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J.W. Myers


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Congratulations go to Ryan Barna for the excellent bio of J.W. Myers in the recent APS journal.  The sheer number of recordings he made, their overall quality, and the many companies that recorded him point to a prodigious talent I've wanted to know more about.


Thanks, Ryan.


I believe that, as improved pantagraphing made recording for big labels like Columbia less remunerative (more copies per round), artists looked for ways to supplement their income.  Recording popular titles for lesser labels that were not "theirs" at the major was a way to avoid accusations of direct competition.  As an example, J.W. Myers sings "Hot Time" for the Michigan Electric Company of Detroit since the famous song was recorded exclusively by Len Spencer at Columbia.


Myers decision to set up his own shop was certainly an aggressive move.  At the time he did so, there were a number of smaller recording labels in New York who would have happily added him to their talent roster.  Maybe their terms were not attractive enough.  Regardless, the decision to create TWO labels - Globe and Standard - is a mystery to me.


A few interesting data points about the Globe cylinder Ryan mentions (When my Lize Sees the Whites of Their Eyes).  The song was written by a very young George M. Cohan trying to break into the business by writing coon songs.  The song is copyrighted 1897, meaning the cylinder was probably released in 1898 or 1899.  Yet the cylinder is channel-rimmed!  This might be the latest commercial recording I have seen on a channel rim.



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