First in Audio History

By jng4080 jng4080
updated 2 months ago

This is a work in progress, but is the most comprehensive and concise list of firsts in audio history anywhere on the Internet, as of this writing.

  1. Édouard-Léon Scott De Martinville - Au Clair De La Lune

    Phonautogram (April 9, 1860)
    World's first recording of an intelligible human voice.
    (The world's first intelligible recording was actually made by Scott in 1857, of a cornet playing an 8-note scale -- not on Discogs as of this writing. See: http://benbeck.co.uk/firsts/1_Technology/sound1t.htm, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye0RHqIN78M )

  2. Frank Lambert (2) - Experimental Talking Clock

    Lead cylinder (1878)
    Earliest surviving directly-playable recording of intelligible spoken words.

  3. Emile Berliner - A Little Ship Was On The Sea

    E. Berliner's Gramophone 16 (1889)
    Oldest disc record on Discogs.
    (The actual first disc record is likely to be E. Berliner's Gramophone 1 ("Vater unser") -- not on Discogs as of this writing.)
    (see: http://www.archeophone.org/Berliner5inch )

  4. Unknown Artist - La Paloma

    E. Berliner's Gramophone 243 (1894)
    Oldest 7" record on Discogs.
    (7" records were first released in 1894 by E. Berliner's Gramophone. They were also the first disc records released in the United States.)

  5. S. H. Dudley* - The Village Choir

    Victor 3005 (1901)
    Oldest 10" 78 RPM record on Discogs.
    (The actual first 10" record is likely to be Victor 3000 (January 3, 1901) with the original "Victor Ten Inch Record" label -- not on Discogs as of this writing.)
    (see: http://gasdisc.oakapplepress.com/matrix3.htm )

  6. Victor Orchestra* - Anona - Intermezzo

    Victor 31147 (1904)
    Oldest 12" 78 RPM record on Discogs.
    (The actual first 12" record is likely to be Victor 31000 (1903) with the "Deluxe Record" label -- not on Discogs as of this writing.)
    (see: http://gasdisc.oakapplepress.com/matrix3.htm )

  7. David Bispham / Ruth Vincent - Hark! Hark! The Lark! / Killarney

    Columbia A5020 (1908)
    Oldest double-sided 12" record on Discogs.
    (The actual first double-sided 12" record is likely to be Columbia A5000 (1908) -- not on Discogs as of this writing. Double-sided records of smaller diameter were released prior to this, but were not commonplace until 1908.)
    (see: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/index.php/resources/detail/107 )

  8. American Standard Orchestra - Semiramide Overture [Semiramide. Sinfonia]

    Edison 1501 (November, 1912)
    First Blue Amberol cylinder record.

  9. The Whispering Pianist - You May Be Lonesome / I Had Someone Else Before I Had You

    Columbia 328-D (1925)
    First electrical recording by a major record label: February 25, 1925.
    (see: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:First_Electrical_Recording_You_May_Be_Lonesome_Columbia_Flag_Label.jpg )

  10. Leopold Stokowski And The Philadelphia Orchestra - Danse Macabre

    Victrola 6505 (July, 1925)
    First electrical recording of an orchestra: April 29, 1925.

  11. Hotel Commodore Ensemble under the Direction of Bernhard Levitow - Dinner Music

    Edison 30001 (1926)
    First microgroove LP.
    (see: http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7260 )

  12. Leopold Stokowski Conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra - Early Hi-Fi

    First high-fidelity recording: December 1, 1931, Academy of Music, Philadelphia.
    First stereophonic recording: March 12, 1932, Academy of Music, Philadelphia.

    First released in 1979 on LP: Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. BTL-7901
    (see: https://www.stokowski.org/Harvey_Fletcher_and_Bell_Labs_Stereo.htm )

  13. Various - The 50th Anniversary of Stereophonic Tape Recording (Zum 50. Jahrestag Von Stereo-Tonbandaufnahmen)

    1 For Sale from $101.12

    Earliest surviving stereophonic tape recording: April 26, 1943, Haus des Rundfunks, Saal 1, Berlin.

    First released in 1993 on CD: Sender Freies Berlin
    (see also: Varèse Sarabande VC 81080 (1978))

  14. Harry Blons' Dixieland Band - Harry Blons' Dixieland Band

    Audiophile AP-1 (1947)
    First hi-fi 78 RPM microgroove vinyl record.
    (Although the first hi-fi 78s were released in 1944 by Decca (FFRR) (Sidney Beer/National Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5), they were ordinary non-microgroove shellac records -- not on Discogs as of this writing.)

  15. Frank Sinatra - The Voice Of Frank Sinatra

    1 For Sale from $102.00

    Columbia CL 6001 (June 28, 1948)
    First 10" 33⅓ RPM microgroove LP.

  16. Eddy Arnold, The Tennessee Plowboy And His Guitar* - Texarkana Baby

    1 For Sale from $46.99

    RCA Victor 48-0001 (March 31, 1949)
    First 7" 45 RPM single commercially released.

  17. Brahms*, Ossy Renardy With The Concertgebouw Orchestra Of Amsterdam* Conducted By Charles Münch* - Concerto In D Major, Opus 77 For Violin And Orchestra

    3 For Sale from $17.99

    London LLP 1 (August, 1949)
    First (?) hi-fi LP.

    Prior to the regular use of magnetic tape in the recording process (c. 1952), most early LPs were not hi-fi. The exception was Decca/London, which pioneered the FFRR system and had begun routine recording sessions in hi-fi as early as June 8, 1944. (see: http://www.charm.rhul.ac.uk/discography/decca.html )

  18. Benny Goodman - The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

    8 For Sale from $5.00

    Columbia Masterworks SET SL-160 (1950)
    First (?) gatefold jacket for a double album.

  19. No Artist - Rail Dynamics

    12 For Sale from $2.99

    Cook 1070 (1952)
    First stereophonic record commercially released.

  20. Tchaikovsky* / Leopold Stokowski - Symphony No. 5

    RCA Victor Red Seal DC-2 (1954)
    Oldest commercially-released reel-to-reel tape on Discogs.

    Actual first tapes (not on Discogs as of this writing):
    - 1952: (EMI) Columbia CAT 251: Brahms: Symphony No. 1 (Kararjan/Philharmonia Orchestra) - OR -
    - 1952: (EMI) His Master's Voice HTA 1: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 & No. 4 (Solomon/Cluylens/Philharmonia Orchestra)
    - June, 1954: First classical release in the US: RCA Victor Red Seal TC-1 / BC-1 / CC-1: Tchaikovsky: Aurora's Wedding (Stokowski)
    - June, 1954: First pop release in the US: RCA Victor TP-2/ BP-2: Music for Relaxation (George Melachrino/Melachrino Strings)

    (see: http://www.pong-story.com/audiotapes/EMI.pdf, http://www.boija.com/tape/rca_2-track_mono.htm, http://www.boija.com/tape/rca_2-track_mono_2.htm )

  21. Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orchestra*, Richard Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra

    RCA Victor Red Seal ECS-1 (September, 1954)
    First commercial stereophonic music recording: March 6-8, 1954, Orchestra Hall, Chicago.
    First stereo reel-to-reel tape commercially released.

  22. Elvis Presley - Elvis' Christmas Album

    22 For Sale from $23.95

    RCA Victor LOC-1035 (October 15, 1957)
    First gatefold jacket for a one-LP (not double) album.

  23. Various - Compatible Stereophonic Demonstration Record

    Audio Fidelity AFLP 1872 (November, 1957)
    First Westrex 45/45 stereo record made available to the public.