Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy Fourth!!! 78-rpm Americana from 1901-1927 (with 1944 tossed in)

Happy Fourth!  The charming image above comes from around 1900, when child safety was clearly the first thing on everyone's mind.  In the 1870s, families put on firework displays in their parlor ("Papa, are the curtains supposed to be lighting up?"); by 1900, the ritual had been simplified to handing a firecracker to the nearest toddler and saying, "Go outside and have a blast."  Surviving childhood was made that much harder....

This would have been up earlier, but we had a Fourth of July cat emergency with Gomez, who is experiencing urethral spasms and whose pee was backed up in his bladder (along with much glucose--Gomez might be diabetic).  The nearest emergency vet clinic is one county away, so it was a bit of a drive, though not as much as we expected.  Of course, finding a clinic open on the Fourth was a blessing, and the vet was quite cool--she packed Gomez with meds, and the big guy is doing better.  We were told he would be counting sheep most of the day, but he's fully awake--and looking much less pained.

And, as usual, we have some old, old records to share for this Fourth of July, spanning the years 1901 to 1944.  Seventy-eights, all, and all ripped and burned by me from my shellac collection.

"Harry will play the Maple Leaf Rag, and I might add that he puts plenty of English on it."--J.M. Witten. The contrast between Witten's over-enunciating and Harry Snodgrass' ultra-fast, go-for-broke playing is pretty surreal (second to last title in our playlist, from 1926).  Missed chords, failed jumps, wrong-note passages aside, Snodgrass' playing is amazing.  Simply being able to play the thing at that tempo is impressive, even if a greater number of correct notes would have made it even more so.  It's certainly entertaining.  Was Joplin's ghost sitting in on the session, pleading "Slow down!  Slow down!" to no avail?

My Maple Leaf Rag copy is in G- condition, at best, but MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab MX was up to the task.  All I did was set the filters and take out about 200 clicks, one at a time.

Happy Fourth!  Wait, I already said that....

To the music:  July Fourth, 2016

The Arkansaw Traveler (Descriptive)--Harry Spencer, talking; prob. Charles D'Almaine, fiddle, 1901.
Original Jigs and Reels--George Stehl, Violin Solo w. Orch., 1910.
Home, Sweet Home (Payne)--George Alexander, Baritone Solo w. Orch., 1906.
Reuben and Cynthia--"Miss Morgan and Mr. Stanley" (from announcement), 1903.
Swanee (Caesar-Gershwin)--Peerless Quartet, 1920.
The Arkansaw Traveler--Len Spencer, Speciality w. Violin, 1908.
Medley of American National Airs--George Schweinfest, piccolo, 1901.
The Banjo (Gottschalk)--Boston Pops Orch., c. Arthur Fiedler, 1944.
Maple Leaf Rag (Joplin)--Harry Snodgrass (King of the Ivories), 1926.
My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean--Leake County Revelers, 1927.



Aging Child said...

Lee, Americans were still of much hardier stock in 1900, and so firecrackers (a bit weaker back then, too) were fairly safe in the hands of a baby. This made for hours of wholesome family entertainment; Papa often rounded out the evening with a box of exploding cigars...

Back to the twenty-first century, though: could you maybe post a photo of Gomez, and update us later on how he's doing? And you may have said how old he is, but I don't remember, so maybe a recat, too -- I mean, a recap.

Thank you for the shellac, and for your USN service as well... and for never having a short fuse. Cheers!

Kind regards,
A. Gene Childe

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Well, Gomez wandered into our lives in 2007, and I'd guesstimate he was three. So he's about twelve. I'll see if I have a Gomie picture handy--somewhere, there's a disc containing photos from the past 10 years. All I need to do is find it.

I'll do updates on Gomez. Hopefully, he won't need insulin, as neither Bev nor I are the least bit skilled at giving shots to the furry ones.

rbarban said...

Lee...don't know if you know of Jim Diamond, the record producer who did the early White Stripes and ran Ghetto Recorders inDetroit until he was forced to close down the studio..but his dad passed away last winter and has a whole load of 78s and 33s from the 30s and 40s...Jim's mom couldn't sell them at the estate sale she had so I told him you might be interested. Problem might be in getting them to you. Email me if you would at all be interested and maybe we can arrange something....we live in Grosse Ile, just south of Detroit, although Jim, himself, is in France right now producing records...

ps...I'm the guy that shipped you a bunch of religious cassettes for your mom a while back....

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Greetings (and thanks again for the cassettes!)--

Thanks for the offer, but unfortunately I have no room in my collection at this point, and I've got too many records, in any event. (-: Much appreciated, and sorry to have to turn it down. Thanks for thinking of me, and good luck moving the collection.