Blog view

Radio Podcast #8 – 1900

1900 radio picture

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

A journey through the history of recorded sound with James and Sean. This time we reach the 1900s, and hear Arthur Collins, Vess L Ossman, Arthur Pryor, and other stars of the late Victorian era. We even have a recording of Franz Joseph I of Austria & Hungary, made on a piece of wire. Join us as we travel back in time to a forgotten land of sound.

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


At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is only the first hour. For the full three-hour version please come to to stream, or for downloads and a host of other bonus materials for just $5 per month. This show would not be possible without my supporters on there, so please consider signing up or sharing this with someone who may be interested.

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

Half a decade ago the United States was in the midst of an explosion in recorded music on a scale not heard before or since. The inception of that revolution – a change in recording technology allowing studios and record labels to spring up everywhere and anywhere – took a couple of years to filter through. In the same way, the death of that same revolution, the collapse of the recording industry at the start of the great depression and the closure of those studios and labels, also took a couple of years to fully filter through. Now we have arrived at 1932 and it’s all over. The wide variety of roots music, whether labelled country, blues or folk, is no longer being recorded, with the exception of a few of the biggest stars. Likewise, recorded jazz is now the preserve of the biggest bandleaders, or as backing groups for the resurgent movie business.

So why then is this mix one of the longest so far? The answer comes down more to the process of putting the thing together than the qualities of the year itself. With less to choose from in the USA, my attentions shifted to the rest of the world, and it turned out that there was plenty out there.
We start out on our trip in the Caribbean, where Calypso and other forms of music are now being recorded professionally and regularly for the first time, thanks to people like record-shop owner and entrepreneur Eduardo Sa Gomes in Trinidad.

Then we have a few tangos, first of course from South America, but then also from Eastern Europe, where artists like Jean Moscopol were blending this new music with traditional local flavours like klezmer and rembetika.

The UK has a greater representation in this mix than in any since 1907 (or maybe even 1888) – while the economic situation was nearly as bad here as in the USA, a couple of powerful record companies as well as the BBC ensured that music recording was actually experiencing something of a boom. The UK records here – including the marvelously sinister version of “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” and Noel Coward’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” – are easily a match for anything made in the 20s.

All of this also seems to be the case for France, for whom 1932 seems to be a key year on compilations. Next we explore Arabic music, from Tunisia to Iraq, and India, where truly otherworldly traditional musics are being properly recorded for the first time.

It’s always been my intention to show the whole world in these mixes, but this last half-decade the music from the USA has understandably overwhelmed in its quality and variety. Let’s take this brief lull to appreciate that there was a whole world out there, much of it telling stories about the 1930s which are lost in the great narratives of the depression and the buildup to the next war.


