Elsewhere in 1928

January 6–7 – The River Thames floods in London; 14 drown
January – British bacteriologist Frederick Griffith reports the results of Griffith’s experiment, indirectly proving the existence of DNA
January 31 – Leon Trotsky is exiled to Alma-Ata
February 8 – Scottish inventor John Logie Baird broadcasts a transatlantic television signal from London to Hartsdale, New York
February 11–19 – The 1928 Winter Olympics are held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the first as a separate event. Sonja Henie of Norway wins her first gold medal, in women’s figure skating.
March 12 – In California, the St. Francis Dam north of Los Angeles fails, killing 600
March 21 – Charles Lindbergh is presented with the Medal of Honor for his first transatlantic flight
April 10 – The United States Republican Party primary elections in Chicago are preceded by violence, bombings and assassination attempts.
April 13 – The West Plains, Missouri Dance Hall explosion occurs – the reasons are still unknown.
April 14 – Two earthquakes in Chirpan and Plovdiv, Bulgaria destroy more than 21,000 buildings, and kill almost 130 people.
May 3 – An armed conflict between the Imperial Japanese Army (allied with Northern Chinese warlords against the Kuomintang’s southern army) occurs in Jinan, China.
May 7 – Passage of the Representation of the People Act in the United Kingdom lowers the voting age for women from 30 to 21, giving them equal suffrage with men from July 2
May 10 – The first regular schedule of television programming begins in Schenectady, New York, by General Electric’s television station W2XB
May 15 – The animated short Plane Crazy is released by Disney Studios in Los Angeles, featuring the first appearances of Mickey and Minnie Mouse
May 24 – The airship Italia crashes at the North Pole; one of the occupants is Italian general Umberto Nobile.
June 4 – Huanggutun incident – Zhang Zuolin, a warlord, is killed by Japanese agents in China.
June 20 – Serb politician Puniša Račić shoots dead three opposition representatives in the Yugoslavian Parliament, and injures three others.
June 29 – At the 1928 Democratic National Convention in Houston, Governor of New York Al Smith becomes the first Catholic nominated by a major political party for President of the United States.
July 7 – The first machine-sliced and machine-wrapped loaf of bread is sold in Chillicothe, Missouri, using Otto Frederick Rohwedder’s technology.
July 17 – José de León Toral assassinates Álvaro Obregón, president-elect of Mexico.
July 28 – August 12 – The 1928 Summer Olympics are held in Amsterdam, opening with the lighting of the Olympic flame. Women’s athletics and gymnastics debut at these games.
August 25 – Ahmet Zogu proclaims himself King Zog of Albania; he is crowned September 1.
August 27 – The Kellogg–Briand Pact is signed in Paris, the first treaty to outlaw aggressive war.
August 31 – The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, opens at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin.
September 3 – Philo Farnsworth demonstrates to the press in San Francisco the world’s first working all-electronic television system, employing electronic scanning in both the pickup and display devices.
September 3 – Scotsman Alexander Fleming, at St Mary’s Hospital, London, accidentally rediscovers the antibiotic Penicillin.
September 12 – The Okeechobee hurricane hits Guadeloupe, killing 1,200 people – it will kill another 2,500 in Florida four days later.
October 1 – Joseph Stalin launches the first five-year plan (1928–1932)
October 7 – Haile Selassie is crowned king (not yet emperor) of Abyssinia.
October 8 – Chiang Kai-shek is named as Generalissimo (Chairman of the National Military Council) of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China.
November 6 – In the US presidential election, Republican Herbert Hoover wins by a wide margin over Democratic New York Governor Al Smith.
November 18 – Mickey Mouse appears in Steamboat Willie, the third Mickey Mouse cartoon released, but the first sound film and the first such film to be generally distributed.
December 21 – The United States Congress approves the construction of Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam.

Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 27 (1919)

Time: 8pm BST, Saturday 12th September 2020
Place: Cambridge 105 Radio

Another sonic journey into the pre-history of recorded music with James Errington, this time joined by London musician Cecily to listen to some of the sounds of 1919, a lull between the first jazz boom and the start of blues with a cornucopia of exotic sounds springing up to fill the gap.

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

Or, as you’ve already missed the broadcast, not to worry, you can use this player instead.

1928

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 three-hour 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 sample download | Patreon | Apple | Mixcloud | Spotify | Castbox | Stitcher | Radiopublic | RSS

In Chicago, Al Capone was at the height of his powers in 1928, but, as we always must, let’s go on a wild tangent to look at the dull metal structures which loomed hundreds of feet over his head. In February, work began on a new transmitter site for WMAQ Radio in Chicago. WMAQ already had a powerful transmitter in the city, but since it was built in 1922 a brace of skyscrapers (The Chicago Temple Building, The Civic Opera House, The Pittsfield Building) had sprung up around it, reducing its reach to less than half the city. The new transmitter had five times the power of the old, fortunate for the city as this was also the year that WMAQ got hold of two white actors, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, to play the roles of Amos and Andy in a new radio sitcom. The show would soon become the biggest name in radio, staying on the air for over 30 years, and all the more notably so because its two lead characters were black.

