At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is only for two sections of the mix. For the full 4-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. 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.
This section of the mix is a sound collage of original broadcasts and recordings from 1940. The spoken word sections largely concern the war, the music is mainly stereo recordings made by Leopold Stokowski for the Disney movie Fantasia. This is a departure from the largely music-centric format you may be used to, I hope it is of interest.
Has it been a busy year for Centuries of Sound, or has it been a slow one? Well, a bit of both.
There have certainly been more visitors to the site:
Here are the most popular pages, interesting that one of them is just a link to another podcast, should probably do something about that.
…and the most popular downloads. Bear in mind that naturally episodes released at the start of the year will have more downloads (so 1937 is doing well, and 1933 not so well)
Due to work commitments there hasn’t been a lot of new content at CoS in the last year, just steady progress towards the present.
In 2022, on the other hand, there are a few new projects in the works. Here is the Centuries of Sound Bandcamp page, where I will be uploading compilations as well as a few other bits of music I’ve made myself – https://centuriesofsound.bandcamp.com/
The CoS Tapes are a series of CD-sized compilations available to Centuries of Sounds Members. A donation of $5 (or local equivalent) per month will give you access to these compilations and other member benefits. Join here.
Time: 6pm BST, Sunday 24th October Place: Cambridge 105 Radio
In this very special episode of Centuries of Sound, sound curator James Errington plays a selection of Halloween-themed recordings from the acoustic recording era, prior to 1927. Be ready for ghosts, skeletons, vampires, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, “The Goose Bone Man” and Mr Halloween himself, Aleister Crowley
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 play the whole extended version on this mixcloud player, as you’ve already missed it.
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.
John Philip Sousa’s world was a regimented one, as befitted a military band man, but when he left trombonist Arthur Pryor alone to record some “tinned music” he inadvertently created one of the most extravagant moments in turn-of-the-century music. Soon brass soloists of all varieties were competing to fill two minutes of wax with the most excessive collection of flourishes and sfx they could muster. By the late 1900s they had all apparently calmed down – but for a decade at least the peacocks were producing some of the most exciting music ever recorded.
01 – Bohumir Kryl – Arbucklenian Polka (1903) 02 – Arthur Pryor with Sousa’s Band – The Patriot (1901) 03 – Herbert L. Clarke And John Hazel – The Friendly Rivals (1905) 04 – Bohumir Kryl – Carnival Of Venice (1902) 05 – Sousa’s Band – Trombone Sneeze (1902) 06 – Bohumir Kryl – Sweet Sixteen Waltz (1904) 07 – Leo A. Zimmerman & The Edison Concert Band – Leona Polka (1903) 08 – Columbia Orchestra – Sea Flower Polka (1897) 09 – Bohumir Kryl – King Carnival (1905) 10 – John Hazel & The Edison Military Band – Secret Polka (1903) 11 – Bohumir Kryl – Russian Fantasia (with Variations) (1902) 12 – John Hazel, Frank R. Seltzer And The Edison Military Band – Two Of Us (1904) 13 – Bohumir Kryl – Sing, Smile, Slumber (1906) 14 – Albert Bode & Columbia Band – Seashell Waltz (1903) 15 – Bohumir Kryl – National Fantasia (1903) 16 – Bohumir Kryl – Kryl’s Favorite (1904) 17 – John C Martin – Arbucklenian Polka (1901) 18 – Sousa’s Band with Arthur Pryor – Love Thoughts Waltz (1898)
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 centuriesofsound.com and as a compilation, which is only available to patrons. Join my patreon at patreon.com/centuriesofsound 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
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:
(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)