September 2003
Cylinder of the Month

See also the  Cylinders of the Month Archive.

A fun musical skit from 1906, The Dixie Rube, featuring the Edison Military Band.

The Dixie Rube
Company Edison's National Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 9241
Category Descriptive Selection
Title The Dixie Rube
Performed by Edison Military Band
Circa March 1906
Announcement "Descriptive selection, The Dixie Rube, played by the Edison Military Band."

Two of Edison's leading recording artists, Edward Meeker and Byron G. Harlan, combine in a unique pairing: Meeker as the recording announcer & band leader, and Harlan as Silas the "Dixie Rube".

Cylindrical pitch pipe: This recording has the unusual feature of pitching itself and providing an insight into Edison's band and orchestral tonality in 1906; when played at 160 revolutions-per-minute, the oboe's "A" sounds at 440 cycles-per-second, not a flatter 435 as many might have supposed.

To hear The Dixie Rube  —

For help playing these sounds, click here.

    No. 9241, "The Dixie Rube," by the Edison Military Band, is a descriptive selection, the music for which was arranged by Thomas S. Allen.   In the form here listed the selection was specially gotten up for our Record.   The scene depicts a band room, the band just about to begin rehearsal.   Silas Flatscales, a rube composer, enters and the band begins to play one of its newest pieces.   Silas interrupts and requests that one of his own compositions be played.   The band leader objects, saying that his piece is all mixed up, as "Dixie," "Annie Laurie" and "Yankee Doodle" are written to be played at one and the same time.   Silas insists on hearing it, however.   Silas' piece makes quite a hit, for you can readily make out the three different tunes, which when played together form a very harmonious whole.   Byron G. Harlan plays the part of old Silas Flatscales and Edward Meeker the band leader.
— February 1906 Edison Phonograph Monthly [announcing the March records]


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