Advance List for December 1908
The official release of the monthly list of new Edison cylinders was a major event in the phonograph business of a century ago. Dealers often held special "concerts" to show off the new selectionsâ€”and there were severe penalties for allowing outsiders to hear any of them before the designated date! Each list was carefully balanced for wide appeal, and customers were encouraged to buy the whole lot as the stuff of a ready-made home entertainment. In fact, some of the cylinders sold better than others, so it is difficult today to hear these "lists" as they were introduced at the time, in their entirety. After looking through the contents of the UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive, however, I found one almost complete monthly list: the one for December 1908. Here are sound files and original descriptions from the Edison Phonograph Monthly of all twenty-four of that month's two-minute cylinder releases, plus eight of the ten Amberols (they're missing "A Few Short Stories" by Marshall Wilder and "I'm Afraid to Come Home in the Dark" by the New York Military Bandâ€”anyone got 'em?). Give them a listen. If you'd been a dealer, how many of each would you have ordered after your sneak preview? If you'd been a customer (say, buying a phonograph for Christmas that year), which ones would you have taken home?
-Patrick Feaster, Indiana University. (visit Patrick's website)
Advance List of Edison Standard (Two-Minute) and Edison Amberol (Four-Minute) Records for December 1908
The Standard and Amberol Records listed below will be shipped from Orange in time to reach all Jobbers in the United States and Canada before November 25th, 1908, all things being favorable, and they may be reshipped to Dealers at 2 P. M. on November 24th. They must not, however, be exhibited, demonstrated or placed on sale by Jobbers or Dealers until 8 A. M. on November 25th. Supplements, Phonograms, Bulletins and Hangers will be shipped with Records. These may be distributed to Dealers after November 20th, but must not be circulated among the public before November 25th. Jobbers and Dealers may, however, deposit Supplements and Phonograms in Mail Boxes or Post Offices after 5 P. M. on November 24th, for delivery on the following day. Jobbers are required to place orders for December Records on or before October 10th. Dealers should place December orders with Jobbers before October 10th to insure prompt shipment when Jobbers' stock is received.
Edison Standard (Two-Minute) Records.
10008 Christ is Come / Edison Concert Band
Special Christmas band number. This sacred song is given a most unique and charming setting, which includes a harmonious arrangement for band, a duet by Messrs. Anthony and Harrison, assisted by a mixed quartette in the refrain, and finally the joyous ringing of bells and chimes for Merry Christmas. Music, Sankey-Ecke; arrangement is special for our Record and not published.
10009 Always Me / Byron G. Harlan (UCSB 3464)
Another "Why Don't They Play With Me," by Chas. K. Harris. A stepchild's "new papa" never pets, but always blames and scolds her. The affecting story of her childish hardships is set to a very wistful tune, which Mr. Harlan sings quite as finely as any of his earlier child-songs. Orchestra accompaniment; music and words, Chas. K. Harris; publisher, Chas. K. Harris, New York.
10010 Taffy / Ada Jones (UCSB 3469)
We have all dealt in "taffy," giving or receiving it according to sex. Never mind--here is a Von Tilzer song that goes to the bottom of the question and tells what's what in the love game. One of the most "confectionery" things we have heard. Miss Jones has certainly added another to her list of serio-comic successes. Orchestra accompaniment; music, Harry Von Tilzer; words, Vincent Bryan; publishers, Harry Von Tilzer Music Pub. Co., New York.
10011 Petite Mignon / Caesar Addimando
A double noveltyâ€”an oboe solo by a new Edison artist, who is an acknowledged master of this sweet-toned instrument. This is the first oboe selection we have listed. Many prefer its quaint and dulcet tones to those of any other instrument. The selection is a dainty classical recitative number, more favored, perhaps, than any other for oboe work. Orchestra accompaniment; composer, M. Carman.
10012 When Darling Bess First Whispered Yes / Manuel Romain
A sentimental love ballad that seems to have been made on purpose to show off the reed-like tone quality of Mr. Romain's voice. The story told is reminiscent of sweetheart days, the hero and heroine being a lad in homespun and a lass in gingham. The Record will easily hold its own with Mr. Romain's best. Orchestra accompaniment; music, J. Fred Helf; words, Robert F. Roden; publishers, Helf & Hager Co., New York.
10013 My Brudda Sylvest / Collins and Harlan
One of the best of the Italian dialect songs that vaudeville singers are featuring at present. The irrepressible Collins and Harlan sing it to a rag-Italian tuneâ€”something new and decidedly fetching. If their hosts of admirers will ask to hear this Record, very few will miss the opportunity of taking it home. Orchestra accompaniment; music, Fred Fischer; words, Jesse Lasky; publishers, Fred Fischer Music Pub. Co., New York.
