The Human Bird

Episode Air Date: February 29, 2016
Artist: Joe Belmont and Byron Harlan
Recording Title: The Bluejay and the Thrush

 

Goethe’s Devil did it; superstitious ship captains and newsroom editors alike forbid it.  And NYU philosophy professor Charles Shaw went a step further in a New York Times article in 1931. “Whistling,” he said “is the unmistakable sign of the moron.” it’s only the inferior and maladjusted individual who ever seeks emotional relief in such a bird-like act as that of whistling.”

Joe Belmont would have differed. He made a career out of whistling, impersonating our feathered friends for dozens of recordings in the early 1900’s. You’ve been listening to “The Blue Jay and the Thrush”, an Edison Blue Amberol cylinder from 1914.

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