Audio Time Machine

Just in time for New Year’s… now you too can travel back in time!

I’ve always wanted to be a time traveler, but the next best thing is to bring the past into modern day. That spirit

is what led me to the Cylinder Archive and the 78rpm archive, both being websites devoted to preserving early

phonographic material from 1890-1950. I’ve had lots of fun browsing the quaint audio artifacts therein, and I present

here some of the best picks for each year that I’ve so far found, including very influential artists and songs from the

history of opera, jazz, pop, and blues. This list is far from comprehensive and there are many other worthwhile tunes

beyond these. If you dig this even half as much as I did, then my work here is done. Click on a song’s title to play

it, but please be patient with’s slow servers.

1878 ~ Frank Lambert ~ Experimental Talking Clock (believed to be the world’s oldest playable

recording, poor quality, hosted at

1888 ~ Arthur Sullivan ~ The Lost Chord (believed to be the world’s oldest

surviving musical recording, very faint)

1895 ~ Manhassett Quartette ~ The

Old Folks at Home

1898 ~ Edison Symphony Orchestra ~ The

Forge in the Forest

1899 ~ 71st Regiment Band ~ Under the Double

Eagle March

1900 ~ Columbia Orchestra ~ Narcissus

1902 ~ Enrico Caruso ~ Vesti La Giubba

1903 ~ Arthur Leonard ~ Skylark

1904 ~ John W. Myers ~ I Dreamt That I

Dwelt in Marble Halls

1905 ~ Edison Military Band ~ The

Whistler and His Dog

1906 ~ Ada Jones ~ I Remember You

1907 ~ August Molinari ~ Street Piano


1908 ~ Albert Benzler ~ Lollypops

1909 ~ American Symphony Orchestra ~ Ripples (a serenade)

1910 ~ Billy Murray ~ Casey Jones

1911 ~ Lucy Isabelle Marsh ~ Italian Street Song

1912 ~ Enrico Caruso ~ Because

1913 ~ Edison Military Band ~ Hungarian

Rag / One Step

1914 ~ Dr. Clarence Penney ~ Toots

1915 ~ Victor Military Band ~ Booster Fox Trot (an

American Absurdity)

1916 ~ Don Richardson ~ Arkansas


1917 ~ Arthur Fields ~ Goodbye Broadway, Hello France

1918 ~ Amparito Farrar ~ Madelon

1919 ~ All Star Trio ~ I’ll Say She Does

1920 ~ Art Hickman’s Orchestra – The Love Nest

1921 ~ Original Dixieland Jazz Band

with Al Bernard ~ St. Louis Blues

1922 ~ Leona Williams ~ Struttin’


1923 ~ Robert Denning ~ Keep It Under

Your Hat

1924 ~ Paul Whiteman and George Gershwin ~ Rhapsody in Blue (part 2)

1925 ~ Georgia Melodians ~ Red Hot Henry


1926 ~ Peerless Quartet with Henry Burr and Billy Murray ~ My Dream of the Big Parade

1927 ~ Aileen Stanley and Johnny Marvin ~ Under the Moon

1928 ~ Blind Willie McTell ~ Statesboro Blues

1929 ~ Eddie Cantor ~ Hungry Women

1930 ~ Jimmie Rogers ~ Hobo Bill’s Last Ride

1931 ~ Al Dollar and His Ten Cent Band with Billy Murray ~ Popeye the Sailor Man

1932 ~ Paul Whiteman with Mildred Bailey ~ All of Me

1934 ~ Paul Whiteman with Ramona Davies ~ Anything Goes

1936 ~ Paul Whiteman with Johnny Hauser ~ Gloomy Sunday

Okay, ready to lobby for VH1’s "I love the 1910s"?

Nifty WIkipedia Thing: Nixie tubes

Movies I’ve Seen:

His Girl Friday (1940)

What I’m Reading:

"On the Road" by Jack Kerouac


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