10014 Everybody Knows It's There / Edward M. Favor
Mr. Favor affects the voice and manner of a boy in this unique comic song, and sings a jolly, lilting tune about the mischievous pranks he played on his father, his teacher and the family tom cat. There are three verses and three choruses. Each presents a novel and laughable situation in such a way that "Everybody knows it's there." Orchestra accompaniment; music and words, Dave Reed; publishers, M. Witmark & Sons, New York.
10015 Fun in a Barber Shop / Vess Ossman
An original banjo conceit which presents Mr. Ossman at his best. The typical banjo tune is extremely infectious and is full sure to start a general patter of feet. The "fun" is supplied by ludicrous slide trombone effects introduced in the orchestra accompaniment. Orchestra accompaniment; composer, Jesse M. Winne; publisher, Walter Jacobs, Boston, Mass.
10016 Uncle Josh's Arrival in New York City / Cal Stewart
Uncle Josh has about the funniest experience of all his checkered career in New York. He started by losing his hat en route by leaning out the car window. His railroad ticket went with it and he had to buy another. But he got even with the railroad by buying a round-trip ticket and not using it to go back. His good looks make a great hit. When he got off the train he ran into dozens of cabmen, all of whom shouted at him, "Hansom, sir? Hansom?" Screamingly funny all the way.
10017 The Widow Dooley / Ada Jones and Len Spencer
This up-to-date dramatic sketch opens with a flute solo, "Sweet Molly Oh," announcing a visit by Larry Connor to court the widow Dooley, whose Mike has been dead only a month. The courtship is spicy and full of laughable scenes. By request the widow sings "Come All Ye," and Larry plays a reel on his flute, to which she dances. At the psychological moment he pops the question, but learns that he is too late, as Pat Murphy proposed and was accepted at the lamented (?) Mike's grave. Larry makes a sorrowful exit, whistling "Farewell Mavourneen." Orchestra accompaniment; original sketch, not published.
10018 I'm Glad I'm Married / Billy Murray
Here is a man that's glad he's married! Most of the matrimonial comic songs tell a different story. Even the singer makes his declaration with a comment that makes its sincerity doubtful. This Record is a worthy successor of Mr. Morton's Record 9949, "Don't Take Me Home," the Edison comic hit for October. He sings these comic lines with a gusto and flourish that carry all before them. There are three verses and three choruses, the latter set to that engaging two-four swing. Orchestra accompaniment; music, Al. Von Tilzer; words, Jack Norworth; publishers, York Music Co., New York.
10019 In Lover's Lane / Edison Concert Band
This nÃ¤ive and winsome band number was inspired by the stroll of the West Point cadet with his best girl down Lover's Lane, the far-famed trysting place of Uncle Sam's future lieutenants, captains and generals. The most striking part is the air of the trio. This recalls instantly several of our prettiest Indian pieces, and will be continually recurring to everyone who hears it. The osculation effect makes a very happy and appropriate conclusion. Composer, Arthur Pryor; publisher, Carl Fischer, New York.
10020 The Sons of Uncle Sam / Edward Meeker
A new patriotic song written in Australia in honor of the American Battleship Fleet's recent visit to that country. The lines teem with heart-felt laudation of Uncle Sam's sailor boys, and the melody is one of those inspiring march airs that bring up mental pictures of a war fleet in action. Faint echoes of national airs are heard in the accompaniment, intermingled with lusty cheers for the Red, White and Blue. Orchestra accompaniment; music, L. L. Howarde; words, A. M. Rattray; publishers, W. J. Deane & Co., Sydney, Australia.
10021 Last Day of School at Pumpkin Centre / Cal Stewart
In this selection Uncle Josh treats us to some rich imitations. The first, is that of a typical Pumpkin Centre small boy reciting "I Like For to Live in the Country." Very amusing. Next is an imitation of Ezra Hopkin's youngest playing a mouth organ solo. Then comes the most ludicrous of all, a little German fellow in a thoroughly "Dutch" recitation of "Mary's Lamb."
10022 My Rosy Rambler / Billy Murray and Chorus
A new song of the far southwest by the writers of "Cheyenne" and "San Antonio." "Big Jim," the faro king, finds his heart's desire in a bewitching Spanish senorita. The tune has been styled the catchiest since "San Antonio," while Spanish color is given by the introduction of castinets [sic] and mandolin. Mr. Murray and chorus give the song the best interpretation it has ever had. Orchestra accompaniment; music, Egbert Van Alstyne; words, Harry Williams; publishers, Jerome H. Remick & Co., New York.
10023 Kentucky Patrol / American Symphony Orchestra
Patrols never fail to rank among the best sellers of the month in which they are issued. This one contains a number of engaging melodies, distinctly Southern in flavor, and is fully equal to "Patrol of the Scouts," (Record No. 9960). The whistling refrain, which was so widely praised in the latter, is eclipsed by a louder and even better one in the present Record. Composer, Karl Kaps; publishers, Francis, Day & Hunter, New York.
