"Children's Book of Music"

Glimpses of Recorded Sound in Musical Performances


Doug Boilesen, June 2024

This nicely illustrated book is about "different musical styles, the works and lives of famous composers and performers, how to play instruments, and the amazing range of music around the world."

There are four different types of pages in the book: Musican Profile; Instrument Profile; Music Style; and Performance.

Within the "Modern music - PERFORMANCE" section there are two pages on Recorded sound with phonograph connections in addition to two phonograph related images on the cover of the book.



On page 100 there is a small picture of an Edison tin foil phonograph (not Edison's first tin foil phonograph) with the caption that on this phonograph "sound is recorded as indentations on foil wrapped around a cylinder." ("Children's Book of Music," Second American Edition published by DK Publishing, New York, 2023. © 2010, 2023 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK, a Division of Penguin Random House, LLC.)


The Recorded sound page provided the following brief recorded music overview:

In 1877, Thomas Edison made the first recording of a human voice on his newly invented cylinder phonograph. This began a wonder of inventions in the recording world, from gramophone records to today's fifth generation (5G) technology. The birth of radio provided a springboard for musicians and this continues today with the availability of digital downloads and online streaming. (Ibid. p. 100)

Four artists were also highlighted on page 100 with the following text and performance related factolas.

Nora Bayes, 1880-1928, American

A popular singer during World War I, Nora Bayes performed morale-boosting songs for Allied troops. Her song, Over There, written in 1917, became an international hit and the anthem for America's war effort. Bayes recorded on phonographic records.


"Over There," Words and Music by George M. Cohan, William Jerome Publishing, New York, 1917 (Source: Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins).


John McCormack, 1884-1945, Irish

Tenor John McCormack sang classical and popular songs. He made his first recording in 1904 on a cylinder phonograph. In the 1910s aned 1920s, he recorded for a leading producer of phonograph records, The Victor Talking Machine Company.

LISTEN to Edison Gold Moulded Record No. 2530 "The Green Isle of Erin" by John McCormack, 1904 (UCSB Cylinder Record Collection). No. 13153 Foreign Gold Moulded Record: British series.


Bing Crosby, 1903-1977, American

Bing Crosby, one of the most successful recording artists of all time, made the bestselling record ever, White Christmas. He is famous for his "crooner" sound, developed by singing close to the new-style microphones , introduced by Bell Labs in the US in 1926.


Recorded on May 29, 1942, 78 single release of "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby on Decca Records, 18429 A, with Ken Darby Singers and John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra, Matrix # DLA 3009, 10-in. double-faced). (DAHR).


Bing Crosby enjoying the amazing new way to play records, Philco magazine ad, 1947


Benny Goodman, 1909-1986, American

Clarinet player Benny Goodman and his band played a style of jazz that made people dance. Goodman began recording in the 1920s, and then, with his band, went on to take a regular slot in the nationwide radio program, "Let's Dance."


1935 Promotion Benny Goodman and His Orchestra as stars of N.B.C's radio program "Let's Dance." (Wikipedia)


Benny Goodman for Columbia Records, 1947



Five additional artists were highlighted on page 101:

Smokey Robinson, 1940 - American

Patsy Cline, 1932-1963, American

Jimi Hendrix, 1942-1970, American

Adele, 1988-, British

BTS, 2013-, South Korean



Second American Edition published by DK Publishing, New York, 2023. © 2010, 2023 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK, a Division of Penguin Random House, LLC.