Monday, November 30, 2020

06-Really Old Stuff

One nice thing about the archival 78 collection at The Internet Archive is that it's not restricted to any one style or era of music. Though their funding does appear to prioritize non-classical music, just about everything else is fair game. And the 78 era covers a wide range of stuff. But frequently the early acoustic recordings are a tough listen, so I decided to put some of the really early stuff together into a single post so if you don't like that sort of a challenging listen, you can just skip it. I tried to skip some of the recordings that I was familiar with, there are plenty of collections out there that focus on the early acoustic stuff, and Christmas was a popular theme in those days, even if it was a record you couldn't play other times of the year. These few selections should be less familiar, and hopefully listenable at the very least. I tried and tried to get at least one good rip from a cylinder recording dating back to 1896, but I just couldn't get anything close to listenable out of it. My skill level with these things is not where it should be, but you can always get the originals from The Great 78 Project if you want to try your hand at it. Everything I'm sharing here and a lot, lot more is available from their collection.  The songs in this download were released between 1904 and 1928, so it's all over 90 years old, and most of it's over 100!  That's impressive!

MEGA







Note: Sometimes the Archive has two or more copies of the same record. I tried to grab the one that I thought sounded best, and then grab all the different label variations for it. That's why the one above and below look very similar, but if you look close, the one below is more expensive than the one above. I think that's also due to it being two-sided, where-as the one above only has music on one side.





9 comments:

Buster said...

This is a great collection - I am particularly interested in the Percy Pitt record, which I've not seen before!

Ernie said...

Not sure who Percy Pitt is, but I assume you do. I need to look into some new software to address the crackle that's frequently left on these older 78s when I do my cleaning. It seem to be confined to a pretty narrow frequency band, so I have to assume there's a good way to tame it, but it falls outside my usual process. Something for next year. :)

Buster said...

Percy Pitt was just an old-time English conductor. I actually am interested in the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor piece on the record!

Buster said...

Have you tried the de-crackle feature of Click Repair? At about a setting of 50 it seems to do a reasonable job.

David Federman said...

You sure you weren't a deep sea diver in your early life? I'm a chronic bottom feeder at the Internet archive and all of this music escaped me. Maybe I need new scuba gear. Better yet, I'll let you go pearl fishing for me. Great job. I just hope thousands discover the work you've been doing on their behalf. Keep discovering, uncovering and, above all, recovering vintage music.

Ernie said...

Buster-I saw that Samuel Coleridge Taylor credit and flip flopped it in my head and started wondering why I didn't know he wrote Christmas music. I think I finally figured out it was someone different, but it took a bit.

David-I've learned that the search function at The Internet Archive isn't as good as Google. Some things are fully indexed, but often not the names of the acts. Benny Goodman will not return anything entered as Benny Goodman And His Orchestra. It's kind of a pain, but it leaves a lot of room for obsessive keyword testing. :) And certainly not all of the Christmas music is tagged as such. The similar-to suggestions at the bottom of their pages can yield some interesting results sometime, too.

Buster said...

Yeah, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was a different fellow than Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Geordie said...

This is great. Thanks! It instantly transports me to a 1920s village museum near here (which is only open in December, but which sadly won't be open this season due to covid - good thing I have all these 78s to listen to.)

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Great set! I'm eager to hear the Coleridge-Taylor side. I've put up two different versions of his once-famous "Viking Song"--one by a 1926 glee club in what was essentially a live recording.

English composer, mixed-race. Had to deal with a lot of racism. Talented guy--due for rediscovery, I think.