At the Minstrel Show: Minstrel Routines From the Studio, 1894-1926
Various Artists

At the Minstrel Show
November 5, 2019 hennessey
Various Artists: At the Minstrel Show: Minstrel Routines From the Studio, 1894-1926

For all the vexed issues they pose to us now, minstrel shows were an important part of American social life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the early days of the phonograph industry, the record labels attempted to bring the experience of minstrelsy into consumers’ homes. The records were popular; hundreds of titles and thousands of examples survive to this day.

A few of these records have been issued by modern labels, but never before has an attempt been made to deal authoritatively with the genre as a whole. At the Minstrel Show fills the void with 51 tracks on two CDs and a 56-page heavily annotated booklet by Tim Brooks, author of the new McFarland book, The Blackface Minstrel Show in Mass Media. Disc One features three complete minstrel “shows”—that is, series of discs or cylinders that were intended to be listened to sequentially to give the listener the experience of a whole minstrel show. Disc Two has a number of minstrel “first part” routines (some extremely rare) and songs and skits about minstrelsy, recorded between 1894 and 1926. List price: $28.99

OVERVIEW

  • Catalogue number: ARCH 1004
  • UPC: 868490000296
  • Original release date: March 13, 2020
  • Running length: 146:52 / 51 tracks / 2 CD set
  • Notes & packaging: Digipak with a 56-page color booklet
  • Tracks recorded: 1894-1926
  • Contains racially derogatory language
  • In Archeophone’s Genres series
Tracks and Sound SamplesReviews
 Sample all tracks 
Tracklist: CD 1
Victor’s “An Evening with the Minstrels” Series
1. No. 1: Ethiopian Carnival of Melody Victor Minstrels (Entire Company) 1905
2. No. 2: Minstrel Ballad: My Creole Sue Victor Minstrels (feat. S. H. Dudley, Len Spencer & Harry Macdonough) 1905
3. No. 3: End Song: Chimes of the Golden Bells Victor Minstrels (feat. S. H. Dudley, Len Spencer & Quartette) 1905
4. No. 4: Musical Act: Ebony Emperors of Melody Victor Minstrels (feat. S. H. Dudley & Len Spencer) 1903
5. No. 5: Having Fun with the Orchestra Victor Minstrels (feat. Len Spencer & Steve Porter) 1904
6. No. 6: The Cake Walk in Coontown Victor Minstrels (feat. Len Spencer) 1905
7. No. 7: Sidewalk Conversation: Funny Things You See in the Papers Victor Minstrels (feat. S. H. Dudley & Len Spencer) 1902
8. No. 8: Grand Afterpiece: Scenes on the Levee Victor Minstrels (Entire Company) 1904
Columbia’s “An Evening with the Minstrels” Series
9. Introductory Overture Columbia Minstrels (Entire Company) 1903
10. Our Land of Dreams Columbia Minstrels (feat. J. W. Myers) 1903
11. End Man’s Stories Columbia Minstrels (feat. Len and Harry Spencer) 1903
12. End Man Song: I’m a N- That’s Living High Columbia Minstrels (feat. Arthur Collins) 1903
13. Jokes Between Interlocutor and End Men Columbia Minstrels (feat. Len and Harry Spencer & Arthur Collins) 1903
14. I’m Wearing My Heart Away for You Columbia Minstrels (feat. George J. Gaskin) 1903
15. Jokes Between Interlocutor and End Man Columbia Minstrels (feat. Harry Spencer & Arthur Collins) 1903
16. End Man’s Song: My Friend from Home Columbia Minstrels (feat. Len Spencer) 1903
17. Finale: Black Hussars March Columbia Minstrels (feat. J. W. Myers) 1903
18. Musical Specialty: Trumpet Solo Columbia Minstrels (feat. Albert Bode) 1903
19. Monologue Columbia Minstrels (feat. George Graham [presumed]) 1903
20. Yankee Doodle: Banjo Solo Columbia Minstrels (feat. Vess L. Ossman) 1903
Edison’s “At the Minstrel Show” Series
21. At the Minstrel Show No. 1 Edison Minstrels (Entire Company) 1906
22. At the Minstrel Show No. 2 Edison Minstrels (feat. Arthur Collins & Byron G. Harlan) 1906
23. At the Minstrel Show No. 3 Edison Minstrels (feat. Len Spencer & Billy Murray) 1906
24. At the Minstrel Show No. 4 Edison Minstrels (feat. Will F. Denny) 1906
25. At the Minstrel Show No. 5 Edison Minstrels (feat. Len Spencer & Billy Murray) 1906
26. At the Minstrel Show No. 6 Edison Minstrels (Entire Company) 1906

 

Tracklist: CD 2
1. The Minstrel Parade Arthur Collins & Byron G. Harlan 1915
2. Minstrel 1st Part, “A High Old Time” Spencer, Williams & Quinn’s Imperial Minstrels ca. 1894-1895
3. Minstrel 1st Part, “Dese Bones Shall Rise Again” The Imperial Minstrels ca. 1899
4. Minstrel 1st Part, “The Laughing Song” Billy Heins & the Ancient City Quartette ca. 1898
5. Minstrel 1st Part, “A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” Excelsior Minstrel Company ca. 1898
6. It’s Got to Be a Minstrel Show Tonight Dan W. Quinn 1902
7. Minstrel 1st Part, “Echoes of Minstrelsy” Arthur Collins, S. H. Dudley & the Ancient City Quartette 1899
8. Minstrel 1st Part, “All I Want Is My Chicken Back” Alabama Troubadours ca. 1900
9. Minstrel 1st Part, “Three Minutes with the Minstrels” Arthur Collins, S. H. Dudley & the Ancient City Quartette 1899
10. That Minstrel Man of Mine Len Spencer and Vess L. Ossman 1901
11. Minstrel 1st Part, “My Wild Irish Rose” Climax Minstrels ca. 1902
12. Minstrel 1st Part, “Goo Goo Eyes” Zonophone Minstrels ca. 1901
13. Monarch Minstrels 1st Part, No. 5 The Georgia Minstrels 1902
14. An Amateur Minstrel Rehearsal Edison Vaudeville Company 1907
15. I Got to See the Minstrel Show Arthur Collins 1906
16. Minstrel Record “D” Rambler Minstrels 1906
17. The Peerless Minstrels Peerless Quartette and Company 1910
18. The Elks Minstrels Elks Minstrel Company 1908
19. The Stranded Minstrel Man Murry K. Hill 1908
20. Me an’ de Minstrel Ban’ Billy Murray 1905
21. Military Minstrels (No. 26) Victor Minstrel Company 1912
22. Rex Minstrel No. 2 Peerless Quartette 1914
23. Minstrels Part VI: I Want to Go Back to the Land of Cotton Little Wonder Minstrels 1916
24. The Land of Minstrelsy Premier Quartet Minstrels 1919
25. Bring Back Those Minstrel Days Al Campbell and Jack Kaufman 1926
The Vinyl District

Minstrelsy was, on a musical level, often quite contemporary, as the performances gathered here tap into songs that were concurrent hits of the day. That makes them far more of interest to musicologists (both professional and listening-room armchair) than a novice might think…The overall appeal relates to the scholarship and how it sheds light on issues of the present day. A-
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Black Grooves at the Indiana University Archives of African American Music & Culture

“At the Minstrel Show reveals the complex history of American popular music at the turn of the 20th century and serves as a valuable audio companion to books on the topic.”
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At the Minstrel Show, 1894-1926 -- from Archeophone Records
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