Just Arrived — “Edison Two-Minute and Concert Cylinders” — In Stock

NOW IN STOCK — Available Exclusively from Mainspring Press

American Series, 1897–1912
By Allan Sutton

398 pages, illustrated • 7″ x 10″ quality softcover
$49 (U.S. –  Free Shipping)
Order directly from Mainspring Press


Edison Two-Minute and Concert Cylinders is the first study  of these records to be compiled from the surviving company documentation (including the factory plating ledgers, studio cash books, remake and deletion notices, catalogs, supplements, and trade publications), along with first-hand inspection of the original cylinders. All American-catalog issues from 1897 through 1912, including the Grand Opera series, are covered.

Unlike previously published guides, which don’t list Edison’s numerous and often confusing remakes, this new volume lists all versions — even indicating those initially supplied by Walcutt & Leeds — along with the listing or release dates and the distinguishing details (changes in artists, accompaniments, announcements, etc.) for each. Plating dates for brown-wax pantograph masters and early Gold Moulded masters, which provide valuable clues to the long-lost recording dates, are published here for the first time.

Other features include composer and show credits, medley contents, accompaniment details, pseudonym identification, an illustrated footnoted history of Edison cylinder production during the National Phonograph Company period, user’s guide, and indexes.


The Playlist • Dimitri Smirnov (1912–1924)


DIMITRI SMIRNOV & MARIA DAVIDOV (Julius Harrison, conductor)
Boris Godunov — Oh, Tzarevich, I implore thee (Mussorgsky)

Hayes, Middlesex, England: August 23, 1923
His Master’s Voice D.B.753 (mx. Cc 3335 – 1)


Boris Godunov — Yet one more tale

Paris: June 24, 1924
His Master’s Voice D.B.765 (mxs. CP 260 – 1 and CP 261 – 1)



DIMITRI SMIRNOV: May Night — The sun is low (Rimsky-Korsakov)

St. Petersburg, Russia: October 21, 1912
His Master’s Voice 022302 (mx. 2697c)


Discographic data are from the original Gramophone Company files, courtesy of Dr. Alan Kelly.


The Playlist • The Famous Hokum Boys on Homestead (1929)

MSP_homestead-16098-copy2Some years ago, 78 Quarterly (an otherwise terrific magazine) ran an ongoing list of “The World’s Rarest Records,” which amounted to a few well-known collectors playing a game of “Mine’s bigger than yours.” Since 99.99% of the collecting community wasn’t polled on whether they owned any of the records in question, the rarity of some items was grossly over-estimated.

Case in point: Homestead 16098, which the 78Q gang assured readers was unknown on Homestead. Well, we’ve run across two copies over the years, one in Gettsyburg PA in the 1980s, and just recently, another one in Denver. Rare? Sure, in this form at least (the same recordings were also issued on the other ARC labels). World’s rarest? We wish! Anyway, enjoy…


FAMOUS HOKUM BOYS: That’s the Way She Likes It

New York: April 9, 1930
Homestead 16098 (ARC mx. 9598 – 2)


FAMOUS HOKUM BOYS: Papa’s Getting Hot

New York: April 9, 1930
Homestead 16098 (ARC mx. 9596 – 2)


FAMOUS HOKUM BOYS: Eagle Riding Papa

New York: April 9, 1930
Homestead 16099 (ARC mx. 9595 – )
This selection from a tape dubbing supplied by the late Gilbert Louey (take # not noted)

The Famous Hokum Boys were Big Bill Broonzy (guitar/vocal), Thomas A. (“Georgia Tom”) Dorsey (piano/vocal), and Frank Brasswell (guitar). The studio supervisor for this session was Arthur Satherley.




The Playlist • Ragtime Xylophone (1908–1920)


CHRIS CHAPMAN: Dill Pickles Rag

Camden, NJ: July 15, 1908
Victor 5560 (mx. B 6089 – 7)
With studio orchestra (conductor not listed in files)



New York (master shipment date): January 26, 1912
United A1149 (Columbia mx. 19737 – 1)
With studio orchestra (probably Charles A. Prince, director)



New York: February 1920
Emerson 10169 (mx. 4882 – 1)
With studio orchestra (possibly Arthur Bergh, director)


W. C. HANDY’S ORCHESTRA (Jasper Taylor, xylophone): That “Jazz” Dance

New York (master shipment date): September 21, 1917
Columbia A2419 (mx. 77367 – 1)
Taylor is not credited in the Columbia files or on the labels; his presence is confirmed in Handy’s memoirs.