It was, of course, not really in the spirit of the nascent civil rights movement to have this sort of audio blackface as the most mainstream of entertainments, but, despite the embarrassed moving-on of generations of musical historians, minstrelsy was still very much a visible force a decade into the jazz age. Godsen and Correll had come from that world, so had Al Jolson, and so had Emmett Miller, a more obscure figure, who still managed to straddle the worlds of minstrelsy (he wore and performed blackface), jazz (he sang blues songs and performed with jazz musicians) and country (his yodel predated that of Jimmie Rodgers.) Things at this time are messy – messy can be good, genre boundaries seem to stifle innovation more than guide it – and the wonderful and the repellent can be so entangled as to be inseparable.

Over in that other hotspot of the decade, New York, for example, Duke Ellington was performing at the legendary Cotton Club. The name of this establishment was chosen as evocative of the old days of the deep south – it was in fact no less than an antebellum-themed nightclub, with a whites-only policy as far as customers were concerned. Decorations on the walls presented black people either as slaves or jungle savages. On stage, of course, was an a-to-z of famous black performers – Ellington, Ethel Waters, Fletcher Henderson, and soon Cab Calloway, all performing for rich white New Yorkers.

Edward Kennedy Ellington was the resident bandleader of the club, encouraged to play “jungle music,” yet he could not have fitted less the role if he tried. A classically trained upper-middle-class pianist from Washington DC, he was nicknamed ‘Duke’ by the friends he made when he ventured out into the world of jazz, a joke about his sophisticated clothing, which was hardly typical of a jazz musician.

Ellington may not have really made any “jungle music” but ‘The Mooche’ does seem to capture the dark, seedy underworld of the 1920s like nothing else. It’s impossible for me to hear it and imagine a dull audience of rich white stiffs at their theme pub, it’s more like the theme to a dingy speakeasy where something terrible is about to go down.

