Quick Quotes 35. The following quote is from an interview in the July 1904 issue of Talking Machine News with American recording engineer Mr J. D. Smoot, working in London making records for the International Talking Machine Company.
“How does the British artiste compare, from your point of view, with the Continental one?”
“I have had some tough times with Italian and Russian artistes. Magnificent voices, splendid bands; but ‘the artistic temperament’ of the performers, well, that has given me some trouble now and again. A laughable outcome of the artistic temperament once happened whilst I was recording at Milan. It was the famous Banda Municipale, and the leader, a highly excitable Neapolitan – an artist to his finger tips – had perched himself on the head of an empty barrel. In a fortissimo passage, when more excited than usual, he stamped rather hard on the barrel head, with the result – he disappeared inside it! Of course, the record was spoiled, and so for fully an hour was any further attempt at making one. It took all that time to tire them of laughing at the incident.”
The International Talking Machine Company is best remembered for founding the Odeon record label in 1903, a year before this interview. An excellent and detailed biography of John Daniel Smoot can be found here (external link).
“Quick Quotes” are some bonus content for the blog. Each time I find an interesting or amusing little quote that does not really need any further explanation or background information, it will appear on Windows into History under this heading. You can keep updated each time I post a new entry by clicking on the follow button on the right of the screen. I welcome any comments or suggestions, and will consider guest posts.