UCSB: Early 20th Century Recordings

UCSB’s Edison wax cylinder collection provides a great many early recordings from the 1890s and 1900s, which is as close as modern recorded music gets to the 1860s.  Some of these recordings actually feature Civil War veterans, and provide us with a sense of how these songs may have sounded when played during the war, a few dozen years before:

ALSO: Did you know a man named Leon Scott was making audio recordings as early as the 1850s?  For more about Antebellum recordings, see UCSB’s “phonautograph” resources >> and the NY Times article “Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison” >>

Edison Cylinders of Civil War Music:

NOTE: These links are currently not operative; to access the audio, you’ll have to visit the UCSB site & SEARCH for the relevant titles:

  • Battle Cry of Freedom / Harlan & Stanley / 1904
  • Bonnie Blue Flag / Polk Miller & his Old South Quartette / 1914
  • Dixie / New York Military Band, Fife & Drum Corps, and chorus / 1913
  • Go Down, Moses / Reed Miller and chorus / 1918
  • Home, Sweet Home / Knickerbocker Quartet / 1910
  • Just Before the Battle, Mother / Will Oakland & Chorus / 1909
  • Lorena / Metropolitan Quartet / 1914
  • Marching Through Georgia / Harlan & Stanley / 1904
  • Roll, Jordan, Roll / Fisk Jubilee Singers / 1927
  • Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground / Peerless Quartet / 1909
  • There is a Fountain Filled with Blood / Edison Mixed Quartette / 1910
  • Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! / Knickerbocker Quartet / 1914
  • What a Time / Polk Miller & his Old South Quartette / 1910
  • What a Time / Polk Miller’s Old South Quartet / 1914

Songs of Stephen Foster:

  • Hard Times, Come Again No More / Edison Male Quartette / 1905
  • Massa’s in de Cold, Cold Ground (BANJO SOLO) /Fred J. Bacon / 1916
  • My Old Kentucky Home / Knickerbocker Quartet / 1909
  • Old Folks at Home (BANJO SOLO)/ Vess L. Ossman / 1896-1899?
  • Old Folks at Home (CHORUS)/ Florence Ethel Smith / 1908
  • Old Dog Tray (CHORUS)/ Van Brunt & Chorus / 1918

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