The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Who was Helen Davis - Edison artist?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:04 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:00 am
Posts: 7
Does anyone know anything about this mezzo-soprano? Tim Gracyk's book does not list her and online searching didn't turn up anything.

You can see her performing for the Old Man here:
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/95513852/


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 Post subject: Re: Who was Helen Davis - Edison artist?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:12 am 
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Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 3872
Location: Albany NY
The identification hinges on the pianist- Victor Young- he made a few records for Edison (including his "Cubist" Fox Trot) and went on to become an important Hollywood composer.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Young

His wife was Polish born Rita Kinel Young, but his SISTER was a singer under the name Helen Young. I think there must be a couple errors in the photo caption.


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 Post subject: Re: Who was Helen Davis - Edison artist?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:55 pm 
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Victor O
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"Don't Deny Yourself the Sheer Joy of Orthophonic Music"
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I cannot see the photo as clearly as I would like, but is it possible the singer is the mezzo-soprano Helen Clark? She was a prolific Edison artist, and one of the company's most popular artists to perform for live audiences. I have been collecting 78s and Edisons for years, and never ran into any female artist named Helen Davis (other than the 1940s jazz singer which this photo obviously predates by at least 20 years).


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 Post subject: Re: Who was Helen Davis - Edison artist?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:48 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1319
Attachment:
Davis&Young Concert Ad.jpg
Davis&Young Concert Ad.jpg [ 203.01 KiB | Viewed 192 times ]

Attachment:
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG [ 65.28 KiB | Viewed 190 times ]

BOTH FROM -- https://remembercliffside.com/history/a ... t-concert/

"Victor Young" (1889-1968)--a different "Victor Young" from the one profiled in the attached Wikipedia page above, though he did compose music for a couple of films--was married to Helen Davis, "Edison recording artist" -- https://www.mville.edu/victor-young-collection

Also see --Victor Young imdb profile -- https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3223851/

Other than the fact that she recorded for Edison, and was a student of Sergei Klibansky --
https://books.google.com/books?id=7SIqQ ... no&f=false -- there's very little about Helen Davis, online. She was alive as late as 1971, when she gave her late husband's papers to the Schrub Oak Library. If I can find anything else, I'll post it here.

OrthFan


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 Post subject: Re: Who was Helen Davis - Edison artist?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:31 pm 
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Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 3872
Location: Albany NY
Thank you for clearing up "Victor Young". He was a duet partner with Thomas Griselle, the composer who won a 1928 composition prize from Victor, but who is otherwise pretty obscure.


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 Post subject: Re: Who was Helen Davis - Edison artist?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 1952
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
Yes, and to further confuse matters both Victor Youngs played piano, although "the" Victor Young of jazz age and swing era fame was known for violin.


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 Post subject: Re: Who was Helen Davis - Edison artist?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:00 am
Posts: 7
Thanks for everyone's contributions. I'd already figured out that the Victor Young in the LOC photo is a DIFFERENT Victor Young but could make little headway on Helen's background.

So many artists we know so little about...


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