Monday, July 30, 2012

A Tomorrow Mind

On December 9, 1914 Thomas Edison’s factory in West Orange, New Jersey, was virtually destroyed by fire. Much of Edison’s life work went up in smoke and flames that December night. At the height of the fire, Edison's 24 -year -old son, Charles, searched frantically for his father. He finally found him calmly watching the fire, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind. He was 67 and no longer a young man and everything was going up in flames. When he saw Charles, he shouted, "Charles, where's your mother ?" When he told him that he didn't know, he said, 'Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.'" The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew." After the fire, the New York Globe wrote that the mind of the great achiever, Thomas Edison, was a to-morrow mind. "For when asked about his loss the night of the fire," the article said, "Edison replied, 'I am not thinking about that. I am planning for tomorrow. The mind of a yesterday is a failure, but the courage of a mind of tomorrow is a success.'

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Edison Files: Frederick W. Hager

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.

In the October 1904 edition of the Edison Phonograph Monthly, there was an announcement of a new recording that was being released....


"Blue Bell" is something new in the way of a phonograph record. It is a bells and xylophone duet by Albert Benzler and Frederick W. Hager, with orchestra accompaniment. This is a most excellent Record of one of the most popular airs published in some time. The tune is carried by the bells, the xylophone plays a variation of the air and back of this is a fine orchestra accompaniment. We predict that this record will sell as well as the vocal record of the same selection, the demand for which has exhausted our capacity to manufacture it ever since it was listed.”



Multi-talented musician and composer Frederick W. Hager (xylophone) was a prominent figure in the early recording industry. He was a widely recorded bandleader for several record companies. His Hager's Band and Hager's Orchestra appeared on many dozens of Zonophone disk recordings. For a time, according to the October 1903 Edison Phonograph Monthly, he directed the Edison Concert Band. In this recording of Blue Bell, we get a rare hearing of Hager as a soloist.



To listen to recordings by Frederick W. Hager, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Helen Clark

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.



Helen Clark. The New York-born contralto made many popular recordings between 1910-1930, as a soloist, in duets, and as a member of Victor Light Opera Company. Her collaboration with Billy Murray, "Come On Over Here" (Victor 17441, 1913), was a major hit. "Sympathy" (Victor 17270), a duet with Walter Van Brunt, was a top seller in early 1913.







To listen to recordings of Helen Clark, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.




The Edison Files: Fred J. Bacon

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.

Fred J. Bacon was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1871. He studied five-string classic-style banjo under Alfred A. Farland and by the late 1890's, he had established himself as a celebrity for his banjo performances. He made numerous recordings for different record companies, such as Edison and Victor.

Bacon started the Bacon Banjo Company in 1906 in Forest Dale, Vermont, where Bacon lived. “The banjo is the greatest of musical instruments when it is played well,” he said. “In tone quality it is very much like the harp, and its flexibility of playing is unexcelled, for in the hands of a skilled player it is as good for classical music as for dance tunes. It is the only original American instrument, and is coming into its own as the greatest of them all.”

The Bacon Banjo Company was widely regarded as one of greatest of the classic pre-war banjo manufacturers. At first, the company sold banjos made in Bacons own workshop at Forest Dale. In 1920 the company moved to Groton, Connecticut. Later, the company changed name to The Bacon Co., Inc.
In 1922 David L. Day joined the company and after that several of the banjo models were sold under the Bacon & Day or B & D brand names. In 1938 the Bacon factory was destroyed in a fire and production was taken over by Gretsch who bought the company two years later. Gretsch kept making banjos under the Bacon brand until mid-1960s. Today Gretsch is owned by Fender who presumably still owns the rights to the Bacon brand name although no instruments have been sold under it since 1970.


To listen to recordings by Fred J. Bacon, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


The Edison Files: Andre Benoist

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.



The French pianist, Andre Benoist, was born on April 4, 1879 in Paris. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire and then later toured Europe and America as accompanist to Pablo Casals, Albert Spalding and other celebrated artists. He made several recordings for Edison Records and Victor. Benoist died June 19, 1953 in New Jersey.


To listen to recordings of Andre Benoist, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

 
 
 
To listen to recordings of Andre Benoist, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California and Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: The Orpheus Male Chorus

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.


Orpheus Male Chorus. One of the most important figures in pre-jazz African-American music, Will Marion Cook is also one of its better known personalities. As a composer, conductor, performer, teacher, and producer, he had his hand in nearly every aspect of the black music of his time and worked with nearly every other important musician in his fields. Uncompromising and difficult to work with, he still commanded respect from his peers for his abilities and accomplishments. In 1881 he was sent to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to live with his grandfather where he heard black folk music for the first time. However, Cook's early career remained focused on classical music and violin performance, which he began at age 13. When he was 15, Cook studied violin at Oberlin College. Cook was sent to Europe to study and as a result, he studied with Joseph Joachim, the famous violinist and associate of Brahms. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1890, however, his classical career went nowhere. Since he was unable to find employment at any musical institution, he began to teach music privately. Among his students was Clarence Cameron White, who later became famous as a violinist and composer. Cook's earliest composition was Scenes from the Opera of Uncle Tom's Cabin--intended for the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, but which was not performed. Cook turned to popular music as his classical career was not successful. He began writing songs. Cook was well represented on disc and cylinder. In 1914, he conducted a group, the Afro-American Folk Song Singers, in a Columbia recording of Cook’s black folk-anthem entitled, “Swing Along,” which was sung by the Orpheus Male Chorus on Edison. Cook remained an important figure in the new century. He wrote and published many songs, was prominent as a conductor and music director. A historic concert on May 2, 1912, at Carnegie Hall featured his 150-voice chorus in a performance of Swing Along! Cook died of cancer in New York in 1944. As mentor and teacher, Cook influenced a generation of young African-American musicians, including jazz composer and performer Duke Ellington, who studied with Cook.



