Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Transcription Mystery Disc #63

This is a Silvertone transcription disc. I found it in a batch of Wilcox-Gay discs but it has a decidedly higher fidelity and amplitude leading me to believe that it has a different origin. One side is labeled "Military" the other side (as you can see) not at all. Each side has two tracks, All recorded from the outer edge and all at 78 rpm. One oddity... toward the end of the disc the needle squeaked on the disc surface. I'm not entirely sure why but it sounded like rubbing a balloon on Styrofoam, a wholly unpleasant sound. I have filtered it out here to spare you the pain. Silvertone was the Sears brand home recorder common between 1945 and 1965.

The material is all unaccompanied piano. I ripped the unlabeled side here. The "Military" side was all Sousa style marches, not at all interesting. The unlabeled side was more lively. The first track is unknown to me but quite good. The second track starting 1:55 into the recording, I do recognize. It's a rag time rendition of "Aint She Sweet." Unfortunately that song has such a long pedigree that I cant use it to infer an age to this disc. The rag time approach to it is probably more like it's original 1927 version than anything contemporary to this recording.
I selected this side because it's more representative of home entertainment before radio. People used to play for their own families. At the end of the disc you can hear a small group of people, undoubtedly spouses, sons and daughters. The pianist a soft spoken woman says 'That's all there is, ain't no more" and a man says "Yeah there is, there's two more choruses." Somebody always has to be a critic.