In the infancy of recorded sound technology, record labels had different ideas about what would be popular. Various attempts at humour (some quite subtle and elegant, some.... were not) were recorded, some of them being 'laughing records'. These were more than likely played at parties or other social occasions as a novelty, and (hopefully) a source of amusement.
Whether they were amusing or not is DEFINATELY in the eyes (and ears) of the beholder.
The records here are from the library of Inigo Cubillo, of Spain. Inigo is a member of the 78-L 78rpm record collectors list, and are posted here as a service to the memebrs of 78-L and the public in general.
OK, Inigo, let's see what you brought out for us to hear:
All the six files are recorded at the lowest quality setting (11025 kHz, 8-bites sampling), in order to keep them small-sized. Despite this, the sound is quite good.
Well, some of you, colleagues, asked me for copies of the crying record. Now I have them here in my office PC ready to send to you what you want.
Just e-mail me and I'll be glad to send you those files, as you want!
Inigo (happy to share my old stuff with you)
(Actually, he eMailed them to me so I could put them up here for all to enjoy!)
"El Cornetista Bufo - Disco de la Risa" (= The Buffo Trumpetist - Laughing Record). This is the first laughing record I ever found. I think it cames from Beka original or Odeon from Germany. (?) Anyone knows? The recording shows a man playing trumpet and a woman that begins to laugh and makes the trumpetist come into laughing too (inside and outside the trunmpet). The woman's laughter is very funny, specially at the end of the record.
"La Gran Risa" (=The Big Laughter), by Henrik Klausen, recorded in December 1904 in Stockholm by HMV recording expert W.C. Gaisberg. The record begins with an announcement. It's a man singing 'Venetian Carnival', and he begins to laugh while singing. It's a very rare laughing record, and very old too!.
The face number is 92404, and comes from an original Zonophone master. The record was cut in London in 1908 by W.C. Gaisberg. It is "Risata Inglese" (=English Laughter) by Burt Shepard. It's a song with laughter in some parts.
It is titled "Ja, ja, ja, ja..." This has a number 15, that makes one suspect if they need 15 takes for this recording!!!. Somebody told us something about a 15-takes laughing record some weeks ago. Was this one? It must have been recorded in Berlin (see the xBe matrix prefix). Although it carries the "x" (that I think means 7" record), it is a 10" Odeon. It is a man trying to sing "Toreador" aria from Carmen, and he sings very bad in the highest passages, and makes bad notes, what makes a woman begin to laugh.
It has the number 16, and it makes me think that this 16 and the 15 in the other side, really mean nothing but control numbers or parts of a record set. This is titled "Uy, uy, uy, uy..." and is the famous CRYING RECORD I announced before. This is the true STAR of the thing. Someone plays a very sad ballad in the violin, and a woman (and the player himself) begin to cry.
Go to the jukebox page, or go back to the bar.
If you have comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org