April National Poetry Month – Hoosier Poet James Whitcomb Riley

April National Poetry Month – Hoosier Poet James Whitcomb Riley

rileyIn 1912, Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley finished his last recording session for the Victor Talking Machine Company. Out of around twenty recordings made during five days of readings, only four of the discs were ever issued by Victor.

The James Whitcomb Riley Recordings at the Indianapolis Public Library consist of 17 unpublished recordings of Mr. Riley reading his work. There are sad poems, happy poems, stories, tales, and a funny little speech, The Soldier’s Story, that Riley must have told many times.

These may well be the only copies in existence of these titles – the only copy, for instance, of Riley himself reading When the Frost is on the Punkin. There is a lot of static…there were no high fidelity recordings in 1912, but you can follow along with the words and hear the poet himself read the poem the way he meant it to be read.

