I have a new source of historical sheet music: odin.indstate.edu. It’s not large or well organized, but it does have stuff that nobody else does, and it does have the real music stuff and not just the covers, so I have added it to my custom search engine for public domain sheet music.
(From Vintage Powder Room)
This podcast interview I did with David Battino of O’Reilly about a year and a half ago predates this blog, but it’s a great explanation of what this project and site are about, so I figured I’d blog it within the “bio” category on Soupgreens.com. Click through to read David’s notes, or, if you’re reading this in the context of soupgreens.com, hit the play button to get straight to listening.
The following is a real actual photo from backstage at the artbash show:
I can’t explain this except in the sense that it demonstrates that there is indeed a grand plan for the universe.
In 1903, the Hoo Hoo bandsmen were playing as the Trib Band, a group sponsored by the Lufkin Weekly Tribune, a forerunner of The Lufkin Daily News.
When Johnny Bonner of Houston, a hometown boy who made a fortune in lumber and oil, paid a visit to Lufkin, he was so enamored by the band that he asked them to accompany him to a Milwaukee convention of the International Concatenated Order of the Hoo Hoo, a fun-loving lumberman’s fraternity that had been established in 1892 at Gurdon, Ark.
The band was such a hit in Milwaukee in September of 1903 that the fraternity named the band its official band. After that, everywhere the band went, it was known as ‘The Famous Hoo Hoo Band.”
For the next 12 to 15 years, the band played at Hoo Hoo conventions, Elks Club gatherings and other events all over North America.
In 1904, the band was the only Texas band allowed to play concerts on the midway of the World’s Fair in St. Louis.
In 1904, a newspaperman said “the young men played without pay and were delighted to do it.”
Lufkin employers supported the band by providing jobs for the young men. It became commonplace knowledge that musicians had preference over other young men seeking jobs at local companies.
W.C. Trout of Lufkin Foundry and Machine Company (now Lufkin Industries Inc.) and Joseph Kurth at Angelina County Lumber Company not only carried musicians on their payrolls, but allowed them to take off from work to travel and perform with the band.
The band members who appeared at the Milwaukee convention were brothers Tom, Norris and Will Humason, cigar maker Otto Lang, telegraph operator V.G. Blake, upholsterer Charles Cheneval, oilman Charles L. Bonner, contractor Conrad Rausch, electrician Harry Barnard, lumber checker W.E. West, bottler A.J. Glenn, clerks W.E. and C.D. Stegall, tinner Sam Kerr, painter George Schmidt, and city marshal C.M. (Kit) McConnico.
In Buffalo, New York, Johnny Bonner — who started the band down its road to fame — was named “Junior Hoo Hoo of the Supreme Nine,” a title equal to a traditional second vice-president.
And in a few years, Bonner ascended to Hoo Hoo’s presidency, known as “The Grand Snark of the Universe.”
At home, bandsmen became the nucleus for Lufkin’s first fire department with C.N. Humason as fire chief and Sam Kerr as secretary-treasurer.
The band also established a rehearsal hall on Cotton Square and inspired Lufkin businessmen to invest in the construction of the Lufkin Opera House, where some of the finest plays and music events in Texas were held before the building burned in the 1920s.
Dr. J.P. Hunter, an early bandsman and dentist, built a “picture show” on Cotton Square. And, when World War I exploded in 1917, Kit McConnico raised one of Texas’ largest companies of soldiers, but died of a fatal illness before he could go to France with his men. Today, a Lufkin park bears his name.
As its members grew older and school bands began to replace town bands, the Hoo Hoo Band began to dissipate.
When I started covering 19th century songs it was because I had to go back that far to find compositions which are truly in the public domain. Here’s a concrete example of why I had to go back even before the 1920s, when blues, jazz and country popped into existence.
Sita Sings the Blues is an independently produced film which used some 1920s recordings on the soundtrack. Those recordings are now in the public domain in the US, but not the compositions. To license the compositions would cost $220,000.
“Sita Sings the Blues” includes 11 songs recorded by Annette Hanshaw in 1927-1929. The recordings themselves are not protected by Federal Copyright. The underlying compositions are. So we (my sales rep’s law firm, to whom I now owe additional thousands of dollars) approached the so-called music publishers to negotiate rights. After all demanded $500 per song to permit the film to play at festivals (for which I make no money and am in debt), here’s what they “estimate” for me to legally sell DVDs:
$15,000 to $26,000 per song.
I have added a link to Question Copyright .org to the sidebar of this blog.
A hip-hop-ish remix of Hey Kid by Juichuan inspired by some vintage samples from Lucas Gonze.
Rap and vocals by Jui chuan.
Sax from MoShang of CC_Asia_Band.
Thanks to Lucas for cutting and posting samples from Jelly Roll Morton’s Billy Goat Stomp @ Soup Greens.
Compare and contrast the totally different flavor of the same vocal in this other mix:
囡仔 (HEY KID) Disquiet Mix by MoShang
The Edison Talking Doll, patented in 1877 and produced in 1890, creeps the hell out of me, and yet thrills me so.
Edison was later quoted as admitting that “the voices of the little monsters were exceedingly unpleasant to hear.” Judge for yourself from this recording at archive.org:
February of 1891: “One of Edison’s talking dolls has reached Winnipeg (Canada.) It is at Miss Maycock’s store and is inspected daily by a large number of people. It is a very good evidence of the uses to which the phonograph can be applied, but as a conversationalist or an elocutionist, the doll cannot be pronounced a success. The piece which the manufacturer has arranged for the lifeless talker to say is that familiar old nursery rhyme, ‘Jack and Jill.’ When the crank is applied to the mechanism and turned, the sound is emitted from a perforated plate on the breast of the doll. At first it is hard to distinguish any words, but by listening attentively and following the rhyme from the start, every word can be heard although not distinctly. As a novelty it is interesting.”
Thanks to davidbuckley.net for the info and picture.
Some great old photos of musicians from the Vanishing Georgia collection. These guys look like life was pretty hard.
Here are a bunch of stems I sliced out of Jelly Roll Morton’s recording of his composition “Billy Goat Stomp.” I assume that it was his “Red Hot Peppers” band recorded in Chicago in 1926 or 1927.
These sounds have great vintage flavor which I hope will inspire you to do killer techno mixes. They’re in a minor key. The mood is fun and morbid, very Halloween. The band is tight. The recording sounds awesome. They’re nicely isolated because the original had a lot of breakdowns. I especially recommend the snare and hi-hat sounds and the two vocal bits.
These sample files are in MP3 format for easy browsing. Snarf the full .zip file for the WAVs. To get play buttons next to each sample go to this version of this post.
- band 2
- band 3
- vocal bleeting
- vocal “man take that goat out of here”
- cornet 1
- cornet 2
- guitar 1
- guitar 2
- guitar 3
- hi hat 1
- hi hat 2
- hi hat 3
- horn kicks 1
- horn kicks 2
- snare 1
- snare 3
Any copyright that I, Lucas Gonze, have on these samples I hereby grant to the public domain, though I sure would appreciate a link back to this page if you use them.