Tracklist

0:00:22 Rudy Wiedoeft – Radio Program (Excerpt 1)
0:00:24 Duke Ellington And His Orchestra – The Mooche
0:03:33 John A. Scott & Mr. Greenfield – Radio program for WAAM, Newark, New Jersey (Excerpt 1)
0:03:46 Mississippi John Hurt – Ain’t No Tellin’
0:06:39 Clapham & Dwyer – A Day’s Broadcasting (Excerpt 1)
0:06:50 Rev. Edward W. Clayborn – A Letter From Father
0:09:44 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 1)
0:10:19 Johnny Noble’s Hawaiians Featuring M. K. Moke – Hilo March
0:12:10 Clapham & Dwyer – A Day’s Broadcasting (Excerpt 2)
0:12:25 Grupo De ‘La Alegria’ – El Tambor De La Alegria
0:15:48 Red Nichols – WAAM Edison Radio Disc (Excerpt 1)
0:16:07 Pierre Pinchik – Rozo D’shabbos
0:18:44 George Bernard Shaw – Fox Movietone Newsreel (Excerpt 1)
0:18:57 Cow Cow Davenport – Cow Cow Blues
0:22:01 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 2)
0:22:17 Eddie Cantor – Makin’ Whoopee!
0:23:33 Emmett Miller – Lion Tamers (Excerpt 1)
0:24:05 Emmett Miller – I Ain’t Got Nobody
0:27:09 Emmett Miller – Lion Tamers (Excerpt 2)
0:27:33 Fletcher Henderson – Come On Baby
0:30:23 Clapham & Dwyer – A Day’s Broadcasting (Excerpt 3)
0:30:52 Duke Ellington – Black Beauty
0:32:51 Red Nichols – WAAM Edison Radio Disc (Excerpt 2)
0:33:07 Ethel Waters – Do What You Did Last Night
0:35:44 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 3)
0:36:00 Joseph Moskowitz, A. Olshanetsky’s Orchestra – Die Neie Sirba (The New Bulgar)
0:38:50 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 4)
0:38:59 Grigoraș Dinicu – Hora Staccato
0:40:23 John A. Scott & Mr. Greenfield – Radio program for WAAM, Newark, New Jersey (Excerpt 2)
0:40:39 Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five – A Monday Date
0:41:06 Chicago Footwarmers – Brush Stomp
0:42:55 George Bernard Shaw – Fox Movietone Newsreel (Excerpt 2)
0:43:20 Henry Thomas – Bull Doze Blues
0:45:17 Dallas String Band with Coley Jones – Hokum Blues
0:47:23 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 5)
0:47:41 The Washingtonians – Take It Easy
0:50:12 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 6)
0:51:00 Pelegongan of Kuta – Gonteng (djawa) pengwak solo
0:52:38 Gong Of Belaluan – Kebyar Ding III – Oncang-Oncangan (Excerpt 1)
0:53:36 Angklung Of Sidan – Lagu ‘ngisep dublag’
0:54:15 Gender Wayang Of Kuta – Angkat Angatan
0:54:51 Gong Of Busungbiu – Lagu ‘tabuh gari’
0:55:21 Gong Of Belaluan – Kebyar Ding III – Oncang-Oncangan (Excerpt 2)
0:55:42 Walt Disney Animation Studios – Steamboat Willie (Excerpt)
0:56:14 Yahyâ Zarpanje – Mâhur
0:57:23 Isa Kremer – Oi Abram
0:58:14 Lucy German – Di Eybike Mame
1:00:24 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 7)
1:02:03 Joseph Falcon – Lafayette
1:04:58 Cleoma Breaux & Joseph Falcon – Le Vieux Soulard et Sa Femme
1:06:36 Charlie Bowman & His Brothers – Moonshiner & His Money
1:09:42 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 8)
1:09:49 John Mugat – Bukay
1:11:10 James ‘Son’ Thomas – Jon Jo Ko
1:12:09 Nicholas DeHeer – Edna Buchaiku
1:13:34 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 9)
1:13:46 Pine Top Smith – Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie
1:17:04 Clapham & Dwyer – A Day’s Broadcasting (Excerpt 4)
1:17:09 Bennie Moten – Get Low Down Blues
1:18:37 Rudy Wiedoeft – Radio Program (Excerpt 2)
1:18:41 Irving Aaronson And His Commanders, Vocal Refrain Irène Bordoni – Let’s Misbehave
1:20:07 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 10)
1:20:19 Irving Kaufman (with Vaughn DeLeath) – You Took Advantage of Me
1:22:14 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 11)
1:22:40 Roane County Ramblers – Hometown Blues
1:24:04 Clapham & Dwyer – A Day’s Broadcasting (Excerpt 5)
1:24:16 Jimmie Rodgers – In The Jailhouse Now
1:26:26 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 12)
1:26:44 Victoria Spivey – Dope Head Blues
1:28:58 Rudy Wiedoeft – Radio Program (Excerpt 3)
1:29:00 Bertha Idaho – Graveyard Love
1:31:06 Red Nichols – WAAM Edison Radio Disc (Excerpt 3)
1:31:21 Washington Phillips – Mother’s Last Word To Her Son
1:33:46 Reverend Johnny Blakey – Warming By The Devil’s Fire (Excerpt 1)
1:34:13 Arizona Dranes – He Is My Story
1:36:03 Reverend Johnny Blakey – Warming By The Devil’s Fire (Excerpt 2)
1:36:42 Daniels-Denson Sacred Harp Singers – Coronation
1:37:25 Reverend Johnny Blakey – Warming By The Devil’s Fire (Excerpt 3)
1:37:58 Dixie Jubilee Singers – Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
1:39:44 The Denson Quartet – Christian Soldier
1:39:58 George Bernard Shaw – Fox Movietone Newsreel (Excerpt 3)
1:40:18 Blind Willie Johnson – Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed
1:41:43 Gladys Bentley – Wild Geese Blues
1:43:17 Nellie Florence – Jacksonville Blues
1:44:36 Johnson-Nelson-Porkchop – G. Burns Is Gonna Rise Again
1:44:51 William Harris – Kansas City Blues
1:46:31 Pink Anderson & Simmie Dooley – Every Day In The Week Blues
1:48:07 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 13)
1:48:26 Jack Smith – Miss Annabelle Lee
1:50:30 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 14)
1:50:52 Gay Ellis And Her Novelty Orchestra – You’re The Cream In My Coffee
1:51:59 Helen Kane – I Wanna Be Loved By You
1:53:11 Joe Venuti’s Blue Four – Goin’ Home
1:56:13 Bix Beiderbecke and His Gang – Wa-Da-Da (Ev’rybody’s Doin’ It Now)
1:58:08 Benny Goodman and His Boys – That’s A Plenty
1:59:18 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 15)
1:59:27 Louis Armstrong And His Savoy Ballroom Five – St. James Infirmary
2:02:28 Victoria Spivey – Blood Thirsty Blues
2:04:48 Mississippi John Hurt – Louis Collins
2:06:09 Dick Justice – Cocaine
2:08:10 The Carter Family – John Hardy
2:09:42 George ‘Chicken’ Wilson & Jimmy ‘Skeeter’ Hinton – Chicken Wilson Blues
2:10:22 Tom Morrison – The Connaught Reel – The Shephard’s Daughter
2:12:24 Michael Coleman – Lord McDonald’s (reels)
2:14:00 Packie Dolan And His Melody Boys – Lasses Of Donnibrook
2:14:28 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 16)
2:14:42 Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers – Kansas City Stomps
2:17:33 John A. Scott & Mr. Greenfield – Radio program for WAAM, Newark, New Jersey (Excerpt 4)
2:17:43 Giovanni Vicari – Occhi di Bambola
2:19:16 Agustín Barrios – Junto a tu Corazón
2:20:07 Mario Reis – Jura
2:21:04 Rosita Quiroga – Oíme Negro
2:22:36 Marek Weber – Crepuscule Tango
2:23:32 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 17)
2:23:37 Ethel Waters – My Handy Man (+ Clarence Williams)
2:26:32 Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra – There Ain’t No Sweet Man (Worth the Salt of My Tears)
2:29:59 Fred Elizalde & His Music – Crazy Rhythm
2:31:13 Frank Trumbauer and His Orchestra – Bless You Sister
2:32:43 Clapham & Dwyer – A Day’s Broadcasting (Excerpt 6)
2:33:10 Harry McClintock – Big Rock Candy Mountain
2:37:10 Old South Quartette – Oysters And Wine At 2 A.M.
2:37:48 Sol Hoopii & His Novelty Quartette – E Mama Ea
2:39:38 Red Nichols – WAAM Edison Radio Disc (Excerpt 4)
2:39:45 Fritz Kreisler – Indian Lament (Dvorak-arr Kreisler)
2:40:36 Parush Parushev – Zemetresenie V Bulgaria [Earthquake In Bulgaria]
2:41:03 Mordechai Hershman – Akavyo Ben Mahalalel
2:43:03 Abe Schwartz Orchestra – Unzer Toirele
2:45:25 Clapham & Dwyer – A Day’s Broadcasting (Excerpt 7)
2:45:58 Houdini – Uncle Jo’ Gimme Mo’
2:47:44 Lionel Belasco Orchestra – Blow Wind Blow
2:49:05 Monk Hazel – High Society
2:51:25 Kumasi Trio – Pen Pen Sin Pen
2:52:55 The Harlem Footwarmers – Diga Diga Doo
2:55:44 The Washingtonians – Jubilee Stomp
2:56:30 McKinney’s Cotton Pickers – The Chocolate Dandies
2:57:39 Charles Johnson’s Paradise Ten – Hot-Tempered Blues
2:59:13 Hattie Burleson – Jim Nappy
3:00:42 Tampa Red – Through Train Blues
3:02:54 Palmer Mcabee – Lost Boy Blues
3:03:48 Stripling Brothers – The Lost Child
3:05:06 Weems String Band – Greenback Dollar
3:06:06 Clapham & Dwyer – A Day’s Broadcasting (Excerpt 8)
3:06:55 Harold Collins and his Orchestra – Fashionette
3:07:45 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 18)
3:07:49 Joe Venuti – Eddie Lang – Wild Cat
3:09:13 Roger Wolfe Kahn – She’s A Great Great Girl
3:10:58 King Oliver – Four Or Five Times
3:12:38 Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers – Madison Street Rag
3:13:44 John A. Scott & Mr. Greenfield – Radio program for WAAM, Newark, New Jersey (Excerpt 5)
3:14:06 Paul Robeson – Ol’ Man River (+ studio orchestra)
3:16:46 George Bernard Shaw – Fox Movietone Newsreel (Excerpt 4)
3:17:14 Ukulele Ike (Cliff Edwards) – (I’m Cryin’ `cause I Know) I’m Losing You
3:20:03 John A. Scott & Mr. Greenfield – Radio program for WAAM, Newark, New Jersey (Excerpt 6)
3:20:07 Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra – Basin Street Blues
3:22:22 The Happiness Boys – Twisting The Dials (Excerpt 19)