To listen to recordings by the Orpheus Male Chorus, or other early recording stars, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Vernon Archibald

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.


Vernon Archibald. Popular tenor ballad singer Charles Harrison formed the American Singers Quartet around 1927, with tenor Redferne Hollinshead, bass Frank Croxton and baritone Vernon Archibald. Archibald recorded several solo and duet songs for many different companies, but he mostly recorded for Edison Records.

From the New York Times, March 26, 1920:
Vernon Archibald, a baritone from Chicago, gave a matinee of songs and airs in Italian, French and English yesterday at Aeolian Hall, his first in public here, though he sang once in private last year. A dramatic air of Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra,” was hardly contrasted in performance with that of Handel which preceded it, or the ensuing “Legend of the Sage” from Massenet’s “Jongleur.” There was sensitive appreciation in his delivery of lyrics, such as Cornelius’ “Monotone,” Mrs. Maley’s “In a Garden,” a poem of the Christ-child, and Miss Brown’s “Sunset,” an unpublished air, with “A Ballynure Ballad” and others in conclusion.

To listen to recordings by Vernon Archibald, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: John Young

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.


Tenor John Young, also known as Harry Anthony, recording a cylinder in the early 1900s, showing the cramped conditions and other concessions necessitated by the acoustic recording process at the Edison recording studio. Eugene Jaudas is conducting the studio orchestra. Using the name, Harry Anthony, Young had numerous recordings of hymns with partner Frederick J. Wheeler that reportedly led comedian Billy Murray to dub them the 'Come-To-Jesus Twins.'

In mid-1915, Young replaced Robert D. Armour with the American Quartet. He also sang in, and managed, the Criterion Quartet. The new edition of the American Quartet enjoyed great success, beginning with its first Victor release, "War Song Medley."  The American Quartet recorded for several companies--not only Victor and Edison but Columbia, Okeh, Emerson, Pathe, and Vocalion.




To listen to recordings by John Young, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Rae Eleanor Ball and Jessie L. Deppen

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.

Jessie L. Deppen (1881-1956) was a woman who lived in Cleveland, Ohio and taught piano. She wrote a number of light waltzes and themes, some of which were used in motion pictures. ‘A Japanese Sunset’ was used in the Vitaphone soundtrack of the silent film, ‘Old San Francisco’ (1927) and was the opening theme for the serial ‘Shadow of Chinatown’ (1936) with Bela Lugosi. She also wrote “In The Garden of To-Morrow,” Skylark Waltz” and “Dance of the Robins.”


Rae Eleanor Ball was a violinist for the RKO vaudeville circuit and apparently had a working relationship with Deppen. The two most always appear together on recordings with Ball on violin and Deppen on piano.


The theme music used on the Lum and Abner program during the early years, when the program was sponsored by Horlick’s, was written by Deppen. “Eleanor” first copywritten in 1914. (Deppen autographed a poster for Ball. See the attached photo.)



To my dear friend Rae Eleanor Ball

ELEANOR (A Serenade)
Words & Music by Jessie L. Deppen
(copyright 1914, 1918)

The birds of the forest are calling
From the wild-wood far a-way
While the night shades so softly are falling
At the close of the day;
Each breeze brings a message from love-land,
Fond and true, dear, fond and true,
With each spark from the dew,
My fond heart, dear, calls to you, calls to you,

The moon is creeping high o'er the hill,
Nature is sleeping, the world is still,
Come, ope your window, cast one sweet rose,
A rose to prove, to prove your love.
My heart is sighing for you, my own,
With love undying for you alone;
Beneath your window and star-lit skies,
I wait the love-light, the love-light that beams in your bright eyes.

Then come while the nightbirds are calling,
As the moonbeams brightly shine,
And we'll wander thro' love-land together,
Dreaming love dreams so divine;
I'll sing you sweet songs of a love, dear,
That will linger evermore,
And this big world will seem but a beautiful dream,
Eleanor, Eleanor

The Edison Files: Metropolitan Quartet

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.


The Metropolitan Quartet was a vocal quartet of men who performed in the New York City area in the years 1890 until about 1902. The group consisted of Robert J. Webb (first tenor), Peter J. Collins (second tenor), James J. Byrne (baritone), and Richard Schumm (bass). For several years they appeared at amateur light opera presentations, in minstrel shows and frequently as choir singers. The group became professional in 1895.


To listen to recordings of the Metropolitan Quartet, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Jaudus Society Orchestra

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.



Jaudus Society Orchestra
The ensemble was headed by violinist Eugene A. Jaudas, for many years Edison's orchestra leader. Its hits included "Missouri Waltz" (Edison Blue Amberol 2950, 1916) and "The Darktown Strutters' Ball" (Edison 50469, 1918).



To listen to recordings by Jaudus Society Orchestra, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.







The Edison Files: American Symphony Orchestra

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.


