The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

It is currently Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:40 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: 'Piano Sale' (comic sketch on early Berliner disc)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:57 am 
Offline
Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 94
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
In Fred Gaisberg's autobiography, published in America as The Music Goes Round and in Britain as Music on Record, there is a description of a recording improvised, he says, by Emile Berliner himself with Gaisberg's accompaniment; Berliner personates an auctioneer who tries in vain to stir up interest in a rickety piano by alleging that it is the very one on which Wagner composed Die Götterdämmerung.

Now I have a disc dated 26th May 1896 which at first glance seems to be the very one described in the book. However, I have my doubts about this. The passages which Gaisberg quotes from the auctioneer's patter do not quite match (according to him the auctioneer's closing remark is 'Johnny, hand me that perambulator', whereas the record ends 'Hand me that oil-stone and that frying-pan'), but the major difference is that on the record the reciter is unquestionably George Graham and is named as such. Moreover, extracts from Gaisberg's diaries cited in Jerrold Northrop Moore's biography of Gaisberg, Music in Time, indicate that a record named 'Piano Sale' already existed in 1895.

I wonder, therefore, if anybody knows of an even older recording of this sketch in which Berliner himself really does play the auctioneer. As it is, I would like to think that a second voice on my record, which derisively offers a bid of three dollars, could be Berliner's own – but I doubt it. At least, though, I can surely hope that the pianist on my copy is Gaisberg in person.

. . . Where is your appreciation of music? Where is it? Why, on dis pianner Richard Wagg-ner got his foist [sic] inspiration to write the Götterdämmerung – I dunno what that is, but anyhow he wrote it on dis pianner . . .


Oliver Mundy.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 'Piano Sale' (comic sketch on early Berliner disc)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:08 pm 
Offline
Victor I
User avatar
"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?" - Graham Chapman
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:45 pm
Posts: 161
What an interesting idea! I'm sure the record's content is quite fun as well.
SOUSA, The March King, says:

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 'Piano Sale' (comic sketch on early Berliner disc)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:38 pm 
Offline
Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 94
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
Looking again at Dr. Northrop Moore's book (which I find I mistitled: it is actually A Voice in Time), I find that Gaisberg mentions 'Auction Sale of a Grand Piano' among a group of records which he carried on a promotional trip in March 1895. Clearly there must have been a version of the sketch before that of May 1896, though I find it hard to believe that Berliner, with his German accent, could have taken the leading role in it. (George Graham was already a Berliner artist, since an item by him is also in the March 1895 list.) Probably this original version was never pressed on the new shellac material, so that it is easily imaginable that no copies would have survived. The sketch remained popular for some years; Burt Shepard recorded it at least twice.

Oliver Mundy.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 'Piano Sale' (comic sketch on early Berliner disc)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:26 pm 
Offline
Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 94
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
The 1896 'Piano Sale' can now be heard on my new web-page http://www.oliviastationery.co.uk/cylin ... rding.html.

Oliver Mundy.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 'Piano Sale' (comic sketch on early Berliner disc)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:24 pm 
Offline
Victor III
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 pm
Posts: 560
Can't answer the question but would like to point out that I have an early Columbia record ca 1901-02. It's a comedy skit that depicts the auction of the contents of a pet store. Some very, very bad jokes. For example, the first item sold is a pair of angora kittens. The auctioneer informs us that the kittens are very nice and although angora they are never "angory." So you have your auction of a piano, and mine of a pet store. Do we have an antiquated comic genre here from 100+ years ago? Are there other auction comedy skits on early 78s? Would be interesting to know.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 'Piano Sale' (comic sketch on early Berliner disc)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:36 pm 
Offline
Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 3542
Location: Albany NY
Years ago i heard "Auction Sale of a Music Store" the main joke is that the demonstrator plays the same hackneyed tune badly on every instrument, to the crowd's growing displeasure.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Americanized by Maël Soucaze.