Cylinder of the Month

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This month:   Perhaps the earliest sound recording of a unique art form: Cowboy poetry.   From 1905, a dramatic two-minute condensation of the cowboy love poem Lasca.


Company Edison's National Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 9087
Category Talking
Title Lasca
Performed by Edgar L. Davenport
Circa September 1905
Announcement "Lasca, by Edgar L. Davenport.  Edison record."

Davenport, who made only two recordings for Edison (both recitations), delivers with great energy this highly compressed version of Frank Desprez's fine poem, grabbing attention immediately and releasing it finally as the recording concludes to the strains of Chopin's Funeral March.

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    No. 9087, "Lasca," by Edgar L. Davenport, is a pathetic poem by F. Desprez.   It tells of the affection of Lasca for her lover of the plains.   She was ever at his side and ever seeking to protect him.   She would hunger that he might eat; she would take the bitter and leave him the sweet.   One day the herd stampeded on the Rio Grande with Lasca and her lover right in the path of the maddened cattle.   They mounted a mustang and endeavored to escape.   The herd gained on them and the only chance left was to shoot the mustang and crouch under his body.   A shot, and this was done.   As the pair fell, Lasca protected the body of her lover so that she bore all the blows of the surging cattle.   When the steers had passed, Lasca was dead but her lover lived.   Those who have heard Mr. Davenport's recitation of "Jim Bludso," listed last month, will realize how effectively he has made this Record of "Lasca."   Chopin's Funeral March is introduced at the close of the selection.
— August 1905 Edison Phonograph Monthly [announcing the September records]


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