American Symphony Orchestra. Edison's National Phonograph Company "symphony" recordings began in 1898 under the Edison Symphony Orchestra. In October 1908, Edison renamed the orchestra the American Symphony Orchestra (the same month the Edison Military Band was renamed the New York Military Band).

Listen to recordings by American Symphony Orchestra or Edison Symphony Orchestra, or other early recording artists, by visiting the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Frederick J. Wheeler

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.

Frederick J. Wheeler, also known as James F. Harrison, rose to prominence as part of the gospel duo, James F. Harrison and Harry Anthony, and enjoyed a string of hits as a soloist, paired with James Reed (real name: Reed Miller), and as a member of the Knickerbocker Quartet. The baritone balladeer's top- selling recordings included "Keep the Home Fires Burning" (Victor 17881, 1915/16), "My Little Dream Girl" (with Reed, Victor 17789, 1915), and "There's A Long, Long Trail" (with Reed, Victor 17882, 1915/16).

The Knickerbocker Quartet was formed in 1908 to replace the Edison Male Quartet. Original members were John Young, George M. Stricklett, Frederick Wheeler and Gus Reed. Personnel changed around 1912. Young and Wheeler were joined by Walter Van Brunt and William F. Hooley.


To listen to recordings made by Frederick J. Wheeler/James F. Harrison, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.





The Edison Files: Betsy Lane Shepherd

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.

From an advertisement in October 1920 The Etude, Pressers Musical Magazine:

Miss Shepherd, who is a famous concert soprano, stood beside the new Edison and started to sing. “In the gloaming, oh! My darling…..” With a soft, rounded loveliness, the melody filled the auditorium. Pulsing through its theme was the soul of a great artist. It’s message, warm with understanding, reached the hearts of the hushed listeners and sped their imaginations back to cherished memories.

It was the magic of music.


Suddenly, Miss Shepherd’s lips went absolutely still. But, her lovely voice went smoothly on, ….it was best to leave you, thus.


The audience was puzzled. Then it awoke. Miss Shepherd’s voice was now coming from the new Edison – and no one had been able to tell the difference between the living voice and the re-created voice. The new Edison’s realism had put into the re-created music all the magic of the living voice with which Miss Shepherd charmed her listeners.

This test, on April 26, 1920 in Dallas, Texas, was the 185th test given by Betsy Lane Shepherd in 185 cities and towns of the United States and Canada. The 185 audiences aggregated more than a hundred thousand people. Each audience found itself absolutely unable to tell when Miss Shepherd was singing and when the new Edison was re-creating her voice, except by watching her lips. According to the advertisement, it was a most phenomenal achievement. No other phonograph or talking machine manufacturer dares to make this comparison, the ad read. Mr. Edison subjected the new Edison to these tests because he wanted to prove that perfect realism was an everyday performance with the new Edison.

To listen to recordings of Betsy Lane Shepherd, and other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


Friday, July 27, 2012

The Edison Files: Elliot Shaw

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.




Baritone Elliott Shaw started his recording career 1907 with the Victor Company. He sung solo and in different duos, trios and quartets and was the singing part of many well known orchestras till the end of the 1920's. He was a Member of the Victor Light Opera Company, the Trinity Choir, the Shannon Quartet, the Shannon Four, the Crescent Trio, the Victor Light Opera Sextette, the All Star Trio, the Hawaiian Trio and the Revelers.


The Revelers' recordings of "Dinah", "Old Man River", "Valencia", "Baby Face", "Blue Room", "The Birth of the Blues" and many more, became popular in the United States and then Europe in the late 1920s. All of the members had recorded individually or in various combinations, and formed a group in 1925. Other members, besides Shaw, were tenors Franklyn Baur and Lewis James, bass Wilfred Glenn, and pianist Ed Smalle, who was later replaced by Frank Black. The group appeared in a short movie musical, The Revelers (1927), filmed in the sound-on-disc Vitaphone process. This one-reel short film, recently restored by "The Vitaphone Project," shows the group performing "Mine", "Dinah", and "No Foolin'". A second short, filmed the same day with another three songs, awaits restoration. The Revelers were stars on radio and in vaudeville, as well as in the recording studio. On radio they were regulars on The Palmolive Hour (1927–31). They had a recording contract with Victor (later RCA Victor) but made extra money by moonlighting under pseudonyms for other labels (such as "The Singing Sophomores" on Columbia Records and "The Merrymakers" on Brunswick Records). The Revelers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.

Listen to recordings of Elliot Shaw, and other early recording artists, by visiting the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.



The Edison Files: Elizabeth Spencer

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.




Elizabeth Spencer was an American singer during the later 19th century and early 20th century. She is primarily remembered as a recording artist for Thomas Edision. She made numerous recordings for Edison Standard Records from 1888 until 1912. Her voice is noted for its sterling operatic quality combined with ability to sing in the vernacular. Spencer died in 1935.

To hear recordings made by Elizabeth Spencer, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: George Wilton Ballard

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.

George Wilton Ballard (1887-1950) was one of Edison's most popular tenors. He began recording in 1910 on US Everlasting cylinders. His first performance for Edison was released in 1914 on Blue Amberol cyliner #2150. Subsequent performances were released on about 70 cylinders and a similar number of Diamond Discs. He retired from studio work in 1923. His last Edison recording released in 1926 was recorded several years before its release. Ballard teamed up with singer Helen Clark to record some very memorable duets.



