It's Showtime

The first Shakespeare performance, recorded by Edwin Booth

The plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare, as the finest examples of the English written word, were also the first recorded sounds ever made.  The first recording ever made at Alexander Graham Bell‘s Volta Laboratory in Washington DC in 1881 was that of Bell’s very own voice reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Here’s another recording of Bell’s… Read More

Brooklyn History Those Were The Days

The hottest place to listen to records in Brooklyn

One hundred years ago today, the Abraham & Straus department store on Fulton Street (today’s Brooklyn Macy’s location) kicks off the borough’s deep affection for record albums with newly designed listening stations, touted in this Brooklyn Daily Eagle advertisement as the best in the city (and it probably was). As the advertisement proclaims: “With the… Read More

Those Were The Days

Where did New Yorkers first buy recorded music?

“Photograph shows a boy and a girl dancing while an Edison Home Phonograph plays in a house in Broad Channel, Queens, New York City.” — taken between 1910-1915 Here’s something many people thought they’d never see again in New York City — the opening of a new record store.  Rough Trade, known for their famous… Read More

The hottest day in New York City history

New Yorkers flock to a public water fountain on a hot day. Taken between 1908 and 1915 I originally ran this story back in July 2007, but it seems pretty apt today, given the circumstances: Its gonna get hot this summer in New York City. Pretty obviously July is the worst month for those in… Read More