1927 in Art

Edward Hopper – Automat
Georgia O’Keeffe – Black Abstraction
MaxErnst – Forest and Dove
Joan Miró – Painting (Blue Star)
Salvador Dalí – Apparatus and Hand
Will Longstaff – Menin Gate at Midnight
Edwin Blashfield – Spring Scattering Stars
Paul Klee – Limits of Reason
L. S. Lowry – Coming Out of School
René Magritte – The Menaced Assassin
Henri Matisse – Reclining Nude, Back
Fernand Léger – Nude on a Red Background
Lasar Segall – Portrait of Mário de Andrade

1927 in Film

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Metropolis

Wings

The Jazz Singer

Napoléon

The Cat and the Canary

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Children of Divorce

It

College

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Chicago

Underworld

When a Man Loves

Why Girls Love Sailors

Man from the Restaurant (Chelovek iz restorana)

Mata Hari

The Red Mill

Il Gaucho

The Beloved Rogue

My Best Girl

The Kid Brother

The King of Kings

Downhill

The Ring

The Love of Jeanne Ney (Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney)

His First Flame

The Scar of Shame

The End of St. Petersburg (Konets Sankt-Peterburga)

The Forty-First (Sorok pervyy)

Romance of the Western Chamber

Bed and Sofa (Tretya meshchanskaya)

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Radio Podcast #3 – 1890 to 1891

decade-1890

MP3 download | Apple | Spotify | Castbox | Stitcher | Radiopublic | RSS

“Another journey into the history of recorded sound with James and Sean. This time we delve into the vaults for 1890 and 1891, explore the pop music of the gilded age, and hear the voices of P.T. Barnum, Florence Nightingale, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.”

