Tuesday, February 09, 2010
A female mandolin club (which we won't be hearing, unfortunately), from the cover of Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, my copy of which arrived today. It looks like an amazing read--I'm dizzy from just skimming it. Incredible text and photos. Like most everyone, I had the vaguest idea of what was going on in African American popular music during the period covered by the book--among other things, we learn about the central role played by (no pun intended) the mandolin in black pop music, and the central role played by black musicians in mandolin music. It seems I may have been spot on when I described a strong African American quality to that Williams College Mandolin Club 78 I recently posted, and which I just redid in (what I consider) a better rip. Here it is. Please ignore the "02":
The Royal Purple-Come Fill Your Glasses Up--Williams College Mandolin Club, 1914.
I've always wanted to type "that Williams College Mandolin club 78 I recently posted." I wish I could get the percussion on that recording to sound less muddy.
Anyway, when I first heard the Williams College 78, my brain compared it to two tracks: The Versatile Four's 1916 recording of Down Home Rag and the 1914 Castle House Rag by (James Reese) Europe's Society Orchestra:
The Versatile Four--Down Home Rag, 1916.
Europe's Society Orchestra--Castle House Rag, 1914.
The Versatile Four's line-up included two banjolines--hence, the mandolin sound, since a banjoline combines that instrument with the banjo. The fabulous restoration, by the way, isn't mine--this came from a British two-LP set of vintage ragtime recordings. Can't recall the label at the moment.
Alone or in combination(s), the mandolin was a very popular instrument in America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the African American contribution was huge. This is what I know so far.
The three tracks above reappear in the zip file below, where you'll also hear such marvelous ragtime numbers as Mr. Rooster, Dill Pickles Rag, and Hugo Frey's Uncle Tom, plus non-ragtime winners like Aloha Oe (in waltz time) and 1907's Sunbeam Dance, which TCM could slip into one of its silent-movie soundtracks without anyone going "Huh?"
To the sounds, all but one ripped from my 78 stash: More ragtime-era gems
DOWN HOME RAG (Sweatman)--The Versatile Four, 1916.
THE ROYAL PURPLE-COME FILL YOUR GLASSES UP (Sousa)--Williams College Mandolin Choir, 1914 (New, improved rip).
CASTLE HOUSE RAG (Europe)--Europe's Society Orch., 1914.
DILL PICKLES RAG (Johnson)--Chris Chapman, Xylophone, 1908.
SUNBEAM DANCE (Rolfe)--Chris Chapman, Xylophone, 1907.
MR. ROOSTER (Lampe)--Arthur Pryor's Band, 1910.
UNCLE TOM (Hugo Frey)--Blue and White Marimba Band, 1916.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Sunday morning gospel: Gospel 78s for Feb. 7, 2010--Morning in Noah's Ark; Master the Tempest Is Raging; more!
Gospel 78s from my over-collection, all freshly ripped. The three Family Altar Quartet selections are from a Tops label 78. Tops, of course, was one of the cheap cover outfits of its day (1950s, early 1960s).
We have three titles by composer Charles H. Gabriel--Where the Gates Swing Outward Never; Carry Your Cross with a Smile; and Jesus, Rose of Sharon. The man knew how to write tunes.
To the music: Gospel 78s for Feb. 7, 2010.
MORNING IN NOAH'S ARK (Humorous Fantasy)--Arthur Pryor's Band, 1907.
WHERE THE GATES SWING OUTWARD NEVER--Old Southern Sacred Singers, 1929.
WILL MY MOTHER KNOW ME THERE--Same.
MASTER THE TEMPEST IS RAGING--Tietge Sisters, 1927.
THE NAME OF JESUS--Same.
MOTHER DEAR, O PRAY FOR ME--HAIL, QUEEN OF THE HEAVEN, THE OCEAN STAR--Mark Andrews, Pipe Organ Solo, 1928.
HE LEADETH ME--BEULAH LAND--Same.
CARRY YOUR CROSS WITH A SMILE--Oscar Seagle, 1922 (Columbia).
SWEET PEACE, THE GIFT OF GOD'S LOVE--The Family Altar Quartet (Tops).
MOMENTS OF PRAYER--Same.
JESUS, ROSE OF SHARON--Same.