A few days ago there was an exchange about "Little Thomas" and the statement that the Windyridge Music Hall CD label (UK) had reissued ca.1890 recording of the Mohawk Minstrels, with whom he appeared.
I checked their site, and corresponded with the fellow who runs the label, and there is no such track - the writer was apparently confusing it with an 1890 recording of Emile Berliner (sic) singing a song associated with the Mohawk Minstrels. That raises the question, whatis the earliest existing U.K. minstrel recording? There are listings of discs by the "Christy Minstrels" on U.K. Berliner as early as 1899, but I don't know if any survive. (I have one from 1900). Were there U.K. minstrel cylinders before that? (Minstrel recreations were quite popular in the U.S., beginning in 1894). If so I would love to find them.