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Hark! The Years! narration by Fredric March 1951

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Here is a video I made in 2019 from a 45 rpm set from 1951. Several of the recordings mentioned in the recent posts are included in this set. I thought some might find it interesting. If you open it in YouTube the notes have links to each individual side showing who is included in that side.


There are also some very interesting comments from transformingArt in the YouTube comments regarding authenticity, or non-authenticity of some of the voices. 


Hark! The Years! narration by Fredric March 1951



Edited by melvind
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Thank you for posting this.  It would be interesting to know the sources for this recording-set from 70 years ago.  I offer the following, random observations:


The W.J. Bryan speech may be from one of his Edison two minute cylinders.  His original 1896 Democratic Convention “Cross of Gold” speech was not recorded and there were no cheering crowds.  Bryan did re-create a portion of his famous speech in 1921 for Gennett records.  I’d have to refer to the transcripts to know for sure.


The first T. Roosevelt recording in the series is indeed rare.  Unable to attend the Boy’s Club Meeting in-person, Roosevelt made the recording to be played-back at the meeting.  Known as “The Progressive Boy’s Club Speech”, I am aware of two existing cylinders, Take One and Take Two.  A flexible disc was discovered a few years back at the Wayne show.


The Eugene Debs recording was interesting and I was unaware of its existence.  I assume it is authentic.


The Billy Sunday temperance speech was chilling.  “We don’t need no rum” and I have never heard any LaGuardia recording but his reference to “stopping the making of wine would be like stopping gravity” was funny.

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I am the very person who left comments on the original YouTube video about the provenance (or the lack of it) of the snippets included in this album set. Here's what I wrote on the original video:

Thank you for posting this. Very interesting collage of recordings. Few comments about the recordings and the sources. Most of the recordings featured here are either from commercial Victor, Columbia, or other issued recordings.

Florence Nightingale: There is a mistake in the transcription of her message. What she actually says is "I hope my voice MAY PERPETUATE the great work of my life."

Theodore Roosevelt: The first recording comes from a private cylinder recorded for a meeting for the Progressive Party Boy's League during the 1912 election - so it is out of correct chronology.

Eugene V. Debs: This is NOT the recording of Eugene Debs himself, but Len Spencer doing a dramatic recitation of Debs' speech titled "Winning a World" (Columbia M-593, also recorded on a cylinder). There is no surviving identified recording of Debs.

John J. Pershing: From the 1918 "Nation's Forum" recording - this is the only recording in this collection that appears to have no editing whatsoever (i.e. featured in its entirety)

Vladimir Lenin: Re-recording from the soundtrack of a documentary film about Soviet Union - the source recording is a heavily edited (and dubbed) version of Lenin's speech titled "An Address to the Red Army" (Centropechat A-003), recorded on March 23rd, 1919.

Douglas Fairbanks Sr: Lifted from a soundtrack of "Reaching for the Moon" (1929)

Calvin Coolidge: From the 1924 Campaign speech record - an early electrical recording made by Orlando Marsh.

Mahatma Gandhi: Lifted from the soundtrack of a Hearst Newsreel footage, documenting his speech at the League of Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, December 10th, 1931.

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