by TheWonderofYou 3 Replies latest social entertainment

  • TheWonderofYou

    With the success of the Photodrama in mind, and the realisation that records were now highly popular, a few Bible Students set up the Angelico Company in 1916. Ostensibly it was to manufacture and sell phonographs, but with each purchase came a set of 50 Angelophone recordings. For some reason they were numbered 49-98, although it is certain that no 1-48 were ever issued.

    Henry Burr (1882-1941) was a Canadian singer of popular songs from the early 20th century, an early radio performer and producer. He was born Harry Haley McClaskey and used Henry Burr as one of his many pseudonyms (Youtube)

    Here he sings "Are you lonesome tonight", later known from Elvis Presley.

    Angelico Records offered a set of 50 gramophone records, entitled "Old Fireside Hymns", sung by the celebrated baritone Henry Burr. The reverse side recorded the voice of Charles Taze Russell with his comments on each hymn.
    Sound recording was in its infancy at that time, and the gramophone records were recorded and played mechanically.
    The records had an accompanying companion Angelophone song book. The right-hand pages contained the words and mu
    sic, while the left pages were devoted to the text of a short talk by Pastor Russell, giving his reflections prompted by each hymn.

    This book was for personal rather than congregational use.

    A researcher uploaded the lectures with the voice of brother Russel on youtube beginning with 49

    The whole book is to be found on the biblestudentsarchive, this is LECTURE + SONGS

    The first song was, sadly no recording with the famous singer on youtube.

    How much different the biblestudents were as represented in the todays histroy books of the Watchtower!

  • TheWonderofYou

    Correction: Henry Burr sang only one song. "Sweet Hour of Prayer," Number 92 from the Old Fireside Hymns collection, to buy here

    or listen on youtube

    Here is the description of these records from the original WATCHTOWER MAGAZINE of April 1, 1917:

    "Some time before his death Brother Russell arranged to have a set of fifty phonograph records made of the choicest old fireside tunes, many from the MILLENNIAL DAWN HYMNAL. On the reverse side a short talk by himself explaining the doctrinal points of the hymn. It was his thought that a large number of these should be prepared and sold to the five and ten cent stores, expecting that they would have a wide sale and awaken in the minds of the righteously disposed a desire for spiritual things. Brother Russell was always alive to use every channel possible to send out the light and truth and each of these talks is a gem itself.

    "Friends who knew of his plan urged him to have the Bible Talks recorded in his own voice. This he did; but owing to his rapidly declining strength, it was later found that his voice was not strong enough to make a good record.

    "Brother Russell then thought to have them re-recorded by the gentleman who made the CREATION DRAMA records so great a success. Our Pastor's death, however, upset these plans.

    "The brethren interested in the Angelophone Company, believing that Brother Russell's friends would be very glad to have even so weak a record of his voice, continued to carry out his instructions so far as possible. Some of the friends who purchased the records, not understanding why Brother Russell's voice was so weak and low, and thinking the manufacturer at fault, complained. Others who purchased the records write that they are so well pleased that they would not be without them for a thousand dollars, if they could not secure another set. We believe that many more will take this same view when they understand all the circumstances."

  • BluesBrother

    Fascinating stuff... Who knows the number of things that the early dubs got up to?

  • startingover

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I have a collection the the Angelophone records I inherited. I had no idea of the history behind it. Now I'm going to have to dig them out and play them on the only thing I still have that can play them, a WT portable phonograph.

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