Centuries of Sound is a monthly mix of original music and sounds from a year in history. Right now we’re up to 1926. To download full mixes and a get host of other benefits for $5 per month, please come to https://patreon.com/centuriesofsound

Elsewhere in 1927

January 1 - The British Broadcasting Company becomes the British Broadcasting Corporation. John Reith becomes the first Director-General

January 1 – The British Broadcasting Company becomes the British Broadcasting Corporation. John Reith becomes the first Director-General

January 1 - The Cristero War erupts in Mexico when Catholic rebels attack the government, which had placed heavy restrictions on the church.

January 1 – The Cristero War erupts in Mexico when Catholic rebels attack the government, which had placed heavy restrictions on the church.

January 9 - A fire at the Laurier Palace movie theatre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, kills 78 children

January 9 – A fire at the Laurier Palace movie theatre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, kills 78 children

January 11 – Louis B. Mayer, head of film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), announces the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, at a banquet in Los Angeles, California

January 11 – Louis B. Mayer, head of film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), announces the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, at a banquet in Los Angeles, California

January 24 – U.S. Marines invade Nicaragua by orders of President Calvin Coolidge, intervening in the Nicaraguan Civil War, and remaining in the country until 1933.

January 24 – U.S. Marines invade Nicaragua by orders of President Calvin Coolidge, intervening in the Nicaraguan Civil War, and remaining in the country until 1933.

February – Werner Heisenberg formulates his famous uncertainty principle, while employed as a lecturer at Niels Bohr's Institute for Theoretical Physics, at the University of Copenhagen.

February – Werner Heisenberg formulates his famous uncertainty principle, while employed as a lecturer at Niels Bohr’s Institute for Theoretical Physics, at the University of Copenhagen.

February 23 – The U.S. Federal Radio Commission begins to regulate the use of radio frequencies.

February 23 – The U.S. Federal Radio Commission begins to regulate the use of radio frequencies.

March 7 – A 7.0 Mw  earthquake kills at least 2,925 in the Toyooka and Mineyama areas of western Honshu, Japan.

March 7 – A 7.0 Mw  earthquake kills at least 2,925 in the Toyooka and Mineyama areas of western Honshu, Japan.

March 11 - In New York City, the Roxy Theatre is opened by Samuel Roxy Rothafel.

March 11 – In New York City, the Roxy Theatre is opened by Samuel Roxy Rothafel.

March 24 – After six foreigners have been killed in Nanking, warships of the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy fire shells and shot to disperse the crowds.

March 24 – After six foreigners have been killed in Nanking, warships of the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy fire shells and shot to disperse the crowds.

March 29 – Henry Segrave breaks the land speed record, driving the Sunbeam 1000 hp at Daytona Beach, Florida.

March 29 – Henry Segrave breaks the land speed record, driving the Sunbeam 1000 hp at Daytona Beach, Florida.

April 7 – Bell Telephone Co. transmits an image of Herbert Hoover (then the Secretary of Commerce), which becomes the first successful long distance demonstration of television.

April 7 – Bell Telephone Co. transmits an image of Herbert Hoover (then the Secretary of Commerce), which becomes the first successful long distance demonstration of television.

April 22–May 5 – The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 strikes 700,000 people, in the greatest natural disaster in American history through this time.

April 22–May 5 – The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 strikes 700,000 people, in the greatest natural disaster in American history through this time.

April 27 - João Ribeiro de Barros becomes the first non-European to make a transatlantic flight, flying from Genoa, Italy, to Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.

April 27 – João Ribeiro de Barros becomes the first non-European to make a transatlantic flight, flying from Genoa, Italy, to Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.

May 18 – A series of violent attacks results in 45 deaths, mostly of school children, in Bath Township, Michigan.

May 18 – A series of violent attacks results in 45 deaths, mostly of school children, in Bath Township, Michigan.

May 20 – By the Treaty of Jeddah, the United Kingdom recognizes the sovereignty of Ibn Saud over the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd, the future Saudi Arabia.

May 20 – By the Treaty of Jeddah, the United Kingdom recognizes the sovereignty of Ibn Saud over the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd, the future Saudi Arabia.

May 20–21– Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo, nonstop transatlantic airplane flight, from New York City to Paris, France, in his single-engined aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis.

May 20–21– Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo, nonstop transatlantic airplane flight, from New York City to Paris, France, in his single-engined aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis.

Scenes of devastation following the 1927 Gulang earthquake
From the Catholic magazine StadtGottes 1927

May 22 – The 7.6 Mw  Gulang earthquake affects Gansu in northwest China with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme), leaving over 40,000 dead.