To listen to recordings by George Wilton Ballard, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


The Edison Files: Lyric Male Quartet (Shannon Four)

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.


Lyric Male Quartet. Victor's popular Shannon Four, which began recording in mid-1917 and consisted of Charles Hart, Harvey Hindermyer, Elliott Shaw, and Wilfred Glenn. The first Shannon Four disc was issued in September 1917: "I May Be Gone For A Long, Long Time," followed in October by "Wake Up, Virginia." Some discs were credited to "Charles Hart and the Shannon Four," such as two titles issued in May 1918: "A Little Bit of Sunshine" and "The Last Long Mile." The quartet also recorded for Edison Records, sometimes being called Lyric Male Quartet.

To listen to recordings by the Lyric Male Quartet (Shannon Four), or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Sibyl Sanderson

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at an early recording artist I have in my collection.

Sibyl Sanderson was a famous American operatic soprano during the Parisian Belle Epoque. She was born on December 7, 1864 in Sacramento, California. Her father, Silas Sanderson, was once Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California. After his death in 1886, Sibyl and her mother moved to Paris and became transplanted socialites. Sanderson proved to be a remarkably gifted singer and began to appear on stage. She was Jules Massenet's favorite soprano and appeared in the premieres of a number of his operas. Sanderson was also admired by Camille Saint-Saens, who wrote the title role in Phryne' for her. Success outside of Paris was elusive for Sanderson; she appeared at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera (debut in title role of Manon on January 16, 1895, the last performance as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette on December 31, 1901) to lackluster reviews. In 1896 she married a Cuban millionaire and sugar heir, Antonio Terry, after which she temporarily halted her operatic activity, making an unsuccessful comeback two years later. Her last years were marred by depression, alcoholism and illness and she died from pneumonia on May 16, 1903 at the age of 38.

To listen to recordings by Sibyl Sanderson, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California and Santa Barbara.


The Edison Files: Lewis James

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.

Lewis James was a vocalist and among the most active of recording artists in the United States from 1917 through much of the 1930s. He was a member of the The Shannon Four, The Revelers and the Criterion Trio. He had many top ten hits during that time, including My Baby Boy, Till We Meet Again, What'll I Do and Pal of my Cradle Days, among others. He died in 1959.
Lewis James was born in Dexter, Michigan on July 29, 1892. He recorded extensively as a soloist,duet partner, and quartet lead singer. His first recording with the Shannon Four (aka the Shannon Quartet) was the World War I chestnut, "All Aboard For Home Sweet Home." Like many of his colleagues, he proved exceedingly versatile in recording love ballads, hymns, children's songs and the more sophisticated early jazz harmonies of the Revelers with whom he made several successful European tours. The Shannon Four, Revelers, Crescent Trio, and Merrymakers consisted mostly of the same singers, with occasional substitutes. His sweet melodic tenor is immortalized on Victor, Columbia, and Edison recordings, mostly from 1917 through 1927.

To listen to recordings by Lewis James, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


The Edison Files: Ernest L. Stevens Trio

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


Ernest L. Stevens Trio. Ernest Stevens was Thomas Edison's personal pianist-arranger from 1922 to 1924 when Edison was experimenting with recording sounds and making recordings on wax cylinders. Stevens, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on December 15, 1894, was involved with music until his death in Montclair, New Jersey on April 6, 1981. His basic musical training was in Plainfield, New Jersey, with Howard Case. A study of the pipe organ was with the well-known Mark Andrews (who made many pipe organ recordings) in Montclair, New Jersey. From 1917 to 1919 he made piano rolls for Aeolian, Piano Style, Gulbransen and Rose Valley companies. In 1919 he began making test records for the Edison Studios in West Orange. Mr. Edison hired Ernest to be his personal pianist in testing for the proper procedure to record on cylinders. His test records were used to evaluate placement of instruments relative to the recording horn. He was a prolific Edison recording artist, appearing on the Edison label as solo pianist, a member of his own trio and dance quartet and was the leader of his own dance orchestra. Records for Edison were under pseudonyms.

To listen to recordings by Ernest L. Stevens Trio, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Anna Case

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.



Anna Case was an American soprano born on October 29, 1888. She recorded with Thomas Edison, who used her voice extensively in "tone tests" of whether a live audience could tell the difference between the actual singer and a recording. She also made recordings for Diamond Records, RCA Victor, Vitaphone and Columbia Records. She was born on October 29, 1888 in Clinton, New Jersey. She sang in the American premiere of Boris Gudonov in 1913 at the Metropolitan Opera. She retired in 1930. In 1931 she married ITT Corporation executive Clarence Mackay. She died on January 7, 1984 in New York City and left her 167.97-carat (33.59 g) Colombian emerald ring and Boucheron necklace to the Smithsonian Institution.
To hear recordings by Anna Case, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Edna White

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


Edna White. A native of Stamford, Connecticut born in 1892, Edna White Chandler was an american trumpeter, with a long career onstage and as a soloist with bands and orchestras. She had a vaudeville act with her second husband, and in the 1930s also sang in musicals. White was a prodigy, noticed by Frank Damrosch, who invited her to study at the Institute of Musical Arts (later the Juilliard School), where she graduated at age 15; she then toured the vaudeville circuit with a female ensemble (two trumpets, two trombones). The opening ceremony in March 1915 of the first transcontinental telephone transmission (Brooklyn to San Francisco) was enlivened by her performance of "Silver Threads among the Gold." In the 1930s she was on the radio, and on Feb.9,1949 she gave a recital at Carnegie Hall.

