Hostess Twinkies are invented.
April 18 – The Chittagong Rebellion begins in India, with the Chittagong armoury raid.
April 21 – A fire in the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus kills 320 people.
May 6 – The Salmas earthquake shakes northwestern Iran and southeastern Turkey, up to 3,000 people are killed.
May 15 – Nurse Ellen Church becomes the world’s first flight attendant, working on a Boeing Air Transport trimotor.
May 17 – French Prime Minister André Tardieu decides to withdraw the remaining French troops from the Rhineland.
May 24 – Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Australia, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia
July 13 – The first FIFA World Cup starts – Lucien Laurent scores the first goal, for France against Mexico.
July 28 – R. B. Bennett defeats William Lyon Mackenzie King in federal elections, and becomes the Prime Minister of Canada.
July 30 – Uruguay beats Argentina 4–2, to win the first Association football FIFA World Cup final at Estadio Centenario, in Montevideo.
August 6 – Judge Joseph Force Crater disappears in New York City.
August 7 – Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith are lynched in Marion, Indiana – the photograph of this event will inspire the song Strange Fruit
August 9 – Cartoon character Betty Boop appears for the first time on screen, in the animated film Dizzy Dishes.
September 3 – A huge hurricane in the Caribbean demolishes most of the city of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.
September 6 – José Félix Uriburu carries out a military coup, overthrowing Hipólito Yrigoyen, President of Argentina.
September 8 – Scotch Tape, invented by Richard Gurley Drew, is sold by the 3M company in the United States for the first time.
September 17 – The Kurdish Ararat rebellion is suppressed by the Turks.
October 5 – British airship R101 crashes in France en route to India, on its maiden long-range flight, resulting in the loss of 48 lives.
November 3 – Getúlio Vargas becomes president of Brazil.
December 2 – President Herbert Hoover goes before the United States Congress to ask for a $150 million public works program, to help create jobs and to stimulate the American economy.
December 19 – Mount Merapi volcano in central Java, Indonesia, erupts, destroying numerous villages and killing 1,300 people.
December 29 – Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s presidential address in Allahabad introduces the two-nation theory, outlining a vision for the creation of Pakistan.

Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 29 (1921)

Time: 8pm GMT, Saturday 7th November 2020
Place: Cambridge 105 Radio

Audio curator James Errington is joined from New York by Michael Daddino to explore original recordings from 1921, including more classical female blues, novelty piano, melancholy Klezmer, the organised chaos of Dixieland jazz, and the most unintentionally sinister recording of the decade.

You can listen to the show on 105fm in Cambridge, on DAB digital, on the Cambridge 105 website here, or on any good radio apps.

…or as it’s too late to do any of these things, here is the Mixcloud player.


At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is a cut-down 60 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

The crash has happened, then, the music industry has gone down with the Dow, and there’s no sign of anyone reviving it. I therefore approached this year with low expectations. Perhaps we would have music of the standard of say 1925, just with higher production standards. I was wrong.

1925 is still a good year to look to though, these two mixes are linked by a common thread; Russian documentary film-maker Dziga Vertov. As the cut-up sound collages he made in 1925 influenced the jagged sound of that year’s mix, so a series of samples from his documentary “Enthusiasm” – along with pieces from Walter Ruttman’s pioneering audio montage “Wochenende” – form the backbone of this also fairly harsh / jagged mix.

This time, however, the explosion in sound film has given me a lot more in terms of audio samples to cut up and push together. By “a lot more” I mean that the diverse qualities and sheer volume of source material which has gone into this mix made it feel like a huge project on its own. I feel like I’ve just lived through 1930. It was a fascinating time, this might well be the best mix I’ve made, but I also feel exhausted and emotionally drained by the experience. I am confident that this feeling doesn’t come through in the mix, by the way.

Normally here I would write a longer blurb, but this time, well, sorry, that’s it, but here’s the music, go listen to it.


