Oldest recording you can find on Napster
March 23, 2001 10:33 PM   Subscribe

Oldest recording you can find on Napster ?...or online anyplace? I was looking for poetry and turned up a wax cylinder recording of Walt Whitman [they're pretty sure] recorded sometime before the turn of the [last] century. How neat is that?
posted by jessamyn (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
pretty neat.
posted by donovan at 11:05 PM on March 23, 2001

I don't know if the mp3 is available via Napster, but the experimental talking clock lead cylinder was made in 1878.

That site, tinfoil.com, has bunches of interesting old recordings if you're into that stuff. I also recommend The Antique Phonograph Music Program radio show on WFMU.

Also of interest: tracks by They Might By Giants and the like who have recorded recent songs via wax cylinder equipment.
posted by gluechunk at 12:19 AM on March 24, 2001

Between offering us the URL to the Whitman site and the helpful links for further exploration we have Metafilter and the Net doing a great service for many of us....and a hopeful indication that all is not as bad as so many posts would seem to indicate.
posted by Postroad at 4:12 AM on March 24, 2001

My sentiments also... Thank you for your eloquence Postroad.
posted by sillygit at 8:26 AM on March 24, 2001

Damn. I had a link I've been saving forever, to an archive of edison recordings that all date back to the 1880's, but I can't find it now.

The thing I found most interesting about the edison recordings I had was that they were in the public domain, and I always wanted to create a looped track of edison speaking over some fat beats.
posted by mathowie at 8:31 AM on March 24, 2001

Matt, were you thinking of the National Edison Historic Site?

Another good site is the National Library of Canada's Virtual Gramophone. In addition to having a great collection of old recordings, they have a very nice page of links.
posted by Aaaugh! at 11:23 AM on March 24, 2001

And don't you meant PHAT, Matt?

posted by Zosia Blue at 12:12 PM on March 24, 2001

i found some old beatles songs. was this whitman fella before the beatles?

sorry. see, this is why i don't post here more often. as you were...
posted by metascene at 1:47 PM on March 24, 2001

Here's some really old stuff from 1878, including what may be the oldest surviving musical recording. I don't think Ringo was a member of the band yet...
posted by shinybeast at 11:34 PM on March 24, 2001

Oops! Make that 1888, the year Ringo joined.
posted by shinybeast at 11:36 PM on March 24, 2001

are you sure that isn' t oasis? they sound a lot alike ya know...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 12:12 PM on March 26, 2001

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