July 15 – After police in Vienna fire on an angry crowd, 85 protesters (mostly members of the Social Democratic Party of Austria) and 5 policemen are left dead, and more than 600 are injured.

July 15 – After police in Vienna fire on an angry crowd, 85 protesters (mostly members of the Social Democratic Party of Austria) and 5 policemen are left dead, and more than 600 are injured.

August 1 – The Communist Chinese People's Liberation Army is formed, during the Nanchang Uprising.

August 1 – The Communist Chinese People’s Liberation Army is formed, during the Nanchang Uprising.

August 2 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge announces, ''I do not choose to run for president in 1928.''

August 2 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge announces, ”I do not choose to run for president in 1928.”

August 10 – The Mount Rushmore Park is rededicated in the United States. President Calvin Coolidge promises national funding for the proposed carving of the presidential figures.

August 10 – The Mount Rushmore Park is rededicated in the United States. President Calvin Coolidge promises national funding for the proposed carving of the presidential figures.

August 22 – Protests are held around the world against the death sentences on Italian American anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti.They are executed the next day.

August 22 – Protests are held around the world against the death sentences on Italian American anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti.They are executed the next day.

September – The Autumn Harvest Uprising occurs in China.

September – The Autumn Harvest Uprising occurs in China.

October 8 – The ''Murderers' Row'' team of the New York Yankees complete a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series.

October 8 – The ”Murderers’ Row” team of the New York Yankees complete a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series.

October 27 - Worthington, Ohio, collapses into a lake due to mine shafts underground - as the town has already been evacuated, there are no injuries

October 27 – Worthington, Ohio, collapses into a lake due to mine shafts underground – as the town has already been evacuated, there are no injuries

November 12 - Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin with undisputed control of the Soviet Union

November 12 – Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin with undisputed control of the Soviet Union

December 1 – Chiang Kai-shek marries Soong Mei-ling in Shanghai.

December 1 – Chiang Kai-shek marries Soong Mei-ling in Shanghai.

December 14 – Iraq gains independence from the United Kingdom.

December 14 – Iraq gains independence from the United Kingdom.

December 27 – Kern and Hammerstein's musical play, Show Boat, based on Edna Ferber's novel, opens on Broadway and then goes on to become the first great classic of the American musical theater.

December 27 – Kern and Hammerstein’s musical play, Show Boat, based on Edna Ferber’s novel, opens on Broadway and then goes on to become the first great classic of the American musical theater.

December 30 – The first Asian commuter metro line, the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, opens in Japan.

December 30 – The first Asian commuter metro line, the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, opens in Japan.

Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 26 (1918)

O'Keeffe

Time: 8pm BST, Saturday 15th August 2020
Place: Cambridge 105 Radio

More treasures excavated from musical history with sound curator James Errington. This time it’s 1918, the war is nearly over, but the war records are just getting into their stride, and the shockwave of this new music we’re now calling jazz is still shaking the record industry to its foundations. An exciting, turbulent year for music and for the world.

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

Or, as it is too late to do any of those things, just stream it here.

1927

At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is a cut-down 30 minute mix, for the full two-hour 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.

1927 Large

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Over the last few years, writing these descriptions has often felt like an act of persuasion, an apology for poor sound quality and poor selection of available recordings, sweetened with some historical background to try to make the sounds accessible. There’s always plenty of music I love buried inside, but naturally I understand that getting past the hiss, the awful recording medium, the lack of quality musicians, the control of everything by a small group of New York businessmen who at best are indifferent to good music… well, it’s not easy to reach out to your listeners with what feels like a leap of faith, every time.

It’s 1927, and all of that is out the window, I might as well just put out this collection of astonishing music, as it can easily do the job of selling itself. This is an explosion of sound the likes of which have not been experienced before or for that matter since.

One of the many people responsible for this was Ralph Peer, talent scout for the Victor Talking Machine Company. For two months in 1927 he took his portable recording studio on the road, visiting cities through the southern United States. Between the 25th of July and the 5th August he was in residence in Bristol, Tennessee. The Ernest Stoneman, J.P. Nester and Tenneva Ramblers recordings made here would alone have made these sessions notable, but the discovery of the two acts which came to define “country music” are the reason this is referred to as the “Big Bang.”

Jimmie Rogers, “The Singing Brakeman” or “The Blue Yodeler” arrived at the sessions with a group in tow (the Tenneva Ramblers) but decided just at the right moment to go solo with his unique mix of country folk, vaudeville-inspired songwriting and yodelling. The song recorded, “Blue Yodel”, would go on to sell half a million copies, make Jimmie a superstar for the rest of his short life, and inspire musicians across the rest of the century.

