Post by jdavishart on Nov 27, 2012 21:35:40 GMT -5
It occurs to me that I've never heard a recording by a black performer on any form of Edison. Granted, there are plenty of "coon" recordings; but are there any authentic blues or jazz recordings? Just picked up 51367-R, "Cold Weather Papa" by Emma Johnson (?). Not quite the same as the Clara Smith version on Columbia! Had never thought about this before. Thanks for any info!
As for black performers, I know that George W. Johnson (the first black recording artist) reprised some of his popular hits for Edison on 2 minute wax cylinders; and Polk Miller's Old South Quartette recorded both on 2 and 4 minute formats. I also have a Blue Amberol of Edward Sterling Wright reciting a couple of Paul Lawrence Dunbar's poems.
I am not sure, however, of any black performers on Diamond Discs; perhaps someone with better information could enlighten us.....
Goggle Black Edison Recording artist.. Noble Sissle who was a stage entertainer is listed, Fisk University Jubilee quartette , Wilbur Sweatman, Eubie Blake are some. I have some southern gospel groups that are black as well but don't recall the name. There are some out there, you just have to do some research.
For what it is worth, Helen Baxter recorded for Edison as Ellen Coleman but I don't actually know if she was black although she certainly sounds it. Her cylinders were described by the Edison company as being "bluer than indigo".
So yep, there are a few coloured performers out there in Edison land.