Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thornton Burgess reads The Joy of the Beautiful Pine

Here's something to get people into the holiday spirit. A recording of one of Thornton Burgess's most favorite stories, "The Joy of the Beautiful Pine," from a 1918 Columbia Grafanola record.

I labeled this a "trial" recording as I was still figuring out the best place to position the camera during the shoot. It doesn't help the sound quality that Burgess (yes, that's him reading, New England accent and all) has to compete with an orchestra playing Christmas carols half-way through.

Here's a bonus (also to be re-recorded): "Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World."

I find it interesting that Burgess pitches another record (to be bought separately) at the end of the side.


  1. If you find a better way to record the audio (like maybe a way to plug the output from the record player into the camera directly), I may be able to help you clean it up to sound better. I have some experience doing that.

    ...and my dad just told me the other day that he has the Johnny Chuck record and wants to get it converted, but I don't have access to a record player right now that can handle his 78. :)

  2. Next time I'll keep the lid down and record directly in front of the open cabinet doors (this is an ancient gramophone so it is completely acoustic, no electronics at all). That should keep the scraping sounds down. The gramophone seems to have a tone arm problem--as it reaches the center of the record there are couple of sudden bumps. I'll probably use Audacity to try to clean those up.