Friday, October 23, 2015

The Haunted Victrola--78s for Halloween 2015!

For Halloween, thirteen selections from my overflowing 78 collection, covering the years 1908 to 1934, and all ripped and restored by me.  What titles--Mummy Mine, Vamp Me, Spooky Spooks, Dance of the Demon, Greenwich WitchThe Loch Ness Monster....  This slaylist will have you tapping your toes all the way to the cemetery.  As the beatnik ghost said, "It's just tomb much, man."

Note that British radio comedian John Tilley's "humorous monologue," The Loch Ness Monster, hails from the same year (1934) as the famous Nessie hoax photo known as the "Surgeon's Photograph."  In this brilliant skit, not only does Tilley treat the Nessie legend as a joke (and then some), he presents it as the latest in a long line of tourist-baiting scams.  If Tilley could figure that out back in the day, why is the myth still afloat eight decades later?  Extremely abstract humor, and not unlike modern stand-up.  And I just discovered that Tilley died one year after this recording--he was only 36.  Damn.

Meanwhile, Joe Haymes' Little Nell sort of anticipates Spike Jones' 1945 send-up of Chloe.  Also Jones-style are the sound effects on the Columbia Orchestra's 1918 A Cat-Astrophe.  In the realm of corny humor, nothing is new, I guess.  And I should note that Eduard Holst, the composer of the awesome two-piano Dance of the Demon, is no relation to Gustav (The Planets) Holst.  The duo-piano team on the Demon disc, Victor Arden and Phil Ohmen, were one of the best of the 1920s.  Appropriately, our slaylist ends with the famous funeral march from Chopin's B-flat minor piano sonata.  One of the all-time "Where did that come from?" themes, of which we usually only hear two bars when it's quoted in cartoons and movies.  MY(P)WHAE is giving you the whole thing, and from a cracked 1908 78 (which I repaired with audio splices).

To the slaylist: The Haunted Victrola


Vamp Me (And I'll Vamp You)--Rega Dance Orch., 1922
Mummy Mine--Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orch., 1919
Ghost of the Violin (Two-Step; Snyder-Kalmar)--Prince's Orch., 1913
Little Nell--Eliot Everett (Joe Haymes) and His Orch., 1932
Variations on Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?--Jacques Fray-Mario Braggiotti, piano duet, 1934
Fire Dance (De Falla)--Hollywood Bowl Orch., Eugene Goossens, 1928
Dance of the Demon (E. Holst)--Victor Arden-Phil Ohmen, piano duet, 1922
Spooky Spooks (Edward B. Claypoole)--Prince's Band, 1916
A Cat-Astrophe (Daniel-Kopp)--Columbia Orch., Dir. Charles A. Prince, 1919
Greenwich Witch (Confrey)--Zez Confrey, piano, 1922
The Loch Ness Monster--Pts. 1 and 2--John Tilley, 1934.
Graveyard Blues (Woods-Caldwell)--Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orch., 1918
Chopin's Funeral March--Arthur Pryor's Band, 1908



vilstef said...

Thanks-especially for the Zez Confrey song I had never heard before.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Sure thing! I'll have to dig up my Frank Westphal orch. version of it.

DonHo57 said...

Some spiffy stuff, Lee. Thank you!!!