0:00:21 MGM Studios – Lion’s Roar
0:00:27 Groucho Marx – Animal Crackers (Excerpt 1)
0:00:29 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 1)
0:00:37 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 1)
0:00:50 Louis Armstrong – Dear Old Southland
0:04:05 James Sibley Watson – Tomatos Another Day (Excerpt 1)
0:04:08 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 2)
0:04:25 Jonuzi Me Shoket – Vome Kaba
0:05:23 M. Nguyen Van Minh-Con – Nam Nhi-Tu
0:06:09 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 2)
0:06:24 Irving Mills Hotsy Totsy Gang – Deep Harlem
0:08:04 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 3)
0:08:16 George Bernard Shaw – New Talk To Movietone (Excerpt 1)
0:08:34 Big Bill Broonzy – Hip Shakin’ Strut
0:11:29 Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont – Animal Crackers (Excerpt 2)
0:11:45 Barbecue Joe and his Hot Dogs – Tar Paper Stomp (Wingy’s Stomp)
0:13:30 Jean Harlow – Hells Angels (Excerpt 1)
0:13:46 Lucille Bogan – They Ain’t Walking No More
0:15:45 James Sibley Watson – Tomatos Another Day (Excerpt 2)
0:16:02 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 3)
0:16:06 Cyganska Orchestra Stefana – Cyganske Vesilia, Pt. 4
0:17:23 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 4)
0:17:46 Lotte Lenya – Alabama Song
0:19:10 Marlene Dietrich – Blue Angel Screentest (Excerpt 1)
0:19:15 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 5)
0:19:30 Marlene Dietrich – Falling In Love Again
0:21:03 Marlene Dietrich – Ich Bin Von Kopf Biss Fuss
0:22:29 Marlene Dietrich – Blue Angel Screentest (Excerpt 2)
0:22:31 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 6)
0:22:54 Louis Davids – Kleine Man (soundtrack)
0:23:48 Albert Einstein – Einstein Speaks (1930 Movietone Moment)
0:23:58 Comedian Harmonists – Wochenend Und Sonnenschein
0:25:06 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 7)
0:25:15 Lotte Lenya – Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man
0:27:17 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 8)
0:27:31 Joe Venuti – Wild Dog
0:28:55 British Pathe – The Greatest Road Race Ever! (Excerpt 1)
0:29:00 Casa Loma Orchestra – San Sue S
0:30:57 British Pathe – Giant British Air Liner (Excerpt 1)
0:31:06 Fletcher Henderson – Chinatown My Chinatown
0:32:59 Unknown Performers – Unknown (Cantonese)
0:33:08 Nai Po & Thai Royal Page Military Brass Band – Pleng Khrawp Chakara Wan Thao Tawn Abu Hassan Taeng Ngan
0:34:42 Mr. Muean & Ms. Aet, The Sak Som Peo Ensemble – Srey Sroh Mien Thrung
0:36:00 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 4)
0:36:17 Jimmie Davis – Doggone That Train
0:37:42 British Pathe – Giant British Air Liner (Excerpt 2)
0:37:56 Jimmie Rodgers – Hobo Bill’s Last Ride
0:40:27 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 5)
0:40:35 Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers – Money Never Runs Out
0:42:13 Edward G. Robinson – Little Caesar (Excerpt 1)
0:42:23 Cab Calloway and His Orchestra – The Viper’s Drag
0:45:42 Greta Garbo – Anna Christie (Excerpt 1)
0:45:56 The Jungle Band – Tiger Rag (Part II)
0:47:23 Groucho Marx – Animal Crackers (Excerpt 3)
0:47:25 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 6)
0:47:29 Askari Wa K.A.R. Ya Sita (6th K.A.R.) – Kofia Nyekundu
0:49:24 Mbaruk Talsam – Comic Sketch
0:50:21 Richard Ábé Brown Band – Bārā Sānābo Bārā
0:51:35 John Gilbert – Speech in front of the court in Redemption (Excerpt 1)
