Saturday, December 25, 2010

An Edison Memorabilia Of Vernon Dalhart - The First Singing Cowboy On Records

This LP of Vernon Dalhart is made from Edison records. I`m not going to go into too much about Dalhart. It`s easy enough to find out about him on the internet.
I will say a few things. One fact was he had the first county record to sell 1,000,000 copies (Wreck Of The Old `97 / The Prisoner`s Song). He recorded for practically every label in existence in the 1920`s. He also used somewhere around 100 aliases to get around contract obligations between record companies.
Some Edison record company facts----Dalhart apparently auditioned at Edison to the man himself, Thomas Edison, who was practically deaf! Edison used a unique recording process where the sound was recorded on the disc (and cylinders) vertically (the sound waves on the records are up and down in the grooves, not side to side as most other companies). The vertical process (also called lateral or hill and dale by other companies that used this process) gives a little better sound quality usually than a horizontal groove to my ear. Edison pattended this process and defended it fiercely, forcing all other companies to use the horizontally recorded groove. This effectively drove Edison out of the record buissness because you had to have a special reproducer to play a vertically recorded record. Not a smart move for Edison. As far as I know, ALL records recorded since about 1930 (including LP`s to this day) are recorded with the horizontal groove system.
One little funny thing I find about this LP, it calls Dalhart "The First Singing Cowboy On Record", but, there is not one single cowboy song on the LP. He did record some cowboy material, so I don`t know why they didn`t find at least one for this LP.
Most of the songs are the old tear-jerker type. Also, there are a couple of bona-fide old-time songs mixed in with some topical songs of the times. Dalhart`s specialty seems to have been topical songs that were recorded as soon as written after some disaster of the day, such as a storm, mine cave-in, train or air-ship wrecks and murders.
I have another Dalhart record of Edison material I will post in a week or so-----hope you enjoy this one.

Click here to download An Edison Memorabilia Of Vernon Dalhart - The First Singing Cowboy On Record


  1. This is a very interesting piece of history. I appreciate the liner notes too. Thanks for both these Vernon Dalhart posts.

  2. Beautiful. I'm overwhelmed by this guy.