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.