Some 100-plus-year-old 78s survive in superb condition. Others (see above) don't. In fact, the crack on this 1905 disc was an overlapping one until I made both sides flush and taped the rim. ("So, what are you doing?" "Making both sides flush and taping the rim." "Is that so?")
And, as you can see, the grooves got a lot of gramophone play back in the day. Yet, for all that, this thrift store find sounds pretty darn good. That'll happen sometimes. The solo tenor lead still rings out 112 years later. Well worth the buck or two I paid.
The rest of these are in less dire shape--in fact, the two 1907 addresses by Salvation Army founder General William Booth are practically mint, though the dubs themselves are filled with lots of rumble and turntable noise (maybe they were badly transferred from cylinders?). I left all the lower frequency muck in there for authenticity's sake. (Eliminating the noise only made Booth's addresses harder to make out.) At the end of Through Jordan, it may sound like Booth is saying, "Fire abolished!" but he's actually saying "Fire a volley!" Which means, "Everyone say 'Amen.'" Or so I read online.
Elsewhere, the conditions range from decent to highly decent, with Mark Love's two sides (who was this great singer?) awesome in both the engineering and singing department. I could only find two Mark Love sides at the invaluable Online Discographical Project, so maybe that's all he ever did. A darned shame, if so.
The rest are quartets (including a German "Quartett"), choirs (including "A Church Choir"--the actual name on the label), and, possibly, a trio (Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan). Hard to tell on Jerusalem, since the singing's a tad ragged. Which is exactly how 1926 hillbilly gospel should sound. Great side.
Nearer My God to Thee, by the way, is not the tune familiar to U.S. ears. Haven't researched it yet.
CLICK HERE TO HEAR: Sunday morning 78s, delayed
Blessed Assurance--Mark Love, 1925.
Ring the Bells of Heaven--Same
Ein' Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott--Manhattan Quartett (Year unknown; pre-electric)
Ehre Sei Gott In Der Hohe--Same
Sun of My Soul--A Church Choir, 1926
Abide with Me--Same
The Church's One Foundation--A Church Choir, 1910
Nearer My God to Thee--Same
Wayside Cross--Criterion Quartet, 1921
Some Blessed Day--Same
He Will Set Your Fields on Fire--Smith's Sacred Singers, 1927
I Will Sing of My Redeemer--Same
Through Jordan--General Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army, 1907
Please Sir, Save Me--Same
Hold the Fort (Bliss)--The Chautaugua Preachers' Quartette, 1914
Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan--Gid Tanner and His Skillet-Lickers w. Riley Puckett, 1926
The Glory Song (O, That Will Be Glory)--Haydn Quartet, 1905
Sunday morning on a Monday evening. Only at... MY(P)WHAE!