Edna retired in 1957, although she continued to mentor young trumpeters and was occasionally interviewed in the popular press and for trumpet-oriented publications. White began to record with the Edna White Trumpet Quartet in 1918, for Columbia, doing first "Just a Baby's Prayer at Twilight". She continued with Columbia to 1921. Her first Edison discs (Dec.15,1920) were "The Debutante" and "Recollections of 1861--1865". She made eight more Edisons, the final one in September 1926: "Sweet Genevieve". During this period, she was married to vocalist Torcum Bezazian, who appeared on some of her recordings and toured with her on the vaudeville circuit. In 1980 Merritt Sound Recordings of Buffalo, New York, issued the cassette Life with My Trumpet, featuring some of her early recordings and White reminiscing about her career, recorded at that time (a copy is held by the Library of Congress).

Edna White Chandler died on June 25, 1992.


To listen to recordings by Edna White, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Ford Hawaiians

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


Ford Hawaiians Henry Kailimai, was a virtuoso ukelele player and composer who came from Hawaii in 1915 to perform at the Pan Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. The performances by him and other Hawaiian musicians exposed the public to Hawaiian music for the first time, fueling the exploding popularity of Hawaiian music on the mainland. Attending the exposition was Henry Ford, and he was so impressed with Henry Kailimai that he persuaded him and four other Hawaiian musicians to move to Detroit, Michigan to be artists in residence for the Ford Motor Company. Because of Henry Ford’s friendship with Thomas Edison, the group traveled to New York and made several recordings at The Edison Recording Studio, using Edison’s new phonograph invention, which he was perfecting at the time. Kailimai was a professional pianist by night, and an engineer by day. His career was curtailed due to the wishes of his wife, who didn’t want him to go on the road.



To listen to recordings of Ford Hawaiians, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Váša Příhoda

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.




Váša Příhoda, born August 22, 1900, was a famous Czech violinist known for the perfection of his technique and the beauty of his tone. He was considered a Paganini specialist, and his recording of the Violin Concerto in A minor by Dvorak is still very highly praised. His artistry was controversial, and tended to polarise listeners. His first public performance was at age 13. At age 19 a tour of Italy proved unsuccessful; poverty-stricken, he joined the orchestra of the Café Grand’Italia in Milan to earn money. There he was heard by chance by Arturo Toscanini, who arranged a benefit concert for him. He then resumed his Italian tour, this time to great success. He was said to have been given Niccolo Paganini's own violin on which to play. He toured Brazil and the United States in 1920 and the USA again in 1921. He once shared the stage of the Royal Albert Hall with Pablo Casals. Příhoda concertized extensively all over the world and made a number of recordings when the industry was in its infancy. Unfortunately, some of his recordings were not well-produced so the sound quality is poor. But, he was greatly admired for his style, dazzling technique, and finesse. He appeared in two films in 1936: Between Two Worlds and Die Liebe des Maharadscha. During World War II, he taught at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Because he continued to perform in Germany and German-occupied territories after the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, he was briefly charged with collaboration after the war, and censured by the Czech government. He later taught at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna. In later years, he dedicated most of his time to teaching and composing small chamber works. His last concert was in April 1960. He died on July 26, 1960.

To listen to recordings made by Vasa Prihoda, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Walter Van Brunt

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


Walter Van Brunt, said to have been Thomas Edison’s favorite tenor, began his recording career at the age of 17. Recording and performing with such giants of his era as Billy Murray,  Ada Jones, the American Quartet and John Bieling, Van Brunt had 40 hits on the pop charts including ‘When I Dream in the Gloaming of You’ (#3, 1909), ‘It’s Hard to Kiss Your Sweetheart (When the Last Kiss Means Good-Bye)’ (#2, 1910), ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ (#2, 1911), ‘Don’t Wake Me Up, I’m Dreaming’ (#3, 1911), ‘That Was Before I Met You’ (#3, 1911), ‘I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad’ (#2, 1911), ‘Ghost of the Violin’ (#3, 1913), ‘Sympathy' with Helen Clark, #1, 1913), ‘And the Green Grass Grew All Around’ (#4, 1913) and ‘I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen’ (#3, 1916). Van Brunt also appeared in vaudeville sketches and Broadway productions including Eileen and was featured in radio programs with Billy Murray from 1929 through 1933.

To listen to the recordings of Walter Van Brunt, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: The American Quartet

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.,


The American Quartet, a highly successful vocal group with 12 number one hits during the 1910’s and ’20’s, was formed in 1909 and recorded together for over 15 years. Its original lineup consisted of tenor Billy Murray (the featured soloist), tenor John Bieling, baritone Steve Porter and bass William F. Hooley. Journalist Jim Walsh wrote in the 1970 February issue of Hobbies magazine that "For several years [Murray] had been singing frequently on Victor records with the assistance of the Haydn Quartet, but now it was decided there was a need for a foursome in which he would star. So John Bieling and Hooley were borrowed from the Haydn Quartet (in which, however, they continued to sing) and Porter was brought in from the Peerless, where he had been singing baritone." Bieling left in 1914 and was replaced by John Young. When Hooley died in late 1918, he was succeeded by Donald Chalmers.

