November 15, 2004

Laughing And Crying Records

Presenting one of the more perplexing oddities from the early days of audio recording… These crackling old platters, which came out in the first decade of the twentieth century, begin unremarkably enough with an instrumental or vocal performance, but this is quickly drowned out by the sound of its audience of one erupting in hysterical laughter or tears

Just why these recordings were made, and what purpose they were meant to serve is a mystery. The Geocities site, where low quality Real Audio streams of these recordings are posted, speculates that they were early attempts at comedy records, but the emphasis is on the response rather than the "joke"… And what about the crying record?

Maybe that period was characterised by starchy parlour room gatherings where open and relaxed exchanges were only possible with help of emotionally histrionic ice-breaker recordings… We can only wonder...

Posted by Warren at November 15, 2004 07:14 PM | Early Recordings