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ARSCLIST  November 2009

ARSCLIST November 2009

Subject:

Re: Walt Whitman Recording

From:

Dave Lewis <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 3 Nov 2009 15:31:02 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (102 lines)

I have ALWAYS had a plausible explanation for the poem -- (a) it was
SHORT, which not many of Whitman's poems are and (b) if he had made the
cylinder for real in 1890-91 as supposed, it would have been the very
latest thing he had written. "America" is one of Whitman's very last
works, but its relative obscurity I see as irrelevant; both of these
factors would have occurred to Haley, or whomever made the recording, as
working towards the legitimacy of the object. 

Why would he read "Song of Myself" just because it is a famous poem only
to watch the wax run out a minute and a half into a poem that runs
several pages?

David "Uncle Dave" Lewis

Assistant Editor, Classical 

Rovi Corporation

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 4:22 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Walt Whitman Recording

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 
incomplete.

Also, why does this guy Patrick quotes get into vertical-cut Edison
disks? Haley claimed it was a 
cylinder, no?

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
> 

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