In 1908 Percy Grainger persuaded the Gramophone Company to record Joseph Taylor in the studio. It was the first time that the voice of a “Genuine Peasant Folksinger” (as the label described Taylor in its promotional material) had ever been commercially recorded for posterity. Taylor didn’t much care for the process, claiming that singing into an acoustical horn was “lahk singin’ with a muzzle on,” but that didn’t stop him from doing his best. He cut a dozen songs, of which nine were released….
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