0:51:42 Caluza’s Double Quartet – Imini Ifikile
0:52:47 Blind Willie Johnson – John The Revelator
0:54:31 Rev. D.C. Rice – We Got the Same Kinda Power Over Here
0:56:31 Elder Curry – Memphis Flu
0:58:31 Holy Ghost Sanctified Singers – Thou Carest Lord, For Me
0:59:16 James A Fitzpatrick – Movie Horoscope (Excerpt 1)
0:59:25 Jack Hylton – Great Day
1:00:45 Santa Claus – Meets Calvin Coolidge
1:00:57 Paul Whiteman – Ragamuffin’ Romeo
1:02:39 Elinor Glyn – Explains IT! (Excerpt 1)
1:02:57 Ethel Waters – Three Little Words
1:05:51 Anne Sullivan – Newsreel Footage
1:06:01 Jack Payne BBC Dance Orchestra – My Baby Just Cares For Me
1:07:17 Jack Payne BBC Dance Orchestra – Will Anybody Here Have A Drink?
1:08:55 Grigoraș Dinicu – Ca Pe Luncă
1:11:29 Greta Garbo – Anna Christie (Excerpt 2)
1:11:32 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 9)
1:11:53 Josephine Baker – J’ Ai Deux Amours
1:13:26 Lucienne Boyer – Dans La Fumée
1:15:26 British Pathe – Great Danes (Excerpt 1)
1:15:47 Maurice Chevalier – Livin’ In The Sunlight
1:17:54 Georgius – Je suis blasé
1:19:33 Pola Illéry & Albert Préjean – Sous les toits de Paris
1:19:45 Ruth Etting – Ten Cents A Dance
1:21:57 James Sibley Watson – Tomatos Another Day (Excerpt 3)
1:22:14 Boswell Sisters – That’s What I Like About You
1:24:13 Charles Farrell – Love Scene from Liliom (Excerpt 1)
1:24:24 Luis Russell & His Orchestra – Panama
1:27:40 Laurel & Hardy – Scene from The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (Excerpt 1)
1:27:47 Ben Tobier And His California Cyclones – Hot And Heavy
1:30:15 President Cosgrave – British Pathe Newsreel (Excerpt 1)
1:30:29 Fred Astaire – Puttin On The Ritz
1:32:02 British Pathe & Albert Einstein – Relatively Speaking … He’s Delighted!
1:32:13 Ben Selvin – Happy Days Are Here Again
1:34:06 Robert Montgomerie – The Big House (Excerpt)
1:34:10 Memphis Jug Band – Cocaine Habit Blues
1:36:56 Reichsprassident Von Hindenburg – Am Rhein! Aka Reichsprafident (Excerpt 1)
1:37:07 Chuck Darling – Blowing Blues
1:37:54 Dilly and his Dill Pickles – Pickin’ Off Peanuts
1:39:21 Emmett Miller – Sam’s New Job (Excerpt)
1:39:37 Yank Rachel With Sleepy John Estes & Jab Jones – Sweet Mama
1:41:12 Greta Garbo – Anna Christie (Excerpt 3)
1:41:15 Mississippi Bracey – You Scolded Me And Drove Me
1:42:59 British Pathe – The Fastest Game In The World
1:43:09 Roy Harvey & Jess Johnson – Jefferson Street Rag
1:45:18 Calvin Coolidge – Meets Santa Claus
1:45:28 Lil McClintock – Don’t Think I’m Santa Claus
1:46:32 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 10)
1:46:47 Son House – My Black Mama, Pt. 1 & 2
1:48:41 Willie Walker – South Carolina Rag
1:50:56 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 6)
1:51:25 Walter Page – Blue Devil Blues
1:54:07 Helen Keller & Anne Sullivan – 1930 Newsreel Footage (Excerpt 2)
1:54:35 Carmen Miranda – Deixa Disso
1:55:35 James A Fitzpatrick – Movie Horoscope (Excerpt 2)
1:55:44 Orquesta Tipica Porteña – Esponjita
1:56:50 British Pathe – Soccer Again
1:56:57 California Rambers – The Peanut Vendor
1:59:24 British Pathe – Great Danes (Excerpt 2)
1:59:30 Joe Venuti’s Blue Four – Raggin’ The Scale
2:00:40 George Bernard Shaw – New Talk To Movietone (Excerpt 2)
2:00:57 Fritz Kreisler – Liebesleid (Kreisler) (Love’s Sorrow)
2:02:07 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 11)
2:02:37 Llaqi Me Llautte – Havazi I Dy Motrave
2:03:20 Norma Shearer & Chester Morris – The Divorcee (Excerpt 1)