0:00:30 The Philadelphia Orchestra, Conducted By Leopold Stokowski – Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder (Excerpt)
0:03:34 The Three Keys – Jig Time
William Butler Yeats – Introduction (Excerpt)
0:05:52 Cab Calloway And His Orchestra – Reefer Man
Jewel Robbery (Excerpt)
0:08:50 The Mills Brothers – Old Man Of The Mountain
John Barrymore – Clip from A Bill of Divorcement
0:10:38 Duke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra – It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
0:12:28 The Boswell Sisters – It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
The Most Dangerous Game (Excerpt 1)
0:14:51 Sidney Bechet and his New Orleans Feetwarmers – Shag
Trouble in Paradise (Excerpt)
0:18:10 Lew Stone with Al Bowlly – My Woman
0:21:18 Groucho Marx – I’m Against It
0:24:32 Fred Astaire with The Leo Reisman Orchestra – Night And Day
I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (Excerpt 1)
0:27:31 Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra – Hobo, You Can’t Ride This Train
0:30:24 Jimmie Rodgers – Hobo’s Meditation
Amelia Earhart Radio Broadcast (Excerpt)
0:32:35 Mike Hanapi & The Ilima Islanders – Hilo Hula
0:34:37 Leona Gabriel – Liva
Scarface (Excerpt 1)
0:37:28 Lionel Belasco and His Orchestra – Depression (Pasillo)
0:38:46 L’orchestre Typique Martiniquais – Eugenie
0:40:44 Orchestre Typique Martiniquais Charlery-Delouche – Ti Roro
0:42:31 Orchestre Creole Delvi – Edamyso
0:45:11 Silvio Caldas – E Ela Não Jurou
The Most Dangerous Game (Excerpt 2)
0:46:16 Las Cuatro Huasas – La Papa Araucana
Tarzan the Ape Man (Excerpt)
0:48:35 Xavier Cugat – Carmen De Cabaret
Intimate Interviews – Bela Lugosi (Excerpt 1)
0:49:51 Jean Moscopol – Mai Spune-Mi Inca-Odata
Intimate Interviews – Bela Lugosi (Excerpt 2)
0:51:37 Aleksandr Vertinskiy – Klassicheskiye Rozy
Intimate Interviews – Bela Lugosi (Excerpt 3)
0:53:40 Carl Theodor Dreyer – Excerpts from “Vampyr”
Intimate Interviews – Bela Lugosi (Excerpt 4)
0:55:50 London Symphony Orchestra With Yehudi Menuhin, Conducted By Edward Elgar – Elgar Violin Concerto (Excerpt)
0:57:26 Ríta Abadzí – At Tsambíkous Teké
0:58:41 Giórgos Michalópoulos – Olympus And Kissavos
0:59:59 Ioannis Chalkias – Minore Tou Teke
1:00:55 William Butler Yeats – The Lake Isle of Innisfree
1:01:50 Arthur Schnabel – Beethoven Sonata No 31 In A Flat Major, Op 110 Moderato Cantabile Molto Espressivo
King George V The first ever Royal Christmas Message (Written by Rudyard Kipling) (Excerpt 1)
1:03:22 Bert Ambrose & His Orchestra – The Clouds Will Soon Roll By
David Lloyd George speech (Excerpt 1)
1:05:15 Henry Hall BBC Dance Orchestra – Teddy Bear’s Picnic
King George V The first ever Royal Christmas Message (Written by Rudyard Kipling) (Excerpt 2)
1:06:54 Noel Coward – Mad Dogs And Englishmen
Hilaire Belloc – Tarantella (Excerpt)
1:08:44 George Formby – Old Kitchen Kettle / I Told My Baby With The Ukulele / Let’s All Go To Reno
1:11:43 Henry Hall BBC Dance Orchestra – Here Comes The Bogey Man
A Farewell To Arms (Excerpt)
1:13:39 Ray Noble And His New Mayfair Orchestra, Vocal Al Bowlly – Love Is The Sweetest Thing
A Bill of Divorcement (Excerpt 1)
1:15:29 Josephine Baker – Ram Pam Pam
Boudu sauvé des eaux (Excerpt)
1:17:05 Damia – La Veuve
1:18:05 Madame Maiotte Almaby Et Orchestre Des Waddy’s Boys – Coeur Moin Dans Piment
1:20:39 Guerino Et Son Orchestre Musette & Django Reinhardt – Gallito
1:22:09 Medard Ferrero – Mazurka Fantasie
1:23:10 Mireille et Jean Sablon – Les Pieds Dans L’eau
1:24:33 Pills et Tabet – C’est Un Jardinier Qui Boîte