The other great discoveries of the sessions were The Carter Family – A.P. Carter, his wife Sara Carter and his sister-in-law Maybelle Carter, who all made a precarious journey from Maces Spring, Virginia, while Sara was heavily pregnant, in order that they could record at the sessions. The combination of A.P.’s gathering of folk songs, Sara’s heavenly voice and autoharp and Maybelle’s revolutionary guitar-playing has proved to have as great a legacy as Jimmie Rodgers, if not greater.

The joy of the Bristol Sessions is not its uniqueness, quite the opposite. As you’ll be able to hear from this mix, there were many musicians throughout the USA and the world who were being recorded for the first time. With records still a luxury item unavailable to the working class, and radio still in its infancy, these artists each seem to have something to offer which was previously undiscovered. Everyone has their influences, of course, but this is the one moment where you’re hearing amateurs with a lifetime’s experience inventing their own music, suddenly being able to make the records which would lead to the next generation being able to swap influences and formulate the genres which we all know – for now though, everything is itself and nothing really belongs to anything else, it’s impossible to put anything in a box, the jazz is all blues is all folk is all country is all gospel.

And gospel music, or rather Christian music (it would be ridiculous to try to claim this disparate group of recordings represented “a genre”) is a massive force in this mix. The South was (and still is) a very religious place, and the church is one of the few places people could get together and express themselves. We have a full range of religious recordings here, from impassioned baptist sermons, to the religious folk music of Alfred Karnes and the almost Sufi-like meditative bliss of Washington Phillips, whose divinely inspired pieces, played on an unknown zither-like device of his own making, are some of those rare pieces of music so beautiful that it is truly hard to imagine their being of this world.

Just to scratch the surface of some of the other music being made around the world, 1927 is also the year Zonophone started recording West African musicians in London in order to try to open up this previously undiscovered market. I’m in danger of overusing the word ‘unique’ so let’s just say that everything I’ve said about the southern USA can be applied tenfold here – countless centuries of music are being dipped into for the first time, and far from being an ethnographic curiosity, nothing could be more shockingly direct.

And oh, I didn’t talk about Jazz, in what might be the greatest year of the jazz age! Why can’t things peak separately? Let’s focus on Bix Beiderbecke, as this is really his year – he opens this mix with his revolutionary piano piece (he was a cornet player) ‘In A Mist’, and features on at least five other tracks in one way or another. It’s impossible for me to write about him without putting this quote here, so I’m just going to do it.

“Bix Beiderbecke. The first great white jazz musician. Cornet player. Born in Davenport, Iowa, March 1903. Drank himself to death. Died August 1931, aged 28. Amazing man. They say his playing sounded like bullets shot from a bell.”
— Trevor Chaplin, The Beiderbecke Affair, episode 1: “What I don’t understand is this…” by Alan Plater.

And what else? I’ve barely started, I can’t ever really do this music justice, all I can do is get this mix out there and hope people will listen, enjoy and share.

