Monthly Archives: December 2008

2007 Digital Insider interview

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 Click through to read David’s notes, or, if you’re reading this in the context of, hit the play button to get straight to listening.


Cover Yourself (A Radical Approach to Copyright) | O’Reilly Media

The Famous Hoo Hoo Band of the International Concatenated Order of the Hoo Hoo

According to the Lufkin Daily News of Lufkin, TX, the Hoo Hoo Band was famous nationwide:

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.

Thanks to gurdonark, who lives in Texas, perhaps in the very same town as the Junior Hoo Hoo of the Supreme Nine, for posting the link to this story.

Sita Sings the Blues

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.

Recap from the filmmaker’s blog:

“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.

Billy Goat Kid

Hey Kid/ Billy Goat Stomp (MP3)

Mixter teru has snarfed bits from the Billy Goat Stomp sample pack into a new tune up on CC Mixter which he describes this way:

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

<a href="">click on through to the other side, brothers and sisters</a>

creepy talking doll

Edison talking doll

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

Edison talking doll — Little Jack Horner.

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 for the info and picture.

hard boiled brass

Some great old photos of musicians from the Vanishing Georgia collection. These guys look like life was pretty hard.

Cuthbert Brass Band members, Cuthbert, Randolph County, Georgia, sometime between 1880 and 1889. The trombonists look so tough they could kill you and eat your liver with beans and gravy.

The Cuthbert Brass Band used to beat the shit out of this other band and take their sousaphones. That’s why this other band got the silly Musical Wagon with horses going, because their weak little legs couldn’t run fast enough.

Monroe, ca. 1880-1890. Members of this band pose for a group photograph in their musical wagon. Doctor Hammond’s home seen in the background.

Not one of these dudes was ever too drunk to stand. Especially not the guy with the straggly beard wearing the bass drum like a papoose so that the little drummer boy can prop him up long enough to get the shot.

Jug Tavern, [Georgia], 1889. Members of what is reported to be the first band in Jug Tavern. In 1893 the town name was changed to Winder for John H. Winder. He was president of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad which was built through this area at the time. Members of the band, left to right: Ernest Bush, N.J. Kelly, Jim Griffeth, R.L. Carithers, L.O. Williams, W.L. Bush, J.H. Jackson, W.H. Hosch, W. J. Ross, C.M. Ferguson, and Prof. J.W. McGill who was the teacher.

the first band in Jug Tavern, Georgia

Billy Goat stomp sample pack

sample pack zip file

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.

  1. band
  2. band 2
  3. band 3
  4. vocal bleeting
  5. vocal “man take that goat out of here”
  6. clarinet
  7. cornet 1
  8. cornet 2
  9. guitar 1
  10. guitar 2
  11. guitar 3
  12. hi hat 1
  13. hi hat 2
  14. hi hat 3
  15. horn kicks 1
  16. horn kicks 2
  17. snare 1
  18. 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.