In 1920, a revamped American Quartet featured Murray, Albert Campbell, John Meyer and Frank Croxton. While the individual members, particularly Murray, enjoyed solo success, the quartet is responsible for some of the most successful recordings of its day including the #1 hit songs ‘Casey Jones’ (1910), ‘Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon’ (1910 with Ada Jones), ‘Come Josephine in My Flying Machine’ (1911 with Ada Jones), ‘Oh, You Beautiful Doll’ (1911), ‘Moonlight Bay’ (1912), ‘Everybody Two-Step’ (1912), ‘Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’ (1914), ‘It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary’ (1914), ‘Chinatown, My Chinatown’ (1915), ‘Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!’ (1917), ‘Over There’ (1917) and ‘Good-Bye Broadway, Hello France’ (1917). In total, American Quartet had over 65 top ten hits from 1910 through 1924 and is listed as #16 on the list of most #1 singles from 1890-1954.
The group disbanded in 1925.


To listen to recordings by The American Quartet, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Byron Harlan

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


While tenor Byron Harlan enjoyed an extremely successful solo career with over 50 top ten recordings from 1899 through 1919, he became hugely famous as one half of the “Half-ton duo” with baritone Arthur Collins.

As a solo artist, Harlan specialized in sentimental ballads including the #1 hits ‘Tell Me, Pretty Maiden’ (1901), ‘Hello Central, Give Me Heaven’ (1901), ‘The Mansion of Aching Hearts’ (1902), ‘Blue Bell’ (1904), ‘All Aboard for Dreamland’ (1904), ‘Where the Morning Glories Twine Around the Door’ (1905), ‘Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie’ (1906), ‘The Good Old U.S.A’ (1906), ‘My Gal Sal’ (1907), ‘School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids)’ (1907), ‘Nobody’s Little Girl’ (1907) and ‘Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!’ (1910).

In contrast to Harlan’s sentimental ballad style, the Collins-Harlan duo’s emphasis was on ragtime and minstrel humor. Cited as the most popular comedy team in the early 1900’s, Collins-Harlan had #1 hits with ‘Down Where the Wurzburger Flows’ (1902), ‘Hurrah For Baffin’s Bay’ (1903), ‘Camp Meetin’ Time’ (1906), ‘The Right Church, But the Wrong Pew’ (1909), ‘Under the Yum Yum Tree’ (1911), ‘Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey’ (1911), ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’ (1911), ‘When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam’’ (1913), ‘I Love the Ladies’ (1914), ‘The Aba Dada Honeymoon’ (1914), ‘Oh How She Could Yacki Hacki Wicki Wachi Woo (That’s Love in Honolulu)’ (1916) and ‘Dark Town Strutters Hall’ (1918).

Byron G. Harlan died on September 11, 1936.


To listen to recordings by Byron Harlan, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Arthur Collins

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


Baritone Arthur Collins, the leading mintrel-style dialect comedy singer of the early 1900’s was born on February 7, 1864 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His solo hits, led by the famous ‘Preacher and the Bear’ were plentiful with over 40 top ten hits, however he achieved his greatest success in his partnership with tenor Byron Harlan. He was also a member of the Peerless Quartet from 1909 until 1918. In the December 1942 issue of Hobbies magazine, Journalist Jim Walsh attributed Collins’ popularity to these qualities: "There probably has never been a sweeter, more naturally musical baritone voice than his....Then, too, Arthur Collins managed invariably to get into the wax the impression of a warm, lovable personality. The unctuous sound of his chuckles in dialect work is unfailingly charming." His solo hits include the #1 recordings of ‘Kiss Me, Honey, Do’ (1899), ‘When You Ain’t Got No More Money, Well, You Needn’t Come Around’ (1899), ‘I Guess I’ll Have to Telegraph My Baby’ (1899), ‘Hello Ma Baby’ (1899), ‘I’d Leave My Happy Home For You’ (1899), ‘Mandy Lee’ (1900), ‘Ma Tiger Lily’ (1900), ‘Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home’ (1902), ‘Under the Bamboo Tree’ (1902), ‘Good-Bye, Eliza Jane’ (1903), ‘Any Rags’ (1903) and ‘The Preacher and the Bear’ (1905).
With Harlan’the team nicknamed ‘the Half-ton duo’ because of both their portly stature… Collins collected #1 hits with ‘Down Where the Wurzburger Flows’ (1902), ‘Hurrah For Baffin’s Bay’ (1903), ‘Camp Meetin’ Time’ (1906), ‘The Right Church, But the Wrong Pew’ (1909), ‘Under the Yum Yum Tree’ (1911), ‘Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey’ (1911), ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’ (1911), ‘When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam’’ (1913), ‘I Love the Ladies’ (1914), ‘The Aba Dada Honeymoon’ (1914), ‘Oh How She Could Yacki Hacki Wicki Wachi Woo (That’s Love in Honolulu)’ (1916) and ‘Dark Town Strutters Hall’ (1918).
Collins and Harlan recorded the first song to refer to "jazz": "That Funny Jas Band from Dixieland," copyrighted on November 8, 1916, recorded on January 12, 1917, and issued on Victor 18235.
On October 20, 1921, Collins was seriously injured during an Edison Tone Test demonstration. Collins exited the stage in the dark so the audience could guess whether the singing heard came from the singer himself or an Edison Diamond Disc machine, and he fell through a trap-door accidentally left open.
After a recovery period, he made a solo recording for Gennett—"I Ain't Got Enough For To Pass Around" (4866), issued in June 1922—and more recordings with Harlan for Edison, but heart ailments coupled with lingering effects from the fall prompted him to retire to Florida in 1926.
Arthur Collins died on August 3, 1933.