1:26:56 Lys Gauty – L’amour Qui Passe
A Bill of Divorcement (Excerpt 2)
1:29:35 Yehudi Menuhin – Paganini Kreisler Caprice No. 24
1:30:04 Cheikha Tetma – Ach Hal Men Ijarra
1:33:01 Musique Citadine De Tlemcen, Algerie – Musaddar
1:35:11 Musique Savante De Bagdad, Irak – Abûdhiyya
1:36:33 Musique Citadine De Tunis, Tunisie – Danse De La Ghayta
1:38:43 William Butler Yeats – The Fiddler of Dooney
1:39:17 Gajananrao Joshi Of Aundh – Violin Instrumental- Bihag
1:41:08 Mr. Musiri Subramania Iyer – Nagumomu Ganaleni (Part 1)
1:43:09 Desamangalam Subramania Iyer – Veena Instrumental- Sankarabharanam Part 1- Ragam
1:44:07 B.S. Krishnamurthi Sastrigal – Gottuvadyam Instrumental- Pullikalabamayeil Kavad I Chinthu
Shanghai Express (Excerpt)
1:48:00 Kouta Katsutaro – Shima No Musume
The Clairvoyant Record (Excerpt)
1:49:54 Joe Sanders – Southology
Herbert Hoover – Nomination Speech (Excerpt)
1:51:20 Mildred Bailey – Georgia On My Mind
Frankin D Roosevelt – Nomination Speech (Excerpt)
1:53:32 Rudy Vallee – Brother Can You Spare A Dime
Frankin D Roosevelt – Campaign Speech (Excerpt)
1:55:54 Paul Robeson – Ol’ Man River (+ Victor Young Orchestra)
Frankin D Roosevelt – Acceptance Speech (Excerpt)
1:59:05 Charlie Kunz Solo Medley – Lovely To Look At, Etc.
The Marx Brothers – Excerpts from Horse Feathers
2:02:33 Roger Wolfe Kahn – Fit As A Fiddle
The Marx Brothers – Excerpts from Horse Feathers
2:06:21 James & Martha Carson – I’ll Fly Away
Island of Lost Souls (Excerpt)
2:08:42 The Carter Family – Little Moses
Freaks (Excerpt)
2:10:43 Cab Calloway And His Orchestra – How Big Can You Get?
Love Me Tonight (Excerpt)
2:15:00 Glen Gray & His Casa Loma Orchestra – Black Jazz
2:17:33 Duke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra – Lot O’ Fingers (Fast And Furious)
Laurel & Oliver Hardy – Towed in a Hole (Excerpt 1)
2:19:43 Big Bill Broonzy – How You Want It Done?
Laurel & Oliver Hardy – Towed in a Hole (Excerpt 2)
2:22:59 Tommie Bradley – Nobody’s Business If I Do
2:24:35 Ruby Glaze & Hot Shot Willie – Searching The Dessert For The Blues
2:26:30 Pinetop And Lindberg – I Believe I’ll Make A Change
2:29:28 Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell – Gone Mother Blues
Oldest Recording of ABC Radio – 1932 Melbourne Cup (Excerpt 1)
2:31:23 Mississippi Sheiks – New Stop And Listen
Oldest Recording of ABC Radio – 1932 Melbourne Cup (Excerpt 2)
2:33:29 Don Redman & His Orchestra – I Got Rhythm
Red Dust (Excerpts)
2:35:50 Sidney Bechet And His New Orleans Feetwarmers – Maple Leaf Rag
I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (Excerpt 2)
2:38:57 Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra – Take Me Away From The River
Scarface (Excerpt 2)
2:42:13 Earl Hines & His Orchestra – I Love You Because I Love You
Mae West – Night After Night (Excerpt)
2:45:10 Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra – The New Tiger Rag
If I Had a Million (Excerpt)
2:48:38 The Boswell Sisters – Everybody Loves My Baby
2:50:57 The Mills Brothers with Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra – Diga Diga Doo
2:53:23 The Mills Brothers – Goodbye Blues (Radio Broadcast)
The Old Dark House (Excerpt)
Intimate Interviews – Bela Lugosi (Excerpt 5)
British Pathe – Adolf Hitler’s presidential campaign (Excerpt)
British Pathe – Amidst A Nation’s Rejoicing (Excerpt)
The Mummy (Excerpt)
2:56:40 Joe Venuti – Beale Street Blues (+ Eddie Lang & Vocal – Jack Teagarden)
Grand Hotel (Excerpt)
2:59:55 Noel Coward – The Party’s Over Now / Let’s Say Goodbye
3:01:53 Bing Crosby – Let’s Put Out The Lights And Go To Sleep

Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 32 (1924)

Time: 8pm GMT, Saturday 30th January 2021
Place: Cambridge 105 Radio

Sound curator James Errington presents the story of recorded music year by year. This time we go back to 1924, the year of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and music critic John Lewis tells us about why this piece, this recording and this composer have all made such an indelible mark on American music, and hold such power nearly a century later. the debuts of Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and King Oliver and plenty of other pioneering jazz, blues and country records.

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.

However, as it is too late to do any of those things, here is is on Mixcloud.

The CoS Tapes #5 – Russian Records 1901-1908 #3 – Already The Evening Enfolds The Distant Fields

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.

Radio Podcast #7 – 1898 to 1899

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

As we are coming towards the end of the 19th Century, I present an overview of the music and history of 1898 and 1899 – minstrel shows, vaudeville, cakewalk, the horribly-named “coon songs” and an exciting new genre called “ragtime.”

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

Elsewhere in 1931

A photo journal of the events of 1931

January 2 – South Dakota native Ernest Lawrence invents the cyclotron, used to accelerate particles to study nuclear physics.
January 30 – The movie City Lights, starring Charlie Chaplin, has its premiere. Albert Einstein attends.
February 3 – Much of the New Zealand cities of Napier and Hastings are destroyed in an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, killing 256 people.
February 14 – The original film version of Dracula, with Bela Lugosi, is released in the United States.
March 3 – The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the United States’ National anthem.
March 5 – The British viceroy of India and Mohandas Gandhi sign the Gandhi–Irwin Pact.
March 23 – Indian revolutionary leaders Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar are hanged for conspiracy to murder in the British Raj.
March 31 – An earthquake destroys Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000 people.
April 14 – The Second Spanish Republic is proclaimed in Madrid. Meanwhile, as a result of the victory of the Republican Left of Catalonia, Francesc Macià proclaims in Barcelona the Catalan Republic, as a state of the Iberian Federation.
April 15 – The Castellammarese War ends with the murder of Joe ”The Boss” Masseria, briefly leaving Salvatore Maranzano as capo dei capi of the American Mafia.
May 1 – Construction of the Empire State Building is completed in New York City.
June 5 – German Chancellor Dr. Heinrich Brüning visits London, where he warns the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald that the collapse of the Austrian banking system has left the entire German economy on the brink of disaster.
June 14 – The overloaded pleasure craft Saint-Philibert, carrying trippers home to Nantes from the Île de Noirmoutier, sinks at the mouth of the River Loire in France. Over 450 drown.
June 19 – In an attempt to stop the banking crisis in Central Europe from causing a worldwide financial meltdown, U.S. President Herbert Hoover issues the Hoover Moratorium.
June 23–July 1 – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty accomplish the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane, flying eastabout from Roosevelt Field, New York, in 8 days, 15 hours, 51 minutes.
July – John Haven Emerson of Cambridge, Massachusetts perfects his negative pressure ventilator (iron lung), just in time for the growing polio epidemic.
July 9 – Irish racing driver Kaye Don breaks the world water speed record at Lake Garda, Italy.
July 16 – Emperor Haile Selassie signs the first Constitution of Ethiopia.
August 11 – A run on the British pound leads to a political and economic crisis in Britain..
August 24 – The Labour Government of Ramsay MacDonald resigns in Britain, replaced by a National Government of people drawn from all parties, also under MacDonald.
September 10 – The worst hurricane in British Honduras history kills an estimated 1,500.
September 18 – The Japanese military stage the Mukden Incident, an explosion blamed on Chinese dissidents and used as a pretext for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
September 20 – With a gun literally pointed to his head, the Chinese commander of Kirin province announces the annexation of that territory to Japan.
October 4 – Dick Tracy, the comic strip detective character created by cartoonist Chester Gould, makes his debut appearance in the Detroit Mirror newspaper.
October 17 – American gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion in Chicago.
October 24 – The George Washington Bridge across the Hudson River in the United States is dedicated; it opens to traffic the following day. At 3,500 feet (1,100 m), it nearly doubles the previous record for the longest main span in the world.
October 27 – The United Kingdom general election results in the victory of the National Government, and the defeat of Labour Party, in the country’s greatest ever electoral landslide.
November 7 – The Chinese Soviet Republic is proclaimed by Mao Zedong.
November 21 – James Whale’s film of Frankenstein is released in New York City.
December 5 – The original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow is dynamited, by order of Joseph Stalin.


