Cylinder Records

Voices of Christmas Past

I released VOCP 10 years ago and each year as we get closer to the Christmas holidays I get overwhelmed with requests for it. The disc is out of print and I have no copies left so I’ve uploaded the files for all to enjoy. Just scroll past the liner notes to get to the music player.

From the original liner notes: Of all things Christmas nothing is more traditional than the singing of carols and songs. Songs that capture in lyrics and in music the many traditions that we have at Christmas – the birth of the Christ child, the Christmas tree, the opening of gifts and even sleigh rides. Any well dressed sleigh ride featured those cheery sounding bells attached to the horse’s harness. In fact one of the most beloved Christmas songs ever, “Jingle Bells” celebrates this sound and the spirit of a country sleigh ride. On October 30, 1889 banjoist Will Lyle made history by recording “Jingle Bells”, the very first Christmas record. Although no known copies of this record survive one of the earliest vocal examples of “Jingle Bells” does survive on an Edison brown wax cylinder entitled, “Sleigh Ride Party”. It was made a decade later and was reissued for the first time on this CD (now out of print). This collection of carols, songs and monologues from the original vintage recordings capture the essence of the Christmas spirit as it was in the opening two decades of the 20th Century. So gather up the family, wind up the phonograph and take a trip back in time to the early 1900’s and celebrate the holidays with the “Voices of Christmas Past”.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

1. Santa Claus Hides in the Phonograph (Ernest Hare, recorded 1922)
2. On A Christmas Morning (Prince’s Orchestra, recorded 1911)
3. Sleigh Ride Party / Jingle Bells (Edison Male Quartette, recorded 1898)
4. Messiah – And the Glory of the Lord (Victor Mixed Chorus, recorded 1915)
5. Hark the Herald Angels Sing (Henry Burr, recorded 1907)
6. Silent Night, Hallowed Night (Haydn Quartet, recorded 1905)
7. Christmas Time at Pumpkin’ Center (Cal Stewart, recorded 1905)
8. Christmas Hymns (Francis J. Lapitino, recorded 1917)
9. When the Christmas Chimes Are Ringing (Lewis James, recorded 1922)
10. The Star of Bethlehem (Harry MacDonough, recorded 1909)
11. Come and Spend Christmas With Me (Byron G. Harlan, recorded 1909)
12. Christmas Morning at Clancey’s (Steve Porter, recorded 1922)
13. Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem (Trinity Choir, Recorded 1916)
14. Adeste Fideles (John McCormack and William Reitz, recorded 1915)
15. Night Before Christmas (Ernest Hare, recorded 1920)
16. Nutcracker Ballet: Chinese Dance/Dance of the Mirilitons (Victor Herbert’s Orchestra, recorded 1913)
17. On A Good Old Time Sleigh Ride (Peerless Quartet, recorded 1913)
18. Angels from the Realms of Glory (Trinity Choir, recorded 1916)
19. While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night / Christians Awake (Trinity Quartet, recorded 1921)
20. Uncle Josh Plays Santa Claus (Cal Stewart, recorded 1907)
21. Christmas in Camp (Anonymous, recorded ca. 1917)
22. Noel (Holy Night) (Venetian Trio, recorded 1916)
23. Auld Lang Syne (Navada Van der Veer, recorded 1921)


Published: December 2, 2008

Recording of the Month – The White Swan (March 1905)

The White Swan – Played by the Edison Symphony Orchestra
Edison Gold Mould wax cylinder 8934
Relesed in March of 1905


Published: November 23, 2008

Mocking Bird Medley – Joe Belmont (circa 1900)

Welcome to the new edition of Dawn of Sound. It’s been a while since I?ve updated the site, mostly due to space/cost issues with maintaining a sound archive. My original plan for Dawn of Sound was to archive all my sound files on my webhost’s server but it was just too expensive to host all the files. Space was another issue, forcing me to compress the files with low bit rates so I could offer more recordings; because of the compression, the quality suffered. But then, comes to the rescue. I?ve started using the service because not only do they offer free server space to host media files but because they allow high bit rate archival quality files.

I hope you enjoy the site and come back often to listen to new old tunes.

And now for the first sound post of the year?..

Whistling tunes were popular in the late 1890 early 1900s and among the recording artists that specialized in Bird imitation records Joe Belmont was probably the most popular. His specialty number “Mocking Bird” was his most famous recording and various versions were recorded for the almost 47 record companies he had recorded for. The version offered here is from a brown wax Columbia Cylinder. It sounds a bit rough but not bad for a recording made over 100 years ago!

Joe Belmont – Mocking Bird Medley from Columbia 725, Brown Wax Cylinder, Recorded Circa 1900.


Published: January 1, 2007