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 Post subject: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:09 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 70
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
I wonder if anyone can help me to identify the singers, and perhaps even the catalogue number, of a Columbia brown-wax cylinder which I have just bought. The selection is Henry Trotère's ballad In Old Madrid, which is usually sung as a baritone solo but is here arranged as a male-voice duet. The announcement seems to run 'In Old Madrid, sung by Messrs. Colley [?] and Harding [?] for the Columbia Phonograph Company of New York and London'. One naturally wonders whether the first name could be that of the renowned Arthur Collins, but the material seems to be rather out of his usual territory; I am fairly certain that the second name is not that of his usual partner Byron Harlan, and I find that a Roger Harding (tenor) was recording for Columbia in the late 1890s. (As I understand it, 'New York and London' implies a date of 1899 or 1900.) I have studied a listing of Columbia cylinders produced by Kenneth Lorenz many years ago (PDF available at https://archive.org/details/Kastlemusic ... aCylinders) but cannot find this item there.

The cylinder is practically spotless and plays much better than anything of its age that I have ever heard before, with very little surface noise. The plain dark-blue box has no lettering and I should like to label it correctly if I can.

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:43 pm 
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Victor I
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:49 pm
Posts: 119
Collins and Harlan were prolific enough that that would be a reasonably good guess, in absence of any other evidence.

However, out of the hundreds, if not thousands, of recordings they made together and separately for Berliner, Victor and Columbia over the years they never sang "In Old Madrid" (again?). If you posted audio of the announcement maybe others would hear different things and someone might find the right name...


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Victor I
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"The answer to life, the universe, and everything, is 42." -Deep Thought
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:45 pm
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Collins had not yet paired with Harlan at this time. Collins had not paired with Joe Natus until 1900 (I think), and a date of 1900 places this early in Collins' career, and extremely early early in Harlan's. Harlan recorded an Edison cylinder in 1899, and that was his first recording. He was friends with Edison and from Orange New Jersey.

Harlan was a good guess, as the pair were quite popular and well known. Perhaps Collins' partner could be ROger Harding. Audio, however, would help us the most.
SOUSA, The March King, says:

"Your 'VICTOR' and 'MONARCH' Records are all right."


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:49 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:50 pm
Posts: 40
I have but one brown wax cylinder and believe it is home made but I do not really know. It is a nice banjo instrumental. At the end some announcement is made which I cannot understand. I do treasure it though probably nothing of significance but a good sounding song.


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:51 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:24 pm
Posts: 83
A quick gander at the 78 discography site, which also includes a number of Columbia cylinders, lists Spencer & Harding as the singers--number 8405.

http://www.78discography.com/ColCyl8000.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:03 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 70
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
My thanks to all who have replied. Unfortunately I have no means of making recordings at present, since my only computer is a basic laptop with no provision for an external microphone.

The first name is certainly not 'Spencer'. It does seem that Columbia sometimes remade titles, not necessarily using the same artists, without changing the catalogue number; thus, in the listing kindly pointed out by Rastus10, I find No. 8420, In the Shadow of the Pines, originally sung by Spencer and Harding but remade, still in brown wax, by Harlan and Stanley*. Unless any further information emerges, therefore, I shall assume that my record is a remake by Collins and Harding of No. 8405. I should be glad to think I had a record (however uncharacteristic) by Arthur Collins, who has been no more than a name to me hitherto.

*Here I can make a small addition to the data. The Harlan/Stanley version of 8420 is a short-bodied 'Extra Loud High Speed' (144rpm) cylinder of the early 1900s, with an announcement ending 'Columbia Record'. I know because I once had a copy. I broke it more than thirty years ago and have never quite forgiven myself for doing so; it was the finest two-minute cylinder I have ever heard, in my own collection or anywhere else, and I can still hear every note of it in my head.

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:05 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:57 pm
Posts: 65
Oliver, the singers are PORTER and Harding. The original issue for this title was SPENCER and Harding , but your record would be a slightly later issue when Columbia found it necessary to re-record the master so as to duplicate more cylinders for sale and probably Mr Spencer was unavailable so Steve Porter would have taken his place in the recording studio for the re-make. If you look at the ebay listing for the record that you bought , the seller clearly states the artistes names -- Porter and Harding. Steve Porter was fairly active in the early recording studios of both Columbia and Edison , his recording career being fairly prolific . The reason I know all this -- I sold you the cylinder ! Regards Dulcetto


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:38 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 70
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
Dulcetto wrote:
Oliver, the singers are PORTER and Harding. The original issue for this title was SPENCER and Harding , but your record would be a slightly later issue when Columbia found it necessary to re-record the master so as to duplicate more cylinders for sale and probably Mr Spencer was unavailable so Steve Porter would have taken his place in the recording studio for the re-make. If you look at the ebay listing for the record that you bought , the seller clearly states the artistes names -- Porter and Harding. Steve Porter was fairly active in the early recording studios of both Columbia and Edison , his recording career being fairly prolific . The reason I know all this -- I sold you the cylinder ! Regards Dulcetto


How utterly stupid of me! I am very short-sighted and, having recently lost my reading glasses, I sometimes find difficulty in reading what is on the screen; that is the best excuse (and a pretty poor one, I know) that I can offer.

I realised of course that I was dealing with a very knowledgeable vendor but had no way of making the connection with our forum. The four records I have had from you (including the John W. Myers Village Blacksmith some time ago) have given me an entirely new picture of what brown-wax cylinders can do. I shall be on watch for more of these. Thank you!

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying artists on Columbia brown-wax cylinder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:12 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:03 am
Posts: 396
I believe Roger Harding passed away in 1901

Larry


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