Thursday, September 10, 2009

MOTD - Walter B. Rogers: Shredding Cornet Music from 1904

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Walter B. Rogers
Song: Yankee Doodle and Variations
Style: Vaudeville, Classical, Cornet music (early shred metal hehe)
country/location: Delphi, Indiana, US
release: 1904

So two weeks ago, just before my grandfather's funeral, I was helping my mother and uncle clean out his apartment/assisted living home. My mother told me that if there was anything I wanted, I could have it (with some things already claimed). I went to town on his CD/music collection for I figured he'd want me to have some of his recordings. One of the CDs I picked up was an album of really really old cornet music from the 1900s and even earlier. Some of it is really awesome and fun. I decided to share one of these gems.

This one was recorded in 1904 (the real old school here!) by this cornet player named Walter B. Rogers, who was popular at the time and rightly so. This guy is no slouch on his instrument. This track is him and a small band performing the ol' traditional song "Yankee Doodle" (which itself dates back to the 1750s btw). Now this recording starts off with him and his little backup orchestra playing the melody in a very straight-forward yet still peppy type way. After this, the orchestra repeats their routine backing of Rogers while he increases his tempo to double of his original performance. Again, he is no newb on the cornet, his playing is spot on & almost shredding (even by our standards of that term). The end finds Rogers triple tonguing his cornet in incredible precision. The sound quality is pretty damn good considering this was record 105 years ago! Of course it's not crystal clear, but still! Personally I'd like to think of this as a very very old precursor to the concept of shredding guitars in metal, but that's just me haha. I hope you enjoy this old highly skillful and fun gem!


Unknown said...

You're on a roll (no butter), Wren. When we were growing up, Dad was my lst trumpet teacher and my brother Stuart's lst horn influence. We got hooked on the horn, initially because we heard Dad practicing all the time. And so it was a natural thing for Stuart and I to go downstairs to the basement in our homes on Mark Twain and Strathmoor and blow, too. We played a lot together as kids and later as adults. Duos, trios. The Americana brass band music of Walter Rogers was a favorite. Occasionally, we would take a trip to hear the Detroit Concert Band perform this type of music. Stirring, inspiring, uplifting, fun, patriotic -- call it what you will. Some towns still have brass bands that play this kind of music. I'm sure Boston has such a band. We have 'em here in San Francisco. Fly the flag. Join the parade. Sing along.