2:03:54 Madame Hafize & Selim – Sta Triya (Treshe (In Three) Dance)
2:04:21 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 7)
2:04:39 James Sibley Watson – Tomatos Another Day (Excerpt 4)
2:04:53 King Oliver – Mule Face Blues
2:07:46 Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont – Animal Crackers (Excerpt 4)
2:08:06 Bix Beiderbecke Orchestra – I’ll Be A Friend With Pleasure
2:09:39 Red Nichols & His Five Pennies – Bug-A-Boo
2:12:47 British Pathe – The Greatest Road Race Ever! (Excerpt 2)
2:12:53 Louis Armstrong – St. Louis Blues
2:13:56 Cab Calloway – St. Louis Blues
2:16:03 Charles Farrell – Love Scene from Liliom (Excerpt 2)
2:16:04 Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra – Get Happy
2:18:28 Groucho Marx – Animal Crackers (Excerpt 5)
2:18:33 James P Johnson – Jingles
2:20:30 Jack Payne BBC Dance Orchestra – Any Rags Bottles Or Bones
2:21:02 A.A. Gray & Seven Foot Dilly – Streak of Lean, Streak of Fat
2:22:14 Greta Garbo – Anna Christie (Excerpt 4)
2:22:17 Jimmie Rodgers – Those Gambler’s Blues
2:24:58 John Gilbert – Speech in front of the court in Redemption (Excerpt 2)
2:25:09 Geeshie Wiley – Last Kind Words Blues
2:26:23 Edward G. Robinson – Little Caesar (Excerpt 2)
2:26:31 Giftiddle Jim – Paddlin’ Blues
2:29:43 Laurel & Hardy – Scene from The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (Excerpt 2)
2:29:51 Charley Patton – High Water Everywhere (part 1)
2:31:41 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 12)
2:32:05 Delta Big Four – We All Gonna Face The Rising Sun
2:33:03 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 8)
2:33:11 Cheikha Tetma – Guenene Tini
2:33:28 Urbano A. Zafra & Mauro Baradi – Danza Filipina
2:35:02 Elinor Glyn – Explains IT! (Excerpt 2)
2:35:12 Sak Som Peo Ensemble – Phleng Boran
2:37:02 James Sibley Watson – Tomatos Another Day (Excerpt 5)
2:37:15 Los Jardineros – Conversacion
2:38:24 George Bernard Shaw – New Talk To Movietone (Excerpt 3)
2:38:32 António Landeiro – Variações Sobre o Fado Corrido Em Ré Maior
2:39:50 Jean Harlow – Hells Angels (Excerpt 2)
2:39:55 Fred Rich – I Got Rhythm (vocal Smith Ballew)
2:42:21 Charles Farrell – Love Scene from Liliom (Excerpt 3)
2:42:33 The Jungle Band – Mood Indigo
2:44:46 Reichsprassident Von Hindenburg – Am Rhein! Aka Reichsprafident (Excerpt 2)
2:44:50 Barbecue Joe and his Hot Dogs – Tin Roof Blues
2:45:36 Missourians – Swingin’ Dem Cats
2:47:00 Bennie Moten – Bouncin’ Round
2:48:15 President Cosgrave – British Pathe Newsreel (Excerpt 2)
2:48:20 Joe Venuti – I’ve Found A New Baby
2:51:14 James Sibley Watson – Tomatos Another Day (Excerpt 6)
2:51:28 Willie Brown – Future Blues
2:52:58 Bayless Rose – Jamestown Exhibition
2:54:45 Groucho & Zeppo Marx – Animal Crackers (Excerpt 6)
2:54:50 The Deauville Syncopators – Cheerful Little Earful
2:56:36 Elinor Glyn – Explains IT! (Excerpt 3)
2:56:55 Helen Kane – How Are You?
2:57:41 Newsreel – Hells Angels Premiere
2:58:00 Dziga Vertov – Enthusiasm! The Dombass Symphony (Excerpt 9)
2:58:14 Julius Meytuss – Dnieprostroi, The Dnieper Hydro-electric Power Station
2:59:17 Walter Ruttmann – Wochende (Excerpt 13)
2:59:36 Leopold Stokowski and The Philadelphia Orchestra – 1812 Overture Op. 49
3:00:39 George Bernard Shaw – New Talk To Movietone (Excerpt 4)
3:00:57 Ben Bernie – Au Revoir Pleasant Dreams
3:02:30 Lewis Milestone – All Quiet on the Western Front (Excerpt)

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