Echoes of Merriment from the Corridors of History....
When he gave it to the world, Thomas Edison saw a number of applications for his world-changing invention, the phonograph. In an article published by a widely read newspaper, among the possible uses he saw for it included letter writing, dictation without the aid of a stenographer, phonographic books for blind people, music-boxes and toys, clocks that should announce schedules, language preservation, and various other educational applications.
However, it clear that even the great inventor and visionary himself could not anticipate the full impact of recorded sound - especially on the world of entertainment. A variety of songs, stage plays and stand-up comedies were recorded even in his own lifetime. Music and comedy have always been any audiences’ preferred choice of having a good time. It is fortunate that some of the earliest recorded examples of these have been preserved. The wit and humor evident in these conveys a clear message - people have always loved to laugh. We by no means have a monopoly on that drive in the present age.
Edison Sound Recordings - (Humorous Songs) Audio CD from the A2ZCDS series is a bona fide gem. The CD features 18 tracks of amazing range and includes funny limericks backed by music, a mock court case that will have you in splits, enacted humorous situations that are evident precursors of the ever-popular sitcom genre, hilariously absurd poetic recollections and various other recordings that have genuine artistic value. Tracks featured here include ‘The Aba Daba Honeymoon’ by Fields and Donovan, ‘Farmyard Medley’ by the Premier Quartet, ‘I’ve Been Floating Down The Old Green River’ by Joe Cooper, ‘The Preacher and the Bear’ by Joe Arizona and many other immortal items. The music and voices speak to us from a bygone historic age that would have been lost to all but the most ardent and resourceful historians and sound buffs - however, here they are.... completely restored, remastered for optimum audibility and collected in convenient CD format for you to pore over and be transported back to sound recording’s Age of Infancy.
As would be expected from the world’s first authentic sound recordings, the tracks on the Edison Sound Recordings - (Humorous Songs) Audio CD are far from Dolby standards. What is delightfully surprising is the fact that there is an amazing level of clarity. We must, at all times of browsing this CD collection, remember that we are listening to audio history here. It has been remarkably well preserved and superceded my own expectations as a sound engineer.
The second pleasant surprise is the genuine entertainment value of this CDs content. There is real humor in the subject matter, artistic voice inflection for added effect and an overall aura of accomplished Vaudeville. This collection can be scanned from both a historical and pleasurable distraction perspective. It is evident that certain winning formulas in stand-up comedy - including the type of background music - have survived the test of time. Anyone who has seen Disney’s early Buena Vista cartoons will have an instant sense of déjà vu. This CD is highly recommended, especially for serious collectors of rare audio materials.
"I could not help but latch on to the irony - at the time there recordings were made, the LP would have been considered High Technology. And here I was, listening to these long dead voices from the past, using equipment that exists only in museums now, on my expensive digital Kenwood Sound System. This is history at its purest - interactive, self-explanatory and totally delightful to perceive. Many thanks, A2ZCDS - this was a rare and memorable experience."
Customer's Name: Haridas Mundra (New Delhi, India)
"Some of this stuff (in the Edison Sound Recordings - (Humorous Songs) Audio CD) is really funny. The court routine with the corrupt judge is worthy of reenactment in the best of today’s TV sitcoms. Where on earth did you manage to dredge this material up from? To be able to hear it in the comfort of my living room is a weird and wonderful thing. I have always taken recorded sound for granted... here it is in the raw. An overwhelming sense of history is inevitable."
Customer's Name: Frederick Lewitt (Santa Ana, CA)