Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Transcription Mystery Disc #124

Thankfully this 78 rpm recording is very well labeled.  The disc is in fine shape, and the song, performer, engineer, and date are all known to us.  This is a professionally produced acetate, recorded by Tullen Sound recording Studio. The is a Tullen Sound recording company in Morristown, NJ but that one was founded in 1977 and unrelated. This was was run by a David Tulllen in Hartford, CT. It appears in the 1938 and 1939 Broadcasting Yearbook. This particular recording was made on December 14th, 1937. So we know it existed for at least 3 years. But the extent of it's work is wholly unknown to me. 

 E Lucevan le Stelle

The song is "E Lucevan le Stelle" which was composed in 1900 by Puccini. It's sung here by William Francis Fitzsimmons accompanied by Helen Tuttle on piano. The title means "When the stars were brightly shining", and the work originates in the opera Tosca. Interestingly Al Jolson stole the melody for his song "Avalon" in 1920 and was sued by the publisher. Puccini prevailed. Of course in 1920 the song was still under copyright. Today it's 100% public domain.