Thursday, December 31, 2009

Before country, vol. 3 : 1910-1915

Harry Lauder - Roamin' in the Gloamin'(1912)

Bert Williams - Nobody (1913)

Morton Harvey - I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier (1915)

This is the third part of my explorations of pre-country music. Here is one more little compilation I've made of various songs and tunes from the first half of the 1910s. Musically speaking, ragtime is still very popular, and the arrival of Afro American syncopated music is related by Tin Pan Alley or vaudeville singers ("Alexander's Ragtime Band). The "first" blues song to be published, "Memphis Blues" by WC Handy, is from 1912 (I included Harlan & Collins' rendition). And in 1910 John Lomax published "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads", first big scholar work on Western music.

Like the two others, this selection features popular "hits", some of them sentimental ballads ("Will The Roses Bloom In Heaven ?" later recorded by the Carter Family), vaudeville and blackface numbers like "Some Of These Days" by Sophie Tucker, a Russian born entertainer that influenced the first "classic blues singers" like Mamie Smith or Ma Rainey, and of course the great Bert Williams (see picture above), maybe the best Afro American entertainer of the early 20th century, with his signature tune "Nobody" (great Johnny Cash version with Rick Rubin in 2000).

There are the usual oddities, like this beautiful Brasilian tune played by F. Van Eps on the banjo, fiddler and comedian Charles Ross Taggart and one of the most famous singers of the era, Sir Harry Lauder with the delighful "Roamin' in the gloamin'", that shows if need be, the strong musical links between Celtic and country music.

The last two songs are World War I related, especially the one by Morton Harvey, which is a good example of the debate on America's preparation and taking part in the conflict. See this short article about the songs and its context.

Here's what you get as a new year's eve present. I don't have the time to go through every song like I did last time, but don't hesitate to comment or ask details about the songs if you like.

1. Henry Burr - Old Folks At Home (1910)
2. Will Oakland - I'll Remember You, Love, In My Prayers (1911)
3. Bill Murray - Alexander's Ragtime Band (1911)
4. Arthur Clough & Brunswick Quartet - Down By The Old Mill Stream (1911)
5. Henry Burr - Will The Roses Bloom in Heaven ? (1911)
6. Sophie Tucker - Some Of These Days (1911)
7. Byron Harlan - They Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dog Around (1912)
8. International Association Quartette - The Church In The Wildwood (1912)
9. Bob Roberts - Ragtime Cowboy Joe (1912)
10. Harry Lauder - Roamin' in the Gloamin' (1912)
11. Edna Brown & James F. Harrison - The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine (1913)
12. Collins & Harlan - When The Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves For Alabam' (1913)
13. Bert Williams - Nobody (1913)
14. Charles Ross Taggart - Old Country Fiddler in New York (1914)
15. Fred Van Eps - Sans souci (Maxixe brésilienne) (1914)
16. Billy Murray & American Quartet - When You Wore A Tulip (1914)
17. Morton Harvey - In The Hills Of Old Kentucky (1915)
18. Collins & Harlan - Memphis Blues (1915)
19. Morton Harvey - I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier (1915)
20. Peerless Quartet - Is There Still Room For Me Neath The Old Apple Tree (1915)


... and enjoy the music !

1 comment:

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