Updated October 1998
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Prince's Military Band 1910
This widely recorded rag was composed by Henry Lodge and registered for copyright on September 9, 1909.
Dixieland Jass Band One Step
Original Dixieland "Jass" Band 1917
This was one of the earliest recording jazz bands. Note that the final spelling of the new musical form had yet to be decided upon.
Here Comes My Daddy Now
Collins and Harlan 1913
I think this tune is very catchy - though the words sound kind of silly when sung by grown men and not little kids. This is from an old Oxford Record - which was an in-house label sold by Sears, Roebuck & Company.
Columbia Orchestra 1919
The reason for the unusual title will be self-evident when you listen. This sounds like something that would make an appropriate soundtrack for an early animated cartoon.
Au Revoir But Not Good-Bye
Henry Burr 1918
In this selection, a father bids farewell to his son who is off to fight in World War I
Maxims (from "The Merry Widow")
Harvey Hindemeyer 1907
"The Merry Widow" is an operetta by Franz Lehar - who was very popular around the turn of the century. I am very fond of Lehar's music. The vocal on this one is in English, not the original German.
Your The Sweetest Girl
Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra 1921
Paul Whiteman's dance band was the one most responsible for introducing jazz to a mass audience. He was billed as "The King of Jazz" - much to the disgust of jazz critics ever since. I think his best recordings were made in the late 1920s after the advent of electrical recording when his band featured some of the era's jazz greats. However, many of the band's numerous sides from the acoustical era are pleasant to listen to - as this cheerful selection demonstrates.
My Pretty Peggy
Columbia Band 1901
In the very early days of recording, it was common practice to have an announcer introduce each record. The practice did not continue for very long. While this selection was recorded in 1901, my copy is from a 1908 "double disc" reissue. While the announcer states who the trumpet soloist on this is, I had a difficult time making out the last name. Fortunately, a visitor to the site wrote and informed me that it is Emil Keneke, who would later be associated with the Arthur Pryor Band and the Victor Military Band.
Guatemala - Panama March
The Hurtado Bros. Royal Marimba Band of Guatemala 1916
This selection's title is very misleading. Rather than a march, this is a delightful rag played marimba style! I did not even know that I had this one in my collection until I stumbled across it while looking for a march to include on this page. What a nice surprise!
Don't Be Cross
Victor Orchestra 1909
This waltz makes me think of a grand 19th century party.
Bessie Smith, vocal; Fletcher Henderson, piano 1923
I think Bessie Smith had a remarkable voice - even on her acoustical recordings! Fletcher Henderson's contributions to the development of popular music are addressed in this site's 1920s &1930s section.
Columbia Graphophone Company March
Prince's Band 1916
Either Columbia Records commissioned this song - or the composer decided that naming it after a major record company was the surest way of getting it recorded!
Salvator Rosa - Mia piccireila 1919
Enrico Caruso, vocal
Salvator Rosa was an opera by Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Gomez (1839-1896) who was trained at the Milan Conservatory and was a pupil of Rosini. This opera seems to have been pretty much forgotten as I am unable to find any current listing for it on CD. Caruso was the most influential male Opera singer of the 20th century. Despite the fact that he died in 1921 before the advent of electrical recording, you will still find reissues of his records in most classical music sections. Listen to this selection and you will know why.
Count Those Days
Earl Randolph's Orchestra 1922
Victor Military Band 1914
This is a pleasant recording that evokes images of an era that was soon to be forever destroyed by the First World War.
Everybody Loves My Baby
The Georgians 1924
This early six member "hot" dance band was actually a part of the Paul Specht Orchestra - the first instance of what would later become a common practice of having a "band within a band."