Maurice Burkhart began his career plugging songs for Ted Snyder, Irving Berlin’s publisher, frequent co-composer, and business partner. His vaudeville career took off in 1913, after he appeared as the opening act to headliner Eva Tanguay at the Park Theater in New York. With the demands of touring, Burkhart’s studio activities declined markedly after 1913, and Edison issued his last known commercial recording in 1920.
(Don’t read too much into the lyrics of the first tune, which incidentally is an early Jim Europe composition. It was intended for a female singer, and Burkhart was simply plugging it as written — a quaint practice that can be heard on records well into the late 1920s.)
MAURICE BURKHART: I’ve Got the Finest Man
New York: c. July 11, 1912 (mx. shipment date)
Harmony A1208 (mx. 38134 – 2)
MAURICE BURKHART (with Peerless Quartet): At the Devil’s Ball
New York: c. January 10, 1913 (mx. shipment date)
Columbia A1282 (mx. 38546 – 1)
MAURICE BURKHART (with Peerless Quartet): Going Up with the Elevator Man
New York: c. June 7, 1912 (mx. shipment date)
Columbia A1188 (mx. 19925 – 1)
Note: Includes a racially derogatory term symptomatic of the period, which does not reflect the views of Mainspring Press.
All titles with studio orchestra accompaniment (probably Charles A. Prince, conductor). The usual Peerless Quartet personnel at this time were Henry Burr (lead tenor and manager), Albert Campbell (second tenor), Arthur Collins (baritone), and John H. Meyer (bass). Speed changes are defects in the original recordings.