To listen to recordings by Arthur Collins, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Fred Van Eps

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


Fred Van Eps (December 30, 1878 – November 22, 1960) was a noted bnjoist and banjo maker. The "Van Eps Recording Banjo" was a well-known model until 1930. Van Eps was born in Somerville, New Jersey and moved with his family to Plainfield, New Jersey in 1892. he learned to play the banjo and studied the phonograph cylinder recordings of Vess Ossman. In 1897, Van Eps was hired by Thomas Edison's National Phonograph Company in West Orange, New Jersey, working as a regular in studio engagements. Van Eps cylinder recordings, often remakes of Ossman tunes, sold well for Edison. Early ragtime banjo recordings by Van Eps included "A Bunch of Rags" (1900) and "A Ragtime Episode" (1902).He also recorded for a number of other companies, including Columbia (from 1904) and Victor (from 1910). His group the Van Eps Trio recorded steadily from 1912 to 1922. He also led other groups such as the Van Eps Quartet, the Van Eps Specialty Four, and the Van Eps Banjo Orchestra. In 1914, the latter group was one of the first to record for the American branch of the French Pathe Freres Company. In 1921, Orlando Kellum, inventor of the Photokinema sound-on-disc sound file system, filmed the Van Eps Trio in The Famous Van Eps Trio in a Bit of Jazz. With Henry Burr, he formed a company that manufactured and sold the Van Eps Recording Banjo, modeled on the one he used in recordings and concerts. The banjo remained on the market until about 1930, when widespread use of electric recording removed the need for the loud volume produced by the Van Eps model. By the 1930s the banjo had fallen out of favor in popular music, and Van Eps switched to guitar, playing as a studio musician with Benny Goodman, Ray Noble, Red Norvo and others. In the 1950s he attempted a comeback with a number of banjo recordings, before his death in Burbank, California at the age of 81. Van Eps also worked in vaudeville. He was the father of jazz guitarist George Van Eps.

To listen to recordings made by Fred Van Eps, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Thomas Chalmers

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


Thomas Chalmers was born on October 20, 1884 in NewYork City, the son of Thomas Hardie and Sophia Amanda (De Bann) Chalmers. In 1909, he went to Florence to study singing with Vincenzo Lombardi and made his operatic debut in May 1911 in Fossombrone as Marcello in La boheme. His first appearance in the United States was as Jack Rance in The Girl of the Golden West with Henry Wilson Savage's English Grand Opera Company. Chalmers toured the United States with the company from 1911 to 12. He then sang as the leading baritone with the Boston National Opera Company and the Century Opera Company before making his Metropolitan Opera debut on November 17, 1917 as Valentin in Faust. He went on to appear regularly at the Met until 1922 and sang in the world premiere of Shanewis, the US premiere of Marouf, and the first Met performances of La forza del destino and Crispino e la Comare. His recordings were all made for Edison and covered a wide range of repertoire from folk songs to opera; he recorded both on cylinder and the Edison Disc Record formats. Following a throat operation, Chalmers withdrew from opera and became a stage and film actor. His many stage roles included several Broadway premieres such as Landolfo in Pirandello's The Living Mask (Henry IV), 1924; Doctor Schindler in Schnitzler's The Call of Life (Der Ruf des Lebens), 1925; Captain Adam Brant in O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, 1931; Ben Loman in Miller's Death of a Salesman, 1949; and Richard Bravo in Maxwell Anderson's The Bad Seed, 1954. One of Chalmers's earliest film roles was The Minister in the 1923 silent film Puritan Passions, based on Percy MacKaye's play The Scarecrow, which was in turn based on Feathertop, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. His last film role was The Judge in Martin Ritt's The Outrage, released in 1964. Chalmers also produced and directed several short comedy films. His voice can be heard as the narrator in two documentary films by Pare Lorentz, The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) and The River (1938), both with scores by Virgil Thomson. In the 1950s and 60s, Chalmers appeared on television as an actor in several drama anthology series including Westinghouse Studio One, CBS Television Workshop, Kraft Television Theatre, The DuPont Show of the Month and Play of the Week. He also appeared in single episodes of The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen, The Defenders, Mister Peepers, and several other weekly series. Thomas Hardie Chalmers died on June 11, 1966 at the Laurelton Nursing Home in Greenwich, Connecticut. He was survived by his wife and his daughter, Vilma Hayes.





To listen to recordings made by Thomas Chalmers, or other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


The Edison Files: Maggie Teyte

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.



