1932

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 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.

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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.

Tracklist

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

2019

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 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.

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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 Presents – Deep Magic: Christmas Recordings 1902-1924

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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

Merry Christmas!

1931

At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. The download here is only the first 45 minutes. For the full 160-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. 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.

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It almost certainly goes without saying that the great depression was difficult time for many people around the world, but in any reshuffling a few unexpected cards will come to the top of the deck. In this darkest year of the period, a few artists were at the apex of their success, and for whatever reason the music and films they made seem to have fixed themselves in the popular consciousness better than anything from the previous few years.

In our just-passed golden age, Cab Calloway hadn’t been doing that well. After a few years of touring around the USA with his more successful band-leader sister Blanche, he’d set himself up in New York with his own group, but following a disastrous debut at the Savoy Ballroom, they split up. Forced to take a job as a singer in the musical Connie’s Hot Chocolates, he found a new band, and by 1930 they were the star attraction at The Cotton Club, and about to release the first million-selling single by an African-American artist.

Minnie The Moocher was not entirely an original piece, in the way that nothing really is. The bulk of it was sourced from a much earlier song called Willie the Weeper, and many of the adaptations had already been made in a 1927 version by Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon. Even the sleazy, funky style of Calloway’s band was lifted largely from his sister Blanche, who would also do scat singing not far from the “hi de hi de hi de ho” refrain. But there’s no denying that Cab himself is an electrifying presence, even ninety years later – where Louis Armstrong is warm and welcoming, he’s aggressive, preening and feline in a way we won’t really get again until the birth of rock & roll. The song is pretty shocking too – beneath the flimsiest of euphemistic slang terms it’s a story about cocaine and opium use and open displays of female sexuality, and you have to wonder how many listeners got that – I would wager the answer is “surprisingly many” – though perhaps not Al Bowlly, whose version I probably won’t be including in the 1932 mix.

1931 was a bumper year for this sort of thing in Hollywood too. Though the censorship regimen The Hays Code was officially adopted in 1930, it wouldn’t really be taken seriously until 1934, and it feels like producers were going as far as they could before someone stopped them. High profile movies this year include morally-ambiguous gangster pictures Little Caesar and The Public Enemy, stories about a secretary-turned-prostitute (Safe In Hell), lurid parties (Dance, Fools, Dance) and open mockery of religion (The Miracle Woman.) This was a massive year for horror movies too, with the release of the classic versions of Dracula, Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde and Frankenstein, the latter directed by James Whale, an openly-gay British man whose career would later be derailed by his open conflict with Hitler a few years before the rest of the western world joined in.

Hollywood might have been having a golden age, but the same cannot of course be said about the record business – in fact movie musicals were really the only growth area for musicians this year. While some companies had remained afloat in 1930, further economic shocks from Germany had now done for what was left of their business. Of course important bandleaders were still being recorded, but the expeditions to record across The South had mostly withered and died.

The vital exception to this is the guitar blues coming out of the Mississippi Delta. Skip James from Bentonia, Mississippi and Son House from Lyon, Mississippi both managed to make their way to Grafton, Wisconsin, to record for Paramount Records – the songs they recorded were some of the final echoes of the explosion of 1927, but they resonated more than almost any others, and after 30 years away from the microphone for both performers, their discovery by blues fans in the early 1960s would make them a vital piece in the development of music in the remainder of the century.