10024 Yours is Not the Only Aching Heart / James F. Harrison
Friedman's tenderly beautiful love song that is being sung everywhere. Words and music are fully as captivating as the well-chosen title would indicate. A past, but fondly cherished, love is the subject and the plaintive note that dominates the air is irresistibly sweet. Orchestra accompaniment; music, Leo Friedman; words, Beth-Slater Whitson and T. J. Quigley; publishers, Francis, Day and Hunter, New York.
10025 Oh, You Coon! / Ada Jones and Billy Murray
The coon song success of the newly organized Cohan & Harris Minstrels. The music represents the only George M. Cohan's idea of the new and popular semi-rag tune and is infectious to a degree. Miss Jones and Mr. Murray give it such a snappy Cohanesque interpretation that the Record will be a very big seller. Orchestra accompaniment; music and words, Geo. M. Cohan; publishers, Cohan & Harris Pub. Co., New York.
10026 What You Goin' to Tell Old St. Peter? / Arthur Collins
In Arthur Collins' new and sensational comic coon song the bone of contention has a decided chicken flavor. Parson Hammond, preaching "'bout the 8th Commandment," points out Ephraim White as a "bad nigger." He tells the congregation about tracing Ephraim's footsteps from Massa Jones' hencoop to his home. Ephraim retorts, "How come you round that coop?" The tune is a winner, especially in the chorus. Orchestra accompaniment; music and words, Ed. Rose; publishers, Rose & Snyder Co., New York.
10027 Song of the Mermaids / Venetian Instrumental Trio
This is the entrancing air sung by the maiden chorus in the finale of the second act of von Weber's tuneful opera, "Oberon." The instrumental arrangement used by the Venetian Trio makes one of the most beautiful numbers in their entire repertoire. Composer, C. M. von Weber.
10028 I Don't Want the Morning to Come / Frederic Rose
The long-expected companion piece to "I Am Tying the Leaves so They Won't Come Down" and by the same writers. An exceedingly fine ballad, which tells of a little sister's pathetic love for a dying brother. The doctor announces that he cannot live another day. In childish fashion she tries to keep the morning back by turning the hands of the clock and closing the window blinds. The refrain is in the effective waltz lento time with a strikingly original orchestra accompaniment. Music, J. Fred Helf; words, A. J. Lamb; publishers, Helf & Hager Co., New York.
10029 So Do I / Knickerbocker Quartette
A most unique quartette song. All of the singers, it seems, had flirtations with the same young lady. Singer No. 1 sings of her charms, saying, "I gave to her a diamond ring." Singer No. 2 replies, "So did I." Then the bass sings in deep sepulchral tones, "And she gave them both to me." Some clever conversational by-play is worked in between the verses and the Record will prove a phenomenal seller. Unaccompanied; adapted for our Record by Gus Reed.
10030 Christmas Morning at Clancy's / Steve Porter
This remarkable descriptive scene will make everyone get Christmas in his (or her) bones. Merry Christmas chimes are heard; Pat, Mary Ann and all the "childer" crowd around the tree and Pat distributes the presents amid happy shouts and peals of laughter. Danny plays his Jew's harp, Patsy his drum, also a piccolo. Then the old man gets out his fiddle and plays a lively jig while the others dance. Uncle Mike drives up in a sleigh, the kids pile in for a dash over the snow, and jingling sleigh bells are heard as they glide swiftly away. Original sketch.
10031 Uncle Sam's Postman March / Edison Military Band
At last Uncle Sam's faithful mail man gets his deserts musically. Lurvey has dedicated this rattling fine march to the postmen of the country. The postman's familiar whistle is heard in the trio. The tine is 6-8 and it makes an admirable dance number for the new four-step dance, the more so as the Military Band has made a wonderful Record, both in point of volume and perfectly marked tempo. Composer, H. R. Lurvey; publisher, H. R. Lurvey, Lynn, Mass.
Edison Amberol (Four-Minute) Records
51 Overture, "The Year 1812." / Edison Concert Band
The Overture Solennelle, "The Year 1812," was written for the consecration of a church at Moscow. Tchaikovsky, the great Russian composer, has depicted vividly stirring scenes of the Franco-Russian war during the year 1812. The majestic Russian hymn, "God, Preserve Thy People," is heard, after which there bursts terrifically the "Battle of Borodino." In this sanguinary contest the French "Marseillaise" is silenced by the Russian hymn. Only a few bands and orchestras, comprising the ablest performers, whose organization has been developed to a state of perfect efficincy [sic], ever attempted this work. The Record runs considerably more than four minutes and includes all the most important parts of the selection. Composer, P. Tchaikovsky; publisher, Carl Fischer, New York.
