Cylinder of the Month

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From 1901, an early vaudeville-style recording providing brief topical turn-of-the-previous-century glimpses into the Boer War and of Irish integration into America.

Vaudeville Specialty (Irish comedy talk)

Company Columbia Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 80405 (5-inch "grand" cylinder)
Category Vaudeville series - Irish comedy talk
Title Vaudeville Specialty Introducing Mr. Dan W. Quinn
Performed by Dan W. Quinn
Circa Late 1900 - early 1901
Announcement "Vaudeville Specialty, introducing Mr. Dan W. Quinn.   Record made for the Columbia Phonograph Company of New York & London."

The versatile tenor & comic songster Dan Quinn announces and performs this 2-minute vaudeville-style routine of Irish ethnic topical jokes and songs.

This recording is on a large 5-inch diameter Columbia Phonograph Company "Grand" cylinder.   Columbia's Grand records, originally priced $5 each in 1898, were not selling well (nor were Edison's National Phonograph Company's 5-inch "Concert" cylinders), and by 1901 the price had dropped to $2.50 – still a hefty price (over $70 in today's dollars).

Edison, Columbia and the other major early record companies were fairly consistent and well organized when it came to selection titles and category descriptions.   However, minstrelsy and vaudeville recordings were often a thorn in the cataloger's system.   This month's selection is an excellent example: the title and category can become mingled, fused, and confused.   And even today, the thorn has not lost its point: your author asks, "What is the title?" ...

To hear Vaudeville Specialty (Irish comedy talk)   

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