Saturday, December 19, 2015

Burt Shepard - The Robin

In time for Christmas, here's a comedy record from 1904 that I think is still pretty funny. Burt Shepard promises an imitation of a robin which never comes; it quickly devolves into a rambling, increasingly confused dissertation largely concerning drinking at Christmas.

Shepard recorded dozens of sides for Victor in the early years of the 20th century, both songs and comic recitations like this. During this period the record company was using the "Monarch" designation for its one-sided ten-inch records, reserving "Victor" for the twelve-inchers. My copy of this record is in decent shape, but there is one stripped groove near the beginning which causes a slight skip, at the phrase, "our dear little robin," about twelve seconds in. There are a few other slightly rough spots, but everything should be pretty intelligible. So enjoy "The Robin," recorded on July 26, 1904. And try to get the other fellow to buy that first drink.

The Robin

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Victor 1919 Delections Catalog

Here' are some scans from an unusual 16-page flyer from 1919. It's the list of records Victor was deleting from its catalog. I've included the front and back covers and a couple of representative inner pages. Note the stamp from Taylor's Music House in Springfield, Massachusetts on the front and the print date of July 1, 1919 on the back.

A favorite of mine is listed early on in the first column of page 10 (second picture). Victor 35372, "Castle House Rag" / "Castle's Lame Duck Waltz" by James Reese Europe's Society Orchestra, was state of the art dance music when released in 1914. But tastes change, and by 1919 Victor had recordings by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and Earl Fuller's Jazz Band. And Paul Whiteman was waiting in the wings.

Click on any picture for a closer view.