At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is only the first 55 minutes. For the full 170-minute version please come to to stream, or for downloads and a host of other bonus materials for just $5 per month. This show would not be possible without my supporters on there, so please consider signing up or sharing this with someone who may be interested.

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

I have spent the last month inhabiting 2019, and it was a strange, alienating, disconcerting, but also surprisingly peaceful experience. As you will hear, it was hardly a lost age of innocence, but for a year which only finished 12 months ago it felt very distant indeed. So much has happened in 2020, and so much has already gone on in these few days of 2021, that the events of this recent period seem already to have disappeared prematurely into the memory hole. Maybe this is all for very good reasons and 2019 is the least interesting of all years right now. Maybe this mix will be ignored, and with good reason, which is a shame, as I think it may be one of the best so far, but it may be a few years before anyone feels like listening to it.

I should put a brief warning here – the mix not only contains swears and raunchiness, there are also some parts from about 1:17 to 1:22 which may be upsetting to just about anyone. It felt wrong to leave them out. I may get around to making a PG version, but it depends on whether I can find the time. So for now, consider yourself warned.

0:00:00 Hildur Guðnadóttir – 12 Hours Before
0:00:36 Floating Points – Falaise
0:02:04 Clipping. – Blood Of The Fang
0:04:35 Шакке (Schacke) – Кислотный Пипл (Kisloty People)
0:05:57 Charlotte Adigéry – High Lights
0:08:43 Yung Baby Tate feat. Kari Faux – Hot Girl
0:10:21 Cate Le Bon – Daylight Matters
0:12:24 Neon Indian – Toyota Man
0:15:05 Algiers – Can The Sub_Bass Speak?
0:18:52 Black Country, New Road – Sunglasses
0:23:16 Scratcha Dva X Gage – Piffd
0:24:46 Charli XCX & Christine And The Queens – Gone
0:27:17 Roisin Murphy – Incapable
0:29:55 Fka Twigs – Cellophane
0:33:21 Little Simz feat. Cleo Sol – Selfish
0:34:56 Ocean Wisdom – Blessed (feat. Dizzee Rascal)
0:38:14 Sampa The Great, Ecca Vandal – Dare To Fly
0:41:13 Zlatan – This Year
0:43:30 Busy Signal – Balloon
0:45:44 Aldous Harding – The Barrel
0:47:31 Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) [Remix]
0:49:48 Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
0:51:29 Tom Blip & Swordman Kitala – Kitala Beat
0:53:20 Taso & Siete Catorce – 2 For $20
0:53:33 International Teachers Of Pop – The Ballad Of Remedy Nilsson
0:56:39 Dave – Streatham
0:57:38 Alessandro Cortini – Let Go
0:59:17 Snapped Ankles – Rechargeable
1:01:25 Cassetteboy – Boris Johnson
1:01:31 Ice Cream – Peanut Butter
1:03:37 Equiknoxx – Brooklyn
1:05:29 Peggy Gou – Starry Night (Original Mix)
1:07:48 Xhz – Jazz 2 Jazz
1:10:58 Four Tet – Only Human
1:12:06 Octo Octa – I Need You
1:14:20 Jocelyn Pook with Greta Thunberg – You Need To Listen To Us
1:15:54 W. H. Lung – Nothing Is
1:17:30 Hildur Guðnadóttir – 12 Hours Before
