Tracklist Reveal

9/19/20: "Unknown Melody" by Tom Nottingham's Ranchers (1900)

Unknown Melody by Tom Nottingham’s Ranchers (1900)

CD 2, track 7

Does anyone recognize the tune to this unknown melody? It’s a home recording of an unaccompanied fiddle player, made on August 11, 1900 on Tom Nottingham’s ranch in north De Soto, Vernon County, Wisconsin. We know little about Nottingham (1841-1908), but he was a musician and teacher—and presumably the announcer and player on the record. He labels the tune with a racist epithet, although it seems this is a description rather than the title. It is possible it’s a tune he wrote himself. It gives us a good idea what was going on musically in rural areas at the turn of the last century.


Edison Blank Cylinder


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