Old cylinder recordings (1890-1920) archive now online...

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the browse feature is very excellent

Alexei (alexei), Friday, 10 November 2006 22:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

like "Hesitation Blues" by Al Bernard and the Goofus Five a lot.

jared karnoval (leopoldo), Friday, 10 November 2006 23:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Search for a track called "There's a woodpecker knocking at my family tree" (i.e. search "Woodpecker")

I can't decide if the word "Punk" or "Pulp" is in there!

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 13 November 2006 10:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink


chaki (chaki), Monday, 13 November 2006 18:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Three Vagrants - Retuen of Spring is BEAUTIFUL AWESOME

chaki (chaki), Monday, 13 November 2006 18:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yes, more suggestions. Will get on that one!

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 13 November 2006 23:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Search: everything by the Imperial Marimba Band. "The Crocodile" is deliciously catchy.

King-a-Ling (King-a-Ling), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 01:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Do a keyword search for "war," and listen to some WWI songs.

e.g. "K-K-K-Katy" - hilarious!

King-a-Ling (King-a-Ling), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 02:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's really hard to browse for the songs you want. You can browse by genre or instrument, why not song title or artist?

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 11:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You can: Click on that link just above, and on the right hand side there's a "Keyword" search.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 11:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

More recommendations!

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 16 November 2006 01:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thank you, thank you - a thousand times, thank you!

christoff (christoff), Thursday, 16 November 2006 16:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You're welcome! Was just playing around last night with some of the suggestions on this thread -- great stuff, thanks all!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 16 November 2006 16:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

He does sing "Punk" on that woodpecker song!

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 16 November 2006 16:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

this is so amazing

strgn, Sunday, 16 December 2007 08:22 (ten years ago) Permalink


Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 December 2007 16:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Quoting myself earlier:

I regard the occasional revive of this thread as a public service.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 9 February 2009 17:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

I once got iced in for a couple days, and spent probably twelve hours of each of those days listening to stuff from this archive. One of the best things about the internet.

Soundslike, Monday, 9 February 2009 17:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

This sounds fantastic, but I'll never know... the site crashes my browser every time I try to open it. Do I need to revert back to IE for this or something?

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 9 February 2009 17:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

Firefox opens it just fine.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 9 February 2009 17:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

That's what I'm using, but it keeps crashing Firefox every time it starts to load. Had the same problem last time this got bumped. Is there some sort of Quicktime/Flash player embedded that I need to update?

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 9 February 2009 17:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, QuickTime, run an update.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 9 February 2009 17:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ahhh that's probably it then. Thanks for the help!

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 9 February 2009 17:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

There's some damn racist stuff in there BTW. One could make a case for the country not having moved all that far, but then you get into the minstral stuff, and...

factcheckr, Monday, 9 February 2009 18:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

"American historians have discovered what they think is the earliest recording of the human voice... the recording featured an extract of the French song Oh Claire de la Lune"

Bob Six, Monday, 9 February 2009 18:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

(not a rickroll btw)

Bob Six, Monday, 9 February 2009 19:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

i downloaded all these and put them on my ipod and it was all i wanted to listen to for a few months. recorded music should have ended with wax cylinders

Adam Bruneau, Monday, 9 February 2009 19:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

quite the motherlode of a treasure trove. Ned, thanks for the original post and for digging this thread out. i can live on this stuff indefinitely!!!

outdoor_miner, Tuesday, 10 February 2009 05:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

sort of related: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/arts/music/17vaul.html

tylerw, Tuesday, 17 February 2009 19:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

i downloaded all these and put them on my ipod

Ummm... wouldn't that take, literally, hours??

Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 18 February 2009 01:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

More like weeks, it seems. How long did it take, Adam?

Kevin John Bozelka, Wednesday, 18 February 2009 02:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Tempted to

wget -r http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/

----> (libcrypt), Wednesday, 18 February 2009 03:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

You know, maybe it wouldn't take all that long to download at least all the MP3s.

----> (libcrypt), Wednesday, 18 February 2009 03:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Another related deal:

The forgotten voices and neglected songs of old California live at the Southwest Museum in several hundred small, round containers that look like nothing more than miniature oatmeal boxes. Each container holds a minute or two of the past on an Edison cylinder, the earliest known field recordings of Spanish-language music made by an individual rather than a record company.