Tracklist

0:00:23 Will Rogers – Bacon, Beans, and Limousines (Excerpt 1)
0:00:29 Cab Calloway and His Orchestra – Minnie The Moocher
0:03:36 James Cagney – The Public Enemy Piano Scene (Excerpt 1)
0:03:42 Harlem Footwarmers – Rockin’ in Rhythm
0:06:03 Colin Clive – Frankenstein (Excerpt 1)
0:06:31 The Boswell Sisters – It’s You
0:09:35 The Mills Brothers – Nobody’s Sweetheart Now
0:11:57 Isaac Pitman – Pitman’s Gramophone Course (Excerpt 1)
0:12:03 Jazz-Band Sam Libermann – Sandeman
0:14:26 Will Rogers – Bacon, Beans, and Limousines (Excerpt 2)
0:14:32 Hazekiah Jenkins – The Panic Is On
0:16:54 Will Rogers – Bacon, Beans, and Limousines (Excerpt 3)
0:17:13 Bessie Smith – Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl
0:18:40 Bessie Smith – Safety Mama
0:20:04 James Cagney – The Public Enemy Piano Scene (Excerpt 2)
0:20:10 Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra – Lazy River
0:23:14 Johnny Mack Brown – Berk Jarvis’ Inspirational Speech from The Great Meadow (Excerpt 1)
0:23:23 Skip James – Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues
0:25:22 Johnny Mack Brown – Berk Jarvis’ Inspirational Speech from The Great Meadow (Excerpt 2)
0:25:38 Duke Ellington Orchestra – Creole Rhapsody
0:30:13 Chants Populaires Tahitiens – Chant D´Amour
0:31:03 Sol K. Bright – Tomi Tomi
0:33:08 Ronald Colman – Arrowsmith (Excerpt 1)
0:33:14 Fatma El Chameya Sudaneya – Gawadallah
0:34:30 DJelouwei Wenike Ahlanon – Pantanon
0:34:57 Fredric March – Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Excerpt 1)
0:35:38 Kju Pora – Ke Tre Urat Për Matanë (Across Three Bridges)
0:36:19 Peter Lorre – Kangaroo Court Scene from M
0:36:48 Alexander Mossolov – Zavod, Symphony Of Machines
0:38:09 Colin Clive – Frankenstein (Excerpt 2)
0:38:22 Albert Whelan – My Brother Makes the Noises for the Talkies
0:41:08 Groucho Marx – Monkey Business (Excerpt)
0:41:17 Toña La Negre – El Cacahuatero
0:43:05 Mahatma Gandhi – 1931 Oct 20 – English (Excerpt 1)
0:43:14 Paul Robeson – River Stay Away From My Door
0:44:57 Beans Hambone & El Morrow – Beans
0:46:43 Laurel and Hardy – One Good Turn (Excerpt 1)
0:46:50 Gene Autry – Do Right Daddy Blues
0:48:53 Will Rogers – Bacon, Beans, and Limousines (Excerpt 4)
0:48:59 Willie Brown – Future Blues
0:50:19 James Dunn – Scene from ‘Bad Girl’
0:50:29 Skip James – Cypress Grove Blues
0:52:24 Skip James – Devil Got My Woman
0:54:10 Rev. Emmet Dickenson – Hell and What It Is (Excerpt 1)
0:54:18 Bryant’s Jubilee Quartet – I’ll Be Satisfied
0:55:39 Mahatma Gandhi – 1931 Oct 20 – English (Excerpt 2)
0:55:52 Maddilla Satyamoorthy – Violin Instrumental- Parimala Rangapathey (Kambhoji)
0:57:04 Mahatma Gandhi – 1931 Oct 20 – English (Excerpt 3)
0:57:09 Jimmie Rodgers & The Carter Family – Jimmie Rodgers Visits The Carter Family
1:00:23 Jimmie Rodgers – Mississippi River Blues
1:01:49 Ramsay Macdonald – Speaks To The Nation (Excerpt 1)
1:01:54 Leroy Carr – Papa’s On The House Top
1:03:22 David Lloyd George – Speaks To The Nation (Excerpt 1)
1:03:24 The Baltimore Bell Hops – Hot And Anxious
1:04:21 Don Redman – Shakin’ The African
1:06:58 Claudette Colbert – The Smiling Lieutenant (Excerpt)
1:07:09 Mississippi Sheiks – Bed Spring Poker
1:08:51 Will Rogers – Bacon, Beans, and Limousines (Excerpt 5)
1:09:09 Slim Smith – Bread Line Blues
1:12:22 Arthur Henderson MP – General Election 1931
1:12:36 Al Bowlly accompanied by orchestra – I’d Rather Be A Beggar With You
1:14:23 Norma Shearer & Robert Montgomery – Private Lives (Excerpt)
1:14:29 Cab Calloway and His Orchestra – Kicking The Gong Around
1:16:57 James Cagney – The Public Enemy Piano Scene (Excerpt 3)
1:16:59 Noble Sissle and His Orchestra – The Basement Blues
1:20:11 Bela Lugosi – Scene from Dracula (Excerpt 1)
1:20:14 Seger Ellis – Montana Call
1:23:31 Jean Renoir – La Chienne (Excerpt)
1:23:42 Les Freres Péguri – Enivrante
1:25:00 René Clair – À nous la liberté
1:25:12 Uncredited Pinpeat Ensemble – Teb Bantom (Cambodia)
1:26:01 Pierre Laval – Speech About His Forthcoming German Visit
1:26:10 Fujiyama Ichiro – Sake ha Namida ka Tameike ka
1:27:40 FT Marinetti – Sintesi Musicali Futuriste
1:28:14 D. Busuttil u il Cumpanija Musica V.Ciappara – Festa ta Rahal
1:29:11 Carlo Satariano – Maddalena
1:29:25 Adolfo Carabelli Y Su Orquesta Tipica – Me Vuelves Loco
