The Listening Room

Here's where we listen to old 78's and play pool

updated 6/29/05

My friend, Tuba Dan called me the other day from the flea market. He said this guy was throwing out buckets of 78 records, do I want them? OK! Turns out buckets are just fine for carrying 78 records. Here's a hawaiian guitar record from the 1910's that was in the batch. It's called Isle of Paradise I'm becoming a fan of the hawaiian guitar records. Being a guitar player, I appreciate them on a technical level. And they remind me the Third Man soundtrack. (haven't seen the Third Man?! SEE IT!)

Here's a tune called Karavan. It's a Victor Batwing recorded March 2nd, 1920. I think it's a precursor to the Ellington song, Caravan. Seems to me like there was a type of beat that was associated with a caravan of camels or something. Listen for the sax player going NUTS at the end!

Here's the J. C. Burnett record I've been meaning to post. See the Victrola article. Baby's first 78.

updated 6/16/05

Here's a few of the records I found in Bristol. This one was 50 cents. I bought it because David Bowie does a song called Oh By Jingo which is a to this song. This record is from the 10's, I believe. I'm too lazy to look it up right now.

Here's a record I believe is a popular Irish tune called Mother Machree It's performed on the saw! Yep. That's a saw. I don't think I've ever heard a more expressive saw record. I believe this record is from around 1924.

I like this record It's the JazzHounds! Another 50 cent record, but it rivals records I've paid $20 for.

Updated 6/12/05

I took down a few of my 78 recordings for fear that they might be under copyright. I'm only putting up 78's that I believe are long forgotten.

Here's a few of my favorites:

Henry Whitters Fox Chase. This is on the Okeh Label, circa 1924. He later recorded a different version of this for the Victor Label in 1927 for the Bristol Sessions. This recording has subtle differences. You might not have heard of Henry Whitter, but he wrote "The Wreck of the Old 97" which is a big time country standard recorded by Johnny Cash, among many others.

This record is called Blind Pilgrim The guitar work is stunning. I think is circa 1927 as well. You may recognize this as an early Dead cover.

This record simply says Zithertrio on it. It's a foreign record, and a Victor Scroll. I would put this record at around 1928 or 1929. If anyone out there knows anything about this record, I'd love to know more. This sounds a lot like the theme from the "Third Man." But it's not!


I would imagine that nobody in the world throughout history has ever listened to the "Laughing Record" on the Okeh label while listening to a world war II sound effect record and this particular classical record on 3 victrolas all at once. But we did. Thanks to our good friend Eliot. This is Eliot. And thanks to electricity, you can listen now. I suggest that you turn this up if you're at work and leave it on.

When my brother came up from Alabama, he brought me a stack of 78's that he said were all chipped and cracked. The one record from that batch that was in good condition was this Reverend J.M. Gates record on the Romeo label. I'd been wanting one of those! And it's pretty great. [click to listen] I couldn't believe that almost all of the cracked and chipped records, even ones that I thought would ruin the Victrola, actually still play pretty well. I would imagine that they haven't been played in 80 years or so.(more on that later)


My brother had sent me a batch of records from Alabama earlier that year for my birthday. One of them was this Bristol Session record from 1927 called El Watson . I had heard El Watson on the Bristol Sessions CD but wasn't really impressed. But the B side of this record is one of the reasons I collect 78's: discovery [ click to listen] I can't imagine why they didn't choose this cut instead of the other side. I recorded this just today on my Victrola model XI circa 1919. I put one of the big studio mics up close to the horn and another from across the room and panned them hard left and right for that magnificent stereo sound.


Estrellita This is by an Accordian player named Charles Magnante. Yes, accordian! When I first found this, I though, "This will be good for a laugh." But it's so beautiful, it'll make you wanna cry. Charles was the first accordian player to play Carnegie Hall.

I'll have more soon!