Each generation has tried to draw interest to these recordings since museum founder Charles F. Lummis made them, mostly between 1904 and 1906, but the projects have never realized their potential, largely because of the technical challenges of re-recording about 400 old, primitive cylinders, and the labor and expense of transcribing, translating and publishing so many songs.

Now, nearly 70 years after Times columnist Ed Ainsworth asked: "Why couldn't somebody get out successfully a book of old Spanish folk songs from the Lummis record collection?" samples from the cylinders will be put on display in "Sounds From the Circle," which will be on exhibit at the Southwest Museum from May 9 through July 5.

Four songs are linked plus some further general info.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 9 May 2009 03:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ummm... wouldn't that take, literally, hours??

― Mr. Snrub, Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:32 PM (2 months ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

More like weeks, it seems. How long did it take, Adam?

― Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:40 PM (2 months ago) Bookmark

Took maybe an hour or so. I didn't literally get them all (its not like they are all zipped together as one huge file) but i did get something like 5 hours or so worth of music. Best stuff is the zany instrumental virtuoso performances. Plus the old-timey announcement "This is Edison records!"

Adam Bruneau, Sunday, 10 May 2009 03:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

Love me some Billy Murray

Adam Bruneau, Sunday, 10 May 2009 03:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

more stuff to dig through .... http://sounds.bl.uk/ good lord.

tylerw, Thursday, 10 September 2009 16:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Yeah! And Smithsonian Folkways downloads have been available for coveral years, I just keep forgetting. Also, new update on Alan Lomax's digital jukebox

dow, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 14:14 (six years ago) Permalink


ban this sick stunt (anagram), Wednesday, 1 February 2012 14:27 (six years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

more info on the optical digitizing process:

IRENE Audio Preservation for Grooved Media Now Available at NEDCC!
The new IRENE Audio Preservation service at the Northeast Document Conservation
Center (NEDCC) is the culmination of a decade of research and development at the
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Library of Congress.

The IRENE technology uses a non-contact approach, which eliminates the possibility
of damage caused by mechanical contact of a stylus on fragile media. The process
creates ultra-high resolution images of the audio groove structures in either 2D or
3D, and the resulting image files are then processed through software that
translates them into an audio file.

Wax cylinders, lacquer discs ("acetate" discs), aluminum transcription discs,
shellac discs, tin foils, and other rare formats (e.g., Dictabelt, Voice-O-Graph,
etc.), and can handle rare, fragile, or damaged media.

About the History of the of the IRENE IMLS Grant Project at NEDCC:

(via my mom the archivist)

sleeve, Saturday, 22 November 2014 05:05 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Couldn't find the other thread about old time recording devices so I am posting this link here:http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/gramophone/028011-3004-e.html

Zings of Oblivion (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 20 January 2015 03:04 (three years ago) Permalink

whoa, a lot to dig through there - the podcasts page looks like a great start, thanks!

The Complainte of Ray Tabano, Tuesday, 20 January 2015 03:46 (three years ago) Permalink

New BBC series Sound Of Song is relevant to this thread, recreating old recording devices. Episode 1 is on iPlayer.

nate woolls, Tuesday, 20 January 2015 07:28 (three years ago) Permalink

Other thread with related info is: What is Country?

with most important relevant link to here:

Mike j'Abo (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 25 January 2015 22:24 (three years ago) Permalink

Original link still works!

Mark G, Sunday, 25 January 2015 22:31 (three years ago) Permalink

Sorry, wasn't thinking about original link just repurposing thread a little to be links to old time recording methods references, such as the Audio Engineering Society Recording Technology History page I just linked to, since I was not aware of some such other thread.

Mike j'Abo (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 26 January 2015 00:10 (three years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

NY Times profile of WFMU's gramophone/cylinders specialist (and a high-school classmate of yrs truly) Mike Cumella:


skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 17 October 2015 05:10 (three years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

And the original UCSB archive site has been updated.


Ned Raggett, Friday, 6 November 2015 17:52 (three years ago) Permalink

also related, at IU-Bloomington:


sleeve, Friday, 6 November 2015 17:55 (three years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

Meantime, there's this -- Archeophone has a lot of good stuff in their catalog.


Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 9 August 2016 14:39 (two years ago) Permalink

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