The only thing I can't square with the "it's a fake" narrative is, why bother making a fake of "Walt
Whitman" reading a piece of a somewhat obscure poem? Of all the voices to fake, what would be
Haley's motivation to pick that voice and that poem? Was there a particularly keen interest in Walt
Whitman at the time that radio show was produced where the recording first showed up?
Aren't there one or more Edison Site folks on this list? Is it possible to check Edison studio
records and determine for sure that Whitman didn't make a recording? It seems like, that would solve
the question once and for all, unless the studio records were generally known to be sloppy and
Also, why does this guy Patrick quotes get into vertical-cut Edison disks? Haley claimed it was a
This definitely sounds like what Mike calls "dueling journal articles", but I have to say that Allen
clearly did more gumshoe work.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Patrick Feaster" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Walt Whitman Recording
> On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 12:42 AM, Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> We seem to have a case of dueling journal articles. On our side is
>> Allen Koenigsburg's APM article and the other one that everyone on the
>> web seems to be referencing to is Ed Folsom, "The Whitman Recording,"
>> Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, 9 (Spring 1992), 214-16.
> Found the WWQR in the library here at Indiana University Bloomington. Here
> are the salient bits of the article:
> Folsom quotes Sam B's comments from NPR and then goes on: "But other experts
> disagree with Brylawski's analysis, and the consensus of those who have
> experience with wax cylinder recordings is that the recording is in fact an
> authentic 1890-era wax cylinder. Dave Beauvais, for example, who operates
> Magic Media Services in Amherst, Massachusetts....." A quotation from Mr.
> Beauvais follows. "This has either been exceptionally well equalized or its
> a fake," Sam had reportedly said, and Mr. Beauvais takes this as his cue to
> observe that collectors know Edison vertical-cut recordings were *all*
> superbly equalized; besides, it "strains credibility just a bit" to suppose
> anyone would have set out to fake the strange and presumably
> 19th-century inflectional patterns he hears in the recording.
> Later in the article, Folsom notes that tapes of the Whitman recording are
> available for curious WWQR readers to purchase at $10 apiece, processed with
> "the latest sound-reduction technology."
> - Patrick