Listening to the Pioneers

Embed from Getty Images

The Pioneer Era of Recording spans the period from the late 1880s, when Thomas Edison’s 1877 invention, the phonograph, became simple enough to be operated by non-experts, to about 1920, when electrical methods of recording replaced Edison’s old acoustic methods. Some of the most famous songs ever written first appeared during the Pioneer Era, performed by people who became popular, bankable stars. The vast majority of those stars, however, are almost entirely forgotten a century later.

I have had a longstanding interest in the Pioneer Era, and I have written about it at this website now and then. The latest episode of my podcast is about the Pioneer Era. It describes the birth of the era, profiles a few of the big stars, and even includes bits of some significant Pioneer Era songs. You can listen to it right here:

I hope you find this episode interesting, and your comments are welcome.

3 thoughts on “Listening to the Pioneers

  1. This was wonderfully informative.

    My wife’s maternal grandfather would travel to NYC on business periodically in the 1910s and 20s. While there, he’d take in shows and bring home sheet music, some of which we still have. He sang a number of those songs, including many of the WWI-era ones, for my mother-in-law, who in turn sang them to her daughters. Two songs we used for our son’s bedtime ritual for a number of years were the choruses to “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” (which I think came at the end of the Pioneer era) and, yes, “Shine On Harvest Moon.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.