52 Ask Mammy / Manuel Romain
One of the finest Records Mr. Romain has ever given us. The tune is bewitching and the well-chosen words tell a story of tender and absorbing interest. The subject is the love making of a couple of picaninies [sic] at a country stile. Bill's invitation to Lize to play in his yard is met with the teazing [sic] refrain, "Ask Mammy." Years pass and the couple are found at the same old stile, "Still making love, but on a larger plan." Bill asks if she loves him as of old. Again the charmingly tuneful refrain, "Ask Mammy." Orchestra accompaniment; music, J. F. Brymm; words, Daisy M. Braeson; publishers, Helf & Hager Co., New York.
53 Miserere from "Il Trovatore" / Miss Hinkle, Mr. Anthony and Chorus
We have hastened to give this wonderful duet complete in a four-minute Record, because of the ovation accorded the two-minute Record of the same selection in October. The entire Miserere scene is here given, just as it occurs in act 4 of "Il Trovatore." Here we not only have the duet complete, but have also the splendid chorus of male voices chanting the prayer, "Pray that peace may attend a soul departing," etc. Both duet and chorus are sung in English. Orchestra accompaniment; score, G. Verdi; libretto, S. Cammarano.
54 A Few Short Stories / Marshall P. Wilder
This Record introduces a distinguished new Edison artist, Marshall P. Wilder, the famous wit and theatrical monologuist. Mr. Wilder is known throughout the English-speaking world as the foremost story teller of our times. His anecdotes are all new and extremely humorous and his droll method of telling them never fails to keep his audience in roars of laughter. There is something in the remarkable personality of the man that reaches out and grips an audience so as to make them see life through his eyes. In his stories he makes frequent humorous references to his small stature and is seldom on a stage for more than a minute or so before he establishes such a strong bond of sympathy with his hearers that they feel they have known him all their lives. The present Record gives a dozen of his best stories.
55 When Grandma was a Girl / Ada Jones
This novel song first won fame in Sam Bernard's musical comedy, "Nearly a Hero." Later it was picked as one of the best songs of the year and featured in "Follies of 1908." In the most amusing and melodious lines it compares the modes of Grandma's day with those of to-day. Two special songs are introduced, a hit of fifty years ago and one of to-day, to show the contrast. Another comparison is an imitation of the car conductor of those happy times and the present. A decidedly clever admixture of song and comic monologue. Orchestra accompaniment; music and words, Ray Goetz; publishers, Jerome K. Remick & Co., New York.
56 Spring, Beautiful Spring / American Symphony Orchestra
The favorite European waltz by Paul Lincke. The music is standard in type and "Made to last." Like "Blue Danube" and similar waltzes, it will be as much admired in fifty years as it is to-day. The Symphony Orchestra is given a fine opportunity to show what it can do with the highest grade of composition. Composer, Paul Lincke; publisher, Carl Fischer, New York.
57 Stories About the Baby / Marshall P. Wilder
Mr. Wilder relates all of the noted "baby stories," on which his fame as our leading wit and raconteur largely rests. The one about his quest in the department store for a supply of baby blue ribbons has never failed to "bring down the house." Each of the celebrated Wilder mannerisms and all of his deft little tricks of speech are reproduced as truly to life as though the speaker were present in the flesh.
58 Grandma / Byron G. Harlan
By long odds the leader among sentimental "Grandma" songs. It relates a simple story of affecting heart-interest founded on the devotion between grandma and her favorite grandchild. Mr. Harlan has no rival in this class of song. The Amberol Record gives it complete and enables him to greatly improve on all previous efforts. Orchestra accompaniment; music, Ted Snyder; words, Alfred Bryan; publishers, Ted Snyder Music Pub. Co., New York.
59 The County Fair at Pumpkin Center / Cal Stewart
There are 650 words in this breezy monologue, which most likely will be voted the funniest Yankee talk Cal Stewart has ever produced. Uncle Josh relates, in his own matchless way, all the incidents of the Pumpkin Center Fair, and it is certain no audience will ever tire of listening. He is great in his description of Salome's "Dance of the Seven Veils" and "The Dance of Venus," two side shows that played to "standing room only." Original sketch.
60 I'm Afraid to Come Home in the Dark-Humoresque / New York Military Band
This composition is attracting marked attention at concerts by all of the leading bands. It is a humorous paraphrase by Lampe on the popular song of the same title, arranged especially for large military bands. It requires a complete force of instrumentalists to interpret the score. The refrain of the song is taken for the theme and many humorous and fantastic effects are introduced by the various instruments. Composer, J. Bodewalt Lampe; publishers, Jerome H. Remick & Co., New York.