The Christmas of the Phonograph "Referenced Records"

The Christmas of the Phonograph Records - A Recollection by Mari Sandoz - Illustrated by James W. Brown, University of Nebraska Press - Lincoln Copyright 1966 by the Estate of Mari Sandoz


Mari Sandoz's "Recollection" is based on her father, Old Jules Sandoz, buying an Edison Phonograph and over three hundred records for their Christmas holiday circa 1908.

There are many record references in Mari's "Recollection" starting with Lucia, the first record they slipped onto their machine.

Everybody waited, leaning forward. There was a rhythmic frying in the silence, and then a whispering of sound, soft and very, very far away.

It brought a murmur of disappointment and an escaping laugh, but gradually the whispers loudened into the sextet from Lucia, into what still seems to me the most beautiful singing in the world."


Titles identified in Mari's story are listed below followed by respective records available in 1908, i.e., the Sandoz family and their neighbors might have heard these recordings. Linked records for listening are courtesy of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Library unless otherwise noted.


Lucia, performed by Edison Sextette, Edison Amberol Record, 1908


Alpine Violets, by Jaudas and Rose, Edison Record, 1905


Any Rags, by Arthur Collins, Edison Record, 1903 (see Dialect Records Disclaimer)


Casey at the Telephone, James White, Edison Record, 1902


I'm Trying So Hard to Forget You, by Stanley and Harlan, Columbia Phonograph Record, 1905


Mocking Bird, played by Mr. Charles D'Almaine, Edison Record, 1902 (violin solo)


Rabbit Hash, by Billy Golden, Edison Record, 1903 (see Dialect Records Disclaimer)


Red Wing, sung by Frederick H. Potter, Edison Record, 1907


Schubert's Serenade, by Hans Kronold, Edison Record, 1905


American Students' Waltzes, played by the Edison Military Band, Edison Record, 1904


It Blew! Blew! Blew! Schottische, played by the Edison Concert Band, Edison Record, 1906


The Preacher and the Bear, by Arthur Collins, Edison Gold Moulded Record, 1905 (Disclaimer)


Andreas Hofer, by Harvey Hindermeyer, Edison Blue Amberol, 1914


Sempach, (not available at this time)


Spring Song, by Charles D'Almaine, Edison Record, 1902


La Paloma, played by the Edison Symphony Orchestra, Edison Record, 1902


Come ye Disconsolate, (not available at this time)


The Last Rose of Summer, by Harry McDonough, Edison Record, 1904


In Monkey Land, by Collins and Harlan, Edison Record, 1907


Moonlight Sonata, (not available at this time)


Stille Nacht, by Nebe-Quartette, Edison Record, 1907


Don't Get Married Any More, Ma, sung by Ada Jones, Edison Record, 1908


The Blue Danube, played by Edison Symphony Orchestra, Edison Record, 1902


Always in the Way, sung by Byron G. Harlan, Edison Record, 1903


Arkansas Traveler, musical monologue by Len Spencer, Edison Record, 1902


Finkelstein at the Seashore, (not available, however touch to listen to) Blitz and Blatz at the Seashore, Columbia, 1909


Everybody Works but Father, sung by Bob Roberts, Edison Record, 1905


Melody in F, by Hans Kronold, Edison Record, 1905


Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground, sung by Frank C. Stanley, Edison Record, 1902


Traumerei, played by Hans Kronold, Edison Record, 1905




Old Jules opening one of his large boxes of cylinder records (Illustration by James W. Brown)


When Mari's mother started noticing "all of the records spread out there, and in the kitchen-living room behind her" she began to realize their number.

"Three hundred!" she exclaimed in German, speaking angrily in father's direction, "Looks to me like more than three thousand!"

Father scratched under his bearded chin, laughing slyly. "I added to the order," he admitted. He didn't say how many, nor that there were other brands besides the Edison here, including several hundred foreign recordings obtained through a Swiss friend in New York, at a stiff price."

It is unknown what the titles of the several hundred foreign records were that Old Jules may have purchased from "a Swiss friend in New York." The following, however, are two pages from The Edison Phonograph Monthly, October 1907 of Edison's Advance List of French, German, Norweigian, Polish and Scandinavian Records which Edison Jobbers could order as Edison was making way for these new releases of foreign records in his catalogue which he said would likely be "more universally popular."