Tracks

0:00:22 Bix Beiderbecke – In A Mist (Bixology)
0:03:03 The Harlem Footwarmers – That Jungle Jamboree
0:06:03 Al Jolson – Excerpt from ‘The Jazz Singer’ 1
0:06:10 Washington Phillips – Lift Him Up That’s All
0:08:52 Mrs. L. Reed; Mrs. T.A. Duncans – Light in the Valley (Excerpt 1)
0:09:01 Alfred G. Karnes – I Am Bound for the Promised Land
0:11:04 The Carter Family – The Poor Orphan Child
0:14:25 Jimmie Rodgers – Blue Yodel
0:16:36 Ben Simmons – (Blank)
0:17:00 Ben Simmons – Mu Kun Sebor Wa Wu
0:18:29 Prince Zulamkah – Ligiligi
0:19:01 The West African Instrumental Quintet – Adersu No. 2
0:22:02 Bix Beiderbecke and His Gang – At The Jazz Band Ball
0:24:50 Al Jolson – Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye
0:26:50 Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven – Twelfth Street Rag
0:29:09 Thomas A. Edison – Mary Had a Little Lamb
0:29:23 Savoy Orpheans – Vo Do Do De O Blues
0:32:36 Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra – Fidgety Feet
0:35:28 Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski – Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Excerpt 1)
0:36:07 Steva Nikolič – Arnautka
0:38:23 Osip Mandelshtam – Gypsy Girl (Excerpt 1)
0:38:32 Tetos Demetriades – Miserlou
0:40:42 Osip Mandelshtam – Gypsy Girl (Excerpt 2)
0:40:49 Marika Papagika – Ti Se Méli Esénane
0:42:24 Dajos Béla and His Dance Orchestra – Jalousie
0:43:19 Iriarte-Pesoa – Instrumental – Pericón Por María
0:44:56 Domingo Aguirre – Atamisqueña
0:46:06 Orquesta Gelix Gonzalez – Cabaniguan
0:47:14 Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra – Singin’ the Blues (Till My Daddy Comes Home)
0:50:13 Jelly-Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers – The Pearls [Take 2]
0:52:15 Memphis Jug Band – Memphis Jug Blue Take 1
0:55:00 Bobbie Leecan’s Need-More Band – Washboard Cut Out
0:56:43 Henry Thomas – The Fox And The Hounds
0:59:16 DeFord Bailey – Pan American Blues
1:00:31 Tenneva Ramblers – The Longest Train I Ever Saw
1:02:10 J. P. Nestor – Train On the Island
1:03:23 Mead Lux Lewis – Honky Tonk Train Blues
1:05:57 Rev. A.W. Nix – Black Diamond Express to Hell
1:07:56 Rev. T.E. Weems – If I Have a Ticket Lord Can I Ride
1:09:36 Waring’s Pennsylvanians – Hello Swanee Hello
1:10:58 Paul Whiteman’s Rhythm Boys – Sweet L’il – Ain’t She Sweet (take 2)
1:12:32 Al Jolson – Excerpt from ‘The Jazz Singer’ 2
1:12:37 Jack Smith – Birth Of The Blues
1:13:52 Bessie Smith – Backwater Blues
1:15:46 Robert Hicks (Barbecue Bob) – Mississippi Heavy Water Blues
1:17:04 Chris Bouchillon – Born In Hard Luck
1:20:18 Long ‘Cleve’ Reed And Little Harvey Hull (The Down Home Boys) – Mama You Don’t Know How
1:21:43 Calvin Coolidge – Presentation Speech 1
1:21:56 Duke Ellington And His Kentucky Club Orchestra – East St. Louis Toodle-oo
1:24:59 Ed Lang – A Little Love a Little Kiss
1:26:54 Tram Bix & Lang – For No Reason At All In C
1:29:13 Calvin Coolidge – Presentation Speech 2
1:29:39 Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven – Potato Head Blues
1:30:42 Sylvians – I Need Lovin’
1:32:15 Jelly-Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers – Wild Man Blues
1:34:25 Charles Lindbergh – Speech Part 1
1:34:43 Banjo Joe – My Money Never Runs Out
1:36:20 Charles Lindbergh – Speech Part 2
1:36:51 Charlie Parker & Mack Woolbright – Ticklish Reuben
1:37:26 Burnett & Rutherford – Ladies On the Steamboat
1:38:51 Obed Pickard of Station WSM Na – The Old Grey Horse
1:40:47 South Georgia Highballers – Blue Grass Twist
1:42:02 Frank Hutchison – The Last Scene Of The Titanic
1:43:34 Sylvester Weaver – Damfino Stump
1:44:59 Ernest Stoneman & Hattie Stoneman – Mountaineer’s Courtship
1:46:11 Uncle Dave Macon and His Fruit-Jar Drinkers – Sail Away Ladies
1:47:35 Jaybird Coleman – Mistreatin’ Mama
1:49:12 Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was The Night — Cold Was The Ground
1:52:11 Mrs. L. Reed; Mrs. T.A. Duncans – Light in the Valley (Excerpt 2)
1:52:36 Washington Phillips – Denomination Blues
1:53:52 Elder J.E. Burch – The Church and the Kingdom
1:55:59 Rev. T.E. Weems – God Is Mad With Man
1:56:24 Rust College Quartet – Hallelujah
1:57:44 Rev. Webb – Moses Was Rescued by a Negro Woman (Excerpt 1)
1:58:04 Sister Mary Nelson – Judgement
1:58:53 Rev. Webb – Moses Was Rescued by a Negro Woman (Excerpt 2)
1:59:04 Chhunnu Khan – Sarod Instrumental
2:01:59 Truett & George – Ghost Dance
2:03:05 Andrés Segovia – Tremolo Study
2:04:20 Septeto Machín – El Guateque
2:06:08 Estudiantina Oriental De R. Martinez – Nanore
2:09:07 Wilmoth Houdini – Good Night Ladies And Gents
2:11:11 Domingo Justus – Buje
2:11:43 Douglas Papafio – Kuntum
2:12:58 Demir Cholakov – Selska Svadba [Village Wedding]
2:14:12 Abe Schwartz’s Orchestra – Rusihe Sher
2:16:19 Frank Hutchison – Logan County Blues
2:18:35 Al Bernard Accom. by Goofus Five – Hesitation Blues
2:20:29 Memphis Jug Band – Sometimes I Think I Love You
2:22:48 The Traymore Orchestra – Soliloqui
2:24:18 Miff Mole & his Molers – Davenport Blues
2:25:37 Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra – Crying All Day
2:27:37 Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra – My Pretty Girl
2:29:16 The Original Wolverines – Royal Garden Blues
2:31:26 Duke Ellington And His Washingtonians – Black and Tan Fantasy
2:34:47 Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orch. – Moten Stomp
2:35:38 Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five – Hotter Than That
2:37:17 Gene Austin – My Blue Heaven
2:39:24 Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski – Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Excerpt 2)