Phonograph and Record References in Recorded Music



Phonograph Blues by Robert Johnson

Album: "Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings"

Recording 1 of 5 sessions, November 23, 1936, San Antonio, Texas

Lyrics: "Beatrice, she got a phonograph and it won't say a lonesome word..."

"Beatrice, I love my phonograph, but you have broke my windin' chain"







Phonograph by Steven Clotzman

Album: "My American Song"

© 2007 Steven Clotzman

Lyrics: "Let's dust off the old man's Phonograph We'll listen to a Berlin song..."







Phonograph by Stateside

Album: Phonograph

Original Release Date: April 20, 2004

Lyrics: "Phonograph, Can you help me get it back,

Can you can you Phonograph, when the needle hits the black

Will you help me through....

Come on little record, play

Show me somethin' new Words"








Phonograph by The Magpies

Album: The Magpies - Eastern Standard Time

Original Release Date: May 7, 2008

Copyright: 2008 Whiskeyhounds Records

Lyrics: "My love lives in a Phonograph, she's got a voice that'll make any man go mad..."









Song: Into the Groove

Artist: Madonna

Album: You can dance

Original Release Date: November 17, 1987

Label: Sire/Warner Bros.

Lyrics: "And you can dance

For inspiration

Come on I'm waiting

Chorus: Get into the groove

Boy you've got to prove

Your love to me, yeah

Get up on your feet, yeah

Step to the beat

Boy what will it be"










Song: Phonograph by Jesca Hoop

Album: Not released - Recorded at KCRW Session 12-02-2004

Lyrics: "i fell in love

with a brilliant boy

i gave him my heart

while he captured my voice

he carried across the sea

how did he tangibly turn a needle crank

the cylinder round

until we meet again...

all i have to keep me sane is my phonograph"










I am the Edison Phonograph!

Edison Advertising Record, recorded by Len Spencer in 1906


Lyrics: "I am the Edison Phonograph!

Created by the Great Wizard of the New World to delight those who would have melody or be amused..."


The Phonograph 1905









Just Dance by Lady GaGa

Album: The Fame

Original Release Date: October 28, 2008

Label: Streamline/Interscoope/KonLive/Cherrytree

This 2008 ode to disco includes declarations of the love for the record and its spinning on the turntable:

Lyrics: "Just dance, spin that record baby... I love this record baby, but I can't see straight anymore...... Just dance, spin that record babe, da da doo-doo-mmm"










Au Claire de la Lune by The Highwaymen

Album: The Highwaymen

Released November 30, 1991

Although this song doesn't specifically reference the phonograph, it is included here to celebrate the first audio recording of any voice or any song, when the first line of Au clair de la lune was recorded by Édouard-Léon Scott on his Phonautograph on April 9, 1860.











"No News," or "What Killed the Dog"

Victor 78 RPM - 17222-A

Victor 5612 recorded on October 14, 1908


(Courtesy of Tim Gracyk)


Phonographia connection is James Thurber using this record in connection with a "broken record" in his book "My Life and Hard Times."

Father was usually in bed by nine-thirty and up again by ten-thirty to protest bitterly against a Victrola record we three boys were in the habit of playing over and over, namely, “No News, or What Killed the Dog,” a recitation by Nat Wills. The record had been played so many times that its grooves were deeply cut and the needle often kept revolving in the same groove, repeating over and over the same words. Thus: “ate some burnt hoss flesh, ate some burnt hoss flesh, ate some burnt hoss flesh.” It was this reiteration that generally got father out of bed.

My Life and Hard Times, James Thurber, 1933










"The Broken Record - Novelty Fox Trot"

Columbia 78 RPM - FE 1288

Recorded January 7, 1936


(Courtesy of Eighth Floor of Jan's 78 RPM Record Warehouse)


My Sweetheart,

you’re gorgeous, you’re gorgeous, your gorgeous, your gorgeous, your gorgeous, your gorgeous tonight

That’s the song I heard on the phonograph The needle caught on the broken half And kept playing And saying

My Sweetheart, I kiss you, I kiss you, I kiss you, I kiss you, I kiss you, I kiss you tonight…

The broken record played on and then, The broken record started again,

My Sweetheart, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you I do…









Get Out Those Old Records sung by Carmen Lombardo

Album: Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians

Original Release Date: Nov 7, 1950

Label: Jasmine

This song is a true tribute to the memories of playing phonograph records, written by one of the Lombardo brothers.

"Get out those old records

Those old phonograph records

The ones we used to play so long ago

What if they sound scratchy

The tunes they really were catchy

Remember when you used to love them

so I had to play them over and over..."











"The Phonograph Song" (Our Melody)

Played by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, 1956

Capitol Records

LISTEN to Guy Lombarbo and His Royal Canadians play "The Phonograph Song"

"Play that Tune Phonograph Phonograph

Play that Tune Phonograph Phonograph

Play that Tune Phonograph Phonograph

Play Our Melody"

...We were dancing to this happy melody

When we fell in love...









They All Laughed

Artist: Ginger Rogers

Album: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at RKO

Original Release Date: 1937 with the release of the movie "Shall we Dance?"

Lyrics: "They all laughed when Edison recorded sound"









They All Laughed

Artist: Ella Fitzgerald

Album: Ella Fitgerald sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book

Original Release Date: May 19, 1998

Label: Verve Records

Lyrics: "They all laughed when Edison recorded sound"


Listen to how "the worm had turned"









(The) Rock and Roll Star by Kay Starr

Released as Single December 1955

Format: 45 RPM, 78 RPM

Label: RCA Victor


Lyrics: "There in the night what a wonderful scene

Mom was dancing with Dad to my record machine"










Eric Hutchinson - "Watching You Watch Him"

In his music video Hutchinson's Phonographia connections are the record player images and the lyrics related to his love that plays like a "broken record."










The Phonograph by Istituto Barlumen

Album: The Phonograph was based on Edison advertising record " I am the Edison Phonograph", by Len Spencer, 1906

Original Release Date: January 21, 2008

Label: Barlumen Records

Lyrics: "And the Phonograph spoke from beside the fireplace..."










Artist: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

Album: The Lion The Beast The Beat


The hook line is "I will be your record, you will be my turntable"











Just Can't Get Enough

Artist: The Saturdays

Album: Single

Original Physical Release Date: March 2, 2009

Label: Polydor


Music Video "Just Can't Get Enough"








Phonography by Britney Spears

Album: Circus - Deluxe Edition included bonus track "Phonography"

Release Date: December 2, 2008

Leave it to Britney to redefine the Isaac Pitman Shorthand system of Phonography (first introduced in 1837) to phone-(porn)-ography (i.e., phone sex) in 2008.












Phonograph Blues by Vassar Clements

Album: Livin' with the Blues

Recording based on Robert Johnson's "Phonograph Blues"

"Beatrice, she got a phonograph and it won't say a lonesome word..."










Uncle Josh Buys a Victrola

By Cal Stewart, Victor Talking Machine Co., 18793-A, 1919


In 1919 Cal Stewart as Uncle Josh Weathersby was confused about how a talking machine worked when his Victor record "Uncle Josh Buys a Victrola" recounted his first experience with his new talking machine.


Courtesy of Tim Gracyk

Victor matrix B-23118 August 11, 1919 (DAHR)