Songcatcher, Touchstone Pictures, ©2001


Many phonograph scenes are featured in this movie with an Edison Standard Phonograph used by musicologist to capture Irish-Scottish ballads in the 1907 backwoods of the Appalacians.

One minor problem for Friends of the Phonograph is the process used in the movie for making a recording on a wax cylinder record.

The Edison cylinder phonograph used wax records for recording, however, in this movie Edison Blue Amberol Records are used which were celluloid and never used for recording. When a record is placed on the machine before Emmy Rossum's recording session the recorded grooves can be seen as already present. Although the movie goes from the recording scene directly to the playing back of the record there would have been an in-between step of changing the stylus from Recorder to Reproducer before playing the newly recorded record. The newly cut wax grooves would also probably have been been brushed clean. Additionally, these Blue Amberol Records don't match the Edison 2-minute record boxes which would have contained the blank 2 minute wax records for recording or could also be used after the recording had been completed.

Nevertheless, there are great phonograph scenes in the movie and the following excerpts are available courtesy of Touchstone Pictures ©2000.


WATCH First Song Caught
Watch this demo of making a wax recording (literally cutting a record) using a circa 1903 Edison Standard Phonograph. (Courtesy the Henry Ford)


WATCH Catching Grannie's Love Songs - Songcatcher (Touchstone Pictures 2000)


Disaster! Songcatcher (Touchstone Pictures 2000)