Dame Maggie Teyte was born on April 17, 1888, in Wolfverhampton, England. In March 1906, she made her debut in a series of Mozart concerts conducted by Reynaldo Hahn and in 1907 became a member of the Paris Opéra-Comique. After a few small parts, she was cast as Mélisande. To prepare for Pelléas et Mélisande, Teyte was sent to study with Debussy himself. In 1910, she conquered London audiences with her portrayals of Cherubino in Marriage of Figaro, Blonde in Abduction from the Seraglio, and Mélisande. Despite her early successes, Teyte had a difficult time finding a place for herself in the main opera houses of the world. She developed a following in Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia, and sang in America through the end of World War I, but did not appear in New York. She married in 1921 and went into a period of semi-retirement. Upon the disruption of her marriage in the early 1930s, Teyte faced difficulties of resuming her career after an absence of nearly a decade. An Australian tour was a financial fiasco. Twice she attempted an American comeback but it seemed that the public had forgotten her. Teyte’s career was revived in 1936 by a set of recordings she made for EMI of Debussy songs accompanied by Alfred Cortot. Though the outbreak of the Second World War interrupted the progress of her “second career,” her recordings established her reputation in England and the United States as the leading French art singer of her time. In 1948, she made her first New York appearances: a Town Hall recital, followed by a series of performances of Pelléas at the City Center Opera. Teyte continued performing in opera until 1951 and on the concert stage until her retirement in 1955, at age 67. In 1958 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She died in London on May 26, 1976.

To listen to recordings by Maggie Teyte and other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Chester Gaylord

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.


Chester Gaylord was a vocalist and among the most active of recording artists in the United States during the late 1920s through the early 1930s. Born on February 24, 1899, he was known as The Whispering Serenader on radio and on his records. He began his career as a singer and announcer for radio station WTAG in Worcester, Massachusetts in the early 1920s. Chester Gaylord's first recordings (in 1920) were saxophone solos for Thomas Edison, whom he had personally met. In 1923, he signed with Columbia records and made a number of vocal records for them. His popularity spread rapidly leading Brunswick Records (the second largest record company in the United States in the 1920s) to offer him an exclusive contract. He became one of the labels most prolific vocalists during the late 1920s. After the Warner Brothers bought out the Brunswick Record company in April 1930 a reorganization occurred and Chester Gaylord's contact was one of numerous artists whose contract was not renewed. Chester Gaylord continued to be popular on radio throughout the early 1930s until the introduction of swing music, in 1935, a type of music that was unsuitable to his style of singing. From 1929 to 1931, he was a featured vocalist on NBC radio on the Top Notchers Coca Cola Radio Program with Leonard Joy and his All String Orchestra. Gaylord moved to WBZ in Boston in the late 40s. He retired in the mid-1960s. During his retirement years he lived in Sterling, Massachusetts. He regularly played 1920s and 1930s songs on piano at The Old Timer, and Irish Pub in neighboring Clinton, Mass. According to Gaylord's obituary, he was still performing right up until a few weeks before his death on July 1, 1984.

To listen to Chester Gaylord and other early recording artists, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Edison Files: Waikiki Hawaiian Orchestra

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. No one knows for sure who the very first recording artist was. Here is a look at the early recording artists I have in my collection.



Steel guitar virtuoso Frank Ferera, called Palakiko Ferreira on early Edison recordings, was born on June 12, 1885 in Honolulu. Ferera was featured on the cover of the December 1916 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly, and an article states, "Frank Ferera has the distinction of being the one who first introduced the Hawaiian style of playing the guitar into the United States. It was in 1900 that he brought the first ukelele [sic] here and commenced to charm vaudeville audiences. For quite a while he had the field to himself" His first wife was named Eva Perkins, but they divorced. He married Helen Greenus, who played ukulele as well as guitar. The two performed widely in vaudeville as Helen Louise and Frank Ferera. When Hawaiian records became incredibly popular in 1916 and 1917, Louise and Ferera recorded prolifically, benefitting from the sudden craze for Hawaiian records but also providing fuel for the craze with their many records featuring charming, always polished but never flashy performances. Ferera was a crossover artist from the beginning. In fact, the debut record of Louise and Ferera featured a Stephen Foster song. The duo often recorded songs that had originated in Hawaii but other times recorded songs of other genre. Louise and Ferera made their recording debut in New York City for Columbia in late July 1915. The four songs recorded were "My Old Kentucky Home," "Medley of Hawaiian Waltzes," "Honolulu Rag," and "Kaiwa Waltz." For Edison, Frank Ferera made his recording debut as a solo artist in September 1915 with "Ua Like No Alike and "Medley of Hawaiian Hulas." In 1917 Louise and Ferera made recordings for virtually every company, including Victor, Columbia, Edison and others. Their Edison recording debut was "Medley of Hawaiian Airs--No. 1," issued on Blue Amberol 2917 in July 1916. Ferera managed the Waikiki Hawaiian Orchestra, which often recorded for Edison, but neither Edison literature nor labels credit Ferera for leading the orchestra. Louise and Ferera did not record as often in 1918 as they had in 1917, perhaps partly due to touring engagements, perhaps also due to the demand for war songs far exceeding that for any other type of music. Frank Ferera recorded for most companies in the 1920's. One Edison recording made in May 1924 and issued on Diamond Disc 51361 in August (then issued as Blue Amberol 4898 in September) helped popularize "hillbilly" music: Frank Ferera accompanied Vernon Dalhart as he sang and played harmonica on "The Wreck On The Southern Old 97." Ferera died on June 26, 1951.

To listen to the Waikiki Hawaiian Orchestra, or recordings by Frank Ferera, visit the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

My Trials Are God's Mercies

We each have periods in our lives where we wonder, "Where are you God?" But, it is during these times that, if we seek Him, we ...