You’re listening to Edward M. Favor who recorded Mary and the Lamb to cylinder in 1892. But…it wasn’t the first recording of the poem…as a matter of fact, Edison himself used the first couplet as the first test recording on his phonograph invention, in 1877. The famous nursery rhyme was published in 1830, written by New Hampshire schoolteacher Sarah Hale. The inspiration reportedly came from a student who, you guessed it, regularly brought a pet lamb to her schoolhouse. And you thought students with cellphones were distracting.
Favor was, perhaps obviously, one of the first recording stars, and a popular vaudeville act. He was known for classics of the time like “Daisy Bell” and, ahem, “Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder?”
Sarah Hale is perhaps the driving motivator behind our celebration of Thanksgiving. Check out more right here.
Sound Beat is produced at the Belfer Audio Archive, Syracuse University Library.
I’m Brett Barry.