1:19:13 Caterina Barbieri – Fantas
1:21:00 Christopher Tignor – Your Slow Moving Shadow, My Inevitable Light
1:21:40 Purple Mountains – Nights That Won’t Happen
1:24:12 Sulli – Goblin
1:26:00 Gang Starr – Family And Loyalty (feat. J. Cole)
1:26:55 Von Bikräv – Casse Des Murs
1:27:37 Stormzy – Vossi Bop
1:29:22 Bas – Amnesia (feat. Ari Lennox & Kiddominant)
1:30:47 Brittany Howard – Stay High
1:33:22 Richard Dawson – Jogging
1:36:50 Lizzo – Juice
1:39:14 Whodat – Funeral Song
1:40:23 Nilufer Yanya – Paradise
1:42:38 Shura – Bklynldn
1:45:36 Bremer/Mccoy – Dråber
1:47:01 Celer – Our Dream To Be Strangers
1:48:06 Lingua Ignota – Do You Doubt Me Traitor
1:48:51 Rhyw – Biggest Bully
1:50:32 Jubilee – Disconnected
1:52:26 Kosh – Keep Hope Alive
1:55:52 DJ Seinfeld – Electrian
1:57:22 Squarepusher – Vortrack (Fracture Remix)
2:00:07 Jay1 – Your Mrs
2:00:54 Lady Leshurr – Your Mr
2:01:32 Denzel Curry – Ricky
2:02:46 Doja Cat – Rules
2:04:30 Jai Paul – Do You Love Her Now?
2:06:21 Greentea Peng – Mr. Sun (Miss Da Sun)
2:07:41 Hatchie – Stay With Me
2:10:01 Tame Impala – Patience
2:12:59 Shamba – Idgaf
2:14:41 Krept & Konan – Ban Drill
2:19:43 Precolumbian & Estoc – Cct02
2:19:55 Tzusing & Hodge – Electrolytes
2:12:44 Lady Lykez – Muhammad Ali Remix Ft Lioness
2:23:02 Megan Thee Stallion – Cash Shit (feat. Dababy)
2:24:15 Normani – Motivation
2:25:45 Ciara – Thinkin Bout You
2:27:47 Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
2:29:21 Rapsody Ft D’angelo & Gza – Ibtihaj
2:31:49 Bush Tea – Wiyah Waist
2:32:38 Luke Temple – Henry In Forever Phases
2:35:18 Devendra Banhart – Kantori Ongaku
2:37:14 M83 – A Bit Of Sweetness
2:40:33 Angel Olsen – Lark
2:42:44 Ose – Is It Love?
2:43:36 The Lasso – Oscillations
2:45:13 Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Finite
2:47:24 Anthony Naples – Benefit
2:48:47 Coldplay – Arabesque

There will shortly be a full tracklist with samples used for completionists posted in the comments below

Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 31 (1923)

Time: 8pm GMT, Saturday 2nd December 2021
Place: Cambridge 105 Radio

James Errington once again takes you back to the early days of recorded music with original recordings, this time to 1923, which saw the debuts of Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and King Oliver and plenty of other pioneering jazz, blues and country records.

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 is already too late to do any of those things, why not use this handy listen again facility?

That was 2020 at Centuries of Sound

me, 2020

So that wasn’t the best year, was it?

Fortunately I won’t need to think about it again much until 2027.

The coronavirus has been bad news everywhere – on a personal level it has meant that I am now unemployed (CoS doesn’t really count as a job right now) – so before I get into the year a quick request that anyone reading this consider becoming a patron, buying me a coffee, sharing the site with a friend, or (best of all) introducing me to a radio station or other media/internet organisation who might be willing to pay me to do this.

