Music, Sound, and Technology in America: A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema, and Radio

Compiled and edited by
Timothy D. Taylor, Mark Katz, and Tony Grajeda


Duke University Press, 2012

Phonograph

A re-enactment of Thomas Edison’s first recording using a replica of the 1877 phonograph.
(See pages 12–13 for more information.)

Arthur Sullivan speaks about his reaction to a demonstration of Edison’s phonograph.
Recorded on a wax cylinder on 5 October 1888. 
(See page 11 for more information.)

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso sings the aria “Vesti la giubba” from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s 1892 opera Pagliacci.
This 1904 recording was the first million-selling disc.

1923 recording of “Dippermouth Blues” by King Oliver’s band. Toward the end of the song we hear banjoist
Bill Johnson yell, “Play that thing!” to cover for a missed drum solo by Baby Dodds.
Subsequent recordings (by King Oliver and others) recreated that improvised shout.
(See pages 25 and 88 for more information.)


Mark Katz demonstrates the feature called the Graduola on an early 20th century Aeolian phonograph.
(See page 21 for more information.)

Australian soprano Nellie Melba sings the aria “Del ciel clemente” from Gaetano Donizetti’s 1835 opera Lucia di Lammermoor.
(See page 25 for more information.)

Singing Lesson No. 20. Excerpt from the record accompanying Oscar Saenger’s 1916 manual, 
The Oscar Saenger Course in Vocal Training: A Complete Course of Vocal Study for the Tenor Voice on Victor Records.
(See pages 21 and 102–103 for more information.)



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