PHONOHUMOR

Uncle Josh Stories and Records

 

 

 

 

 

The Phonoscope, July 1898

 

 

Cal Stewart - The Yankee Story Teller (1856 - 1919)

An early recording star by the name of Cal Stewart is an example of a voice from the past that would have been quickly recognized by any phonograph listener at the turn of the century. Now his famous laugh would only be known to record collectors. Cal Stewart clearly wanted to make people laugh and his folksy humor in the persona of Uncle Josh Weathersby is a true piece of Americana. Uncle Josh said "I'd sooner tell Peter on the last day about the laffs I've given folks on earth, than try to explain about givin' them heart akes."

Uncle Josh recorded for a number of record companies from the 1890's until his death in 1919. In all, he wrote about 129 different comic monologues. His performance and social folksy monologue always included his famous laugh, a laugh the Edison company called "infectious". His story telling usually found him at home in Punkin Center where he observed the events of his time under such titles as "Uncle Josh and the Lightening Rod Agent" and "Uncle Josh Buys an Automobile"; "Uncle Josh at the Dentist's and "Moving Pictures at Pumpkin Center". And for Friends of the Phonograph, there are three selections of note: "I Wants a Graphophone," "Uncle Josh Buys a Victrola" and "Uncle Josh and the Phonograph."

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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Courtesy of Tim Gracyk

Victor matrix B-23118 August 11, 1919

LISTEN

 

 

 

 

Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories - List of Uncle Josh Victor Records

  Title Record Number
Train Time at Pun'kin Centre and Uncle Josh and Nancy Put up a Stove 18595
Uncle Josh and Aunt Nancy Put Up Kitchen Stove (with Jones) and Train Time 18595
Uncle Josh and Aunt Nancy Visit N. Y. and Uncle Josh on Street Car 16227
Uncle Josh and the Billiken and Hot Tamale Man 16203
Uncle Josh and the Fire Department and Uncle Josh at Skating Rink 16931
Uncle Josh and Lightning Rod Agent and Down in Jungle Town 16805
Uncle Josh and the Photographer and Farmyard Medley 16676
Uncle Josh at a Camp Meeting and Uncle Josh Playing Golf 16226
Uncle Josh at Skating Rink and Uncle Josh and the Fire Department 16931
Uncle Josh at the Circus and Uncle Josh's Troubles in a Hotel 16193
Uncle Josh at the Dentist's and Small boy and mother at the Circus 16413
Uncle Josh at the Opera and Uncle Josh in Society 16145
Uncle Josh buys an automobile and Village Gossips 17854
Uncle Josh in a Barber Shop and War Talk at Pun'kin Centre 17820
Uncle Josh in a Chinese Laundry and Uncle Josh on a Bicycle 16068
Uncle Josh in a Department Store and Uncle Josh's Visit to the Metropolis 16520
Uncle Josh in Society and Uncle Josh at the Opera. 16145
Uncle Josh Joins the Grangers and I'm Old but Awfully Tough 16403
Uncle Josh on a Bicycle and Uncle Josh in a Chinese laundry 16068
Uncle Josh on the Street Car and Uncle Josh and Nancy Visit N.Y 16227
Uncle Josh Playing Baseball and Uncle Josh on a Fifth Avenue Bus 16228
Uncle Josh Playing Golf and Uncle Josh at a Camp Meeting 16226
Uncle Josh's Arrival in N. Y. City and Uncle Josh's Trip to Boston 16225
Uncle Josh's Huskin' Dance and Last Day of School at Pun 'kin Centre 16109
Uncle Josh's 2nd Visit to Metropolis and Uncle Josh in Department Store 16520
Uncle Josh's Trip to Boston and Uncle Josh Arrival in N.Y 16225
Uncle Josh's Trip to Coney Island and Roll on de Ground 16804
Uncle Josh's Trouble in a Hotel and Uncle Josh at the Circus 16193
  Uncle Josh Buys a Victrola 18793

 

 

 

Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories - Contents

  Title Page
PREFACE 3
LIFE SKETCH OF AUTHOR 5
  MY OLD YALLER ALMANAC 11
ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK 15
UNCLE JOSH IN SOCIETY 21
UNCLE JOSH IN A CHINESE LAUNDRY 25
UNCLE JOSH IN A MUSEUM 31
UNCLE JOSH IN WALL STREET 35
UNCLE JOSH AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT 39
UNCLE JOSH IN AN AUCTION ROOM 43
UNCLE JOSH ON A FIFTH AVENUE 'BUS 45
UNCLE JOSH IN A DEPARTMENT STORE 49
UNCLE JOSH'S COMMENTS ON THE SIGNS SEEN IN NEW YORK 53
UNCLE JOSH ON A STREET CAR 57
MY FUST PAIR OF COPPER TOED BOOTS 63
UNCLE JOSH IN POLICE COURT 65
  UNCLE JOSH AT CONEY ISLAND 70
UNCLE JOSH AT THE OPERA 75
UNCLE JOSH AT DELMONICO'S 79
IT IS FALL 83
SI PETTINGILL'S BROOMS 87
UNCLE JOSH PLAYS GOLF 91
JIM LAWSON'S HOGS 95
UNCLE JOSH AND THE LIGHTNING ROD AGENT 99
A MEETING OF THE ANNANIAS CLUB 103
JIM LAWSON'S HOSS TRADE 107
A MEETING OF THE SCHOOL DIRECTORS 111
THE WEEKLY PAPER AT PUNKIN CENTRE 117
  UNCLE JOSH AT A CAMP MEETING 121
  THE UNVEILING OF THE ORGAN 125
  UNCLE JOSH PLAYS A GAME OF BASE BALL 127
  THE PUNKIN CENTRE AND PAW PAW VALLEY RAILROAD 131
  UNCLE JOSH ON A BICYCLE 135
  A BAPTISIN' AT THE HICKORY CORNERS CHURCH 139
  A REMINISCENCE OF MY RAILROAD DAYS 143
  UNCLE JOSH AT A CIRCUS 147
  UNCLE JOSH INVITES THE CITY FOLKS TO VISIT HIM 153
  YOSEMITE JIM, OR A TALE OF THE GREAT WHITE DEATH 157
 

UNCLE JOSH WEATHERSBY'S TRIP TO BOSTON

163
  WHO MARCHED IN SIXTY-ONE 169

 

 

 

 

 

Archeophone Records has this CD available for purchase where you can also listen to excerpts.

A humorist who spent 22 years waxing his Uncle Josh stories, Cal Stewart was the first performer whose stage appearances were celebrated by reference to his records rather than the other way around. In his famous role as "rube" Uncle Josh Weathersby, he entertained millions of listeners with tales of his antics both in New York City and at home in Punkin Center. The Indestructible Uncle Josh provides a snapshot of Stewart's repertoire at the height of his career, featuring all 25 of his 2-minute cylinders for the Indestructible company and a choice sampling of his work on U-S Everlasting cylinders. The package includes a 28-page booklet with notes by Stewart expert and scholar Patrick Feaster. List price: $16.49

 

The UCSB Cylinder Archive also has many Uncle Josh cylinder recordings available for listening, e.g, Uncle Josh invites the city folks to visit him down on the farm.

Supporting UCSB's Adopt a Cylinder Program would be an excellent way to be a Friend of the Phonograph. Do it today!