1:31:08 Fredric March – Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Excerpt 2)
1:31:15 Washboard Rhythm Kings – Call Of The Freaks
1:33:59 Wallace Beery – The Champ 1931 (Ending scene) (Excerpt 1)
1:34:15 Ted Lewis and his Band – Dallas Blues
1:36:34 Glen Gray and his Orchestra – Casa Loma Stomp
1:39:25 Albert Whelan – Pass! Shoot!! Goal!!!
1:41:31 The Mills Brothers – Tiger Rag
1:43:23 Laurel and Hardy – One Good Turn (Excerpt 2)
1:43:35 Bing Crosby And The Mills Brothers – Dinah
1:45:11 Ronald Colman – Arrowsmith (Excerpt 2)
1:45:20 Wilmoth Houdini – I Need a Man
1:47:34 Edward, Price of Wales (future King Edward VIII) – Speech on trade with Argentine
1:47:40 Cuarteto Flores – Cecilia
1:49:40 Ramsay MacDonald – General Election 1931
1:49:55 Julio J. Martínez Oyanguren – Jota
1:52:27 Adolphe Menjou – The Front Page Ending scene (Excerpt 1)
1:52:32 G.Cefai – Imhabba fuk il bahar
1:54:24 Rev. Emmet Dickenson – Hell and What It Is (Excerpt 2)
1:54:46 Sam Collins – Lonesome Road Blues
1:55:58 Wallace Beery – The Champ 1931 (Ending scene) (Excerpt 2)
1:56:06 Sexteto Okeh – Estrella De Oriente
1:57:35 James Cagney – The Public Enemy Piano Scene (Excerpt 4)
1:57:41 Clyde McCoy & His Orchestra – Sugar Blues
2:00:32 Marlene Dietrich – Jonny
2:01:41 Comedian Harmonists – Mein Lieber Schatz Bist Du Aus Spanien
2:04:25 Ambrose And His Orchestra – Yes, Yes (‘My Baby Said Yes’)
2:05:30 James Cagney – The Public Enemy Piano Scene (Excerpt 5)
2:05:35 Jacques Renard & His Orchestra – As Time Goes By
2:07:01 Isaac Pitman – Pitman’s Gramophone Course (Excerpt 2)
2:07:18 Akropong Singing Band – Monyi Moho Adi
2:08:29 Marguerite and Razanatsoa – Dia Veloma I Said Omar
2:10:21 Rev. F. W. McGee – Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room
2:13:00 Silver Leaf Quartette of Norfolk – Daniel Saw the Stone
2:14:22 Rev. Emmet Dickenson – Hell and What It Is (Excerpt 3)
2:14:37 Willie Walker – Dupree Blues
2:16:21 Son House – My Black Mama – Part I
2:18:11 Ramsay Macdonald – Speaks To The Nation (Excerpt 2)
2:18:18 A. Kostis – I Filaki ine Scholio
2:19:21 Bela Lugosi and A Wolf – Scene from Dracula (Excerpt 2)
2:19:38 Josef Pizio – Pidkamecka Kolomyjka
2:20:15 Adolphe Menjou – The Front Page Ending scene (Excerpt 2)
2:20:29 Middle Georgia Singing Convention No. 1 – Bells of Love
2:21:48 Boswell Sisters – Shout, Sister, Shout
2:22:48 Clark Gable – Possessed (Excerpt)
2:22:49 Sato Chiyako – Kage o Shitaete
2:23:44 Winston Churchill – General Election 1931 (Excerpt)
2:23:51 Kyle Wooten – Choking Blues
2:25:37 Ted Lewis & His Band feat. Fats Waller – Royal Garden Blues
2:28:32 Mahatma Gandhi – 1931 Oct 20 – English (Excerpt 4)
2:28:46 Louis Armstrong – Stardust
2:32:18 The Charleston Chasers – Basin Street Blues
2:34:43 British Pathe – The Crisis! (1931)
2:34:46 Adolphe Menjou – The Front Page Ending scene (Excerpt 3)
2:34:48 Al Bowlly with Ray Noble & His Orchestra – Goodnight Sweetheart

1930

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.

Tracklist

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)

The Late 1920s – The Symphony

Another exclusive orchestral mix, available as a podcast for patreon backers.

This one has classical / orchestral music recorded between 1927 and 1929, and features a section in stereo!

0:00:00 Dajos Béla and His Dance Orchestra – Jalousie (1927)
0:02:44 Hotel Commodore Ensemble, directed by Bernhard Levitow – Clair de lune- suite Bergamasque (1927)
0:06:49 Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski – Toccata and Fugue in D minor (1927)
0:15:25 Fritz Kreisler – Dvorak – Indian Lament (1928)
0:19:46 Grigoras Dinicu – Hora Staccato (1928)
0:22:31 Sergei Rachmaninov & The Philadelphia Orchestra – Piano Concerto N°2 in C minor Op.18 – III. Allegro scherzo (1929)
0:33:25 Sergei Rachmaninoff – Schumann Carnaval Op.9 Sphinxes (1929)
0:33:56 Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski – Stravinsky ‘Rite of Spring’ (1929)
0:41:25 Victor Symphony Orchestra feat. George Gershwin – An American In Paris (1929)

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

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.

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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

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)