On Oct. 25, an audience at the GE Theatre in Schenectady, NY, heard a voice from close to the big bang of audio recording.
The man recites Mary Had a Little Lamb and Old Mother Hubbard, laughs and plays a cornet. The Atlantic says that the event was the first time the recording – which was made in St. Louis — has been heard in public since the device was built by Thomas Edison in 1878. The story has audio, which is discernible, but barely so.
This isn’t the oldest recording, however. “Phonautograms” from France – which never were intended to be played back – are older.
In 1996, They Might Be Giants recorded I Can Hear You and three other songs at the Edison Historic Site in West Orange.