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An amusing glimpse into 1899 minstrelsy, featuring Len Spencer, Steve Porter and Dan W. Quinn.

Imperial Minstrels

 
Company Columbia Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 13006 (5-inch "grand" cylinder)
Category Minstrels
Title Imperial Minstrels – Upon the Golden Shore
Performed by Len Spencer, Steve Porter & Dan W. Quinn
Circa 1898-1899
Announcement "The Imperial Minstrels, introducing their original minstrel first part, for Columbia Phonograph Company of New York and Paris."
 

This popular minstrel selection was listed in Columbia's catalogs beginning in 1897.   Note the several seconds of "open horn" sounds captured at the end.   Although Dan W. Quinn is referred to in the recording, it seems he was probably only heard during the laughs and final chorus - perhaps, during the open horn.   One of the gags mentions "policy" numbers games: a type of illegal lottery (here is a Wikipedia article on policy playing).

The Columbia Phonograph Company's 5-inch diameter "Grand" cylinders were originally priced in 1898 at $5 – as were Edison's National Phonograph Company's 5-inch "Concert" cylinders.   A very hefty price generally afforded only by phonograph exhibitors and the financially well-to-do.   In today's dollars, that would be roughly $140!

To hear The Imperial Minstrels  

For help playing these sounds, click here.

Interested in hearing other wax cylinder minstrel recordings, or learning more about minstrelsy?

Key Title Category Performed by Circa
11/2005 Alabama Troubadours - Because Minstrels Ancient City Quartette, S. H. Dudley, Billy Heins 1898-1899
07/2010 At the Minstrel Show - No. 1 Minstrel series Edison Minstrels 1906
05/2008 Georgia Minstrels Minstrels S. H. Dudley & Len Spencer 1904
11/2000 The Imperial Minstrels - Dese Bones Shall Rise Again Minstrels Len Spencer & Steve Porter 1901
12/2013 The Imperial Minstrels - Mamie Reilly Minstrels Len Spencer & Steve Porter 1898
03/2012 The Imperial Minstrels - Old Folks at Home Minstrels Roger Harding & Steve Porter 1899
01/2015 Jubilee Minstrels Minstrels Edison Minstrels 1908
03/2007 Three Minutes With the Minstrels Minstrels S. H. Dudley & Arthur Collins 1899

                   


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the


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