Anyway, that out of the way, it has been a pretty good year for the site – there have been nice articles in The Financial Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker and The Cambridge Independent – and the show has been at times in the top 5 music podcasts in the UK and Ireland, the top 10 in the USA and number 1 in Singapore – I took a screenshot of this as it may not happen again, please indulge me for a moment.

In 2020 I’ve put up mixes for the years 1922 to 1931 and 2018 and radio shows on the years 1910 to 1922, with a variety of guest hosts. I’ve also started putting out “radio podcasts” and have released three themed compilation CDs.

Stats! (please skip if this is dull) The website had 12,727 visitors (up from 9,988 last year) and 29,797 page views (down from 30,456 last year.) The most popular download was the 1930 mix with 2,576(!) downloads but the most viewed page was the 1927 mix with 1,596 views (and 1927 has been streamed 609 times compared to just 161 for 1930 so not sure what’s going on there). The most viewed non-mix page on the site was this two-year-old blog post on The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs (again, no idea why this should be so.) I have gone from having 17 patrons at the start of 2020 to 46 as of today, so once again huge thanks to all of you for making that happen.

It’s not the usual way of things around here to look to the future, but in 2021 I will release mixes for 2019 (next week!) and 1932 to 1941. There will be radio shows on the years 1923 (out the day after tomorrow!) to 1935, and I hope to put out a good few compilations too (I am already planning the next Christmas one.)

One last thing, I am following in the steps of basically everyone else and doing a one-off Q&A podcast – that is, if I get enough questions. You can add yours here –

That’s all for now, and for 2020 in fact, until I get around to reviewing it in 2027 or so. Happy New Year and let’s all do what we can into will it to being a better one.

Centuries of Sound Presents – Deep Magic: Christmas Recordings 1902-1924

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

This compilation of Christmas recordings spans an era which includes the entirety of WW1 and the influenza pandemic of 1918/1919, but of course you wouldn’t guess it from the contents. The only reminder perhaps is the two different versions of “Silent Night”, which was famously sung by opposing sides in the trenches at Christmas 1914.

I’m presenting this in two formats – a mix, which is on my main feed at and as a compilation, which is only available to patrons. Join my patreon at and get a load of bonus content like this, as well as helping this site to survive in these very difficult times.

Here is the tracklist, the same for both versions.

00:00 Harry E. Humphrey – Santa Claus Hides In Your Phonograph
03:17 Choir Of The Royal Court Opera With Orchestra And Church Bells, Acc. Harmonium, Bells – Silent Night, Holy Night
06:07 Gilbert Girard – Santa Claus Tells of Mother Goose Land
07:43 Band – Christmas Memories
11:41 Nebe-Quartett – O Tannenbaum
13:31 Albert Whelan – Scrooge’s Awakening
15:44 Edison Concert Band – Bells Of Christmas
19:55 Thomas Edison – Mr. Edison’s Christmas Greetings
24:05 George Hamilton Green Novelty Orchestra – Moonlight Waltz
27:36 George Islon – Christmas Eve In The Old Homestead
30:06 Edison Mixed Quartet – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
33:07 Metropolitan Quartet – Christmas, Christmas, Blessed, Blessed Day
36:34 Bransby Williams – The Street Watchman’s Christmas
40:29 Edison Concert Band And The Edison Mixed Quartet – Ring Out The Bells For Christmas
44:40 Carol Singers – Joy To The World
47:06 Yolande Noble And Percy Clifton – Buying The Christmas Dinner
49:20 Robert Gayler – Christmas Eve- a Fantasie On Old German Christmas Carols
52:17 Manuel Romain – Christmas Time Seems Years And Years Away
54:14 Harry E. Humphrey – The Night Before Christmas
57:35 Elizabeth Spencer, Harry Anthony And James F. Harrison – Silent Night

Merry Christmas!