From 1901, The Imperial Minstrels as rendered by Len Spencer and Steve Porter.
Announced by Len Spencer with Steve Porter as the formal-sounding interlocutor.
End man (Spencer): Porter, did you hear that story about the empty box? Interlocutor (Porter): Why, no. What about the empty box? End man: There's nothing in it!
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The "original minstrel first part" mentioned in the announcement refers to an aspect of minstrelsy that was well understood when this record was made over 100 years ago, but now is all but forgotten.
Minstrel shows, as they evolved in the mid-1800's, were highly structured
comedy-variety affairs with typically three distinct parts to the
Most minstrel wax cylinder recordings portray "the first part" because,
of course, a few jokes and a verse of a song are about all one could squeeze into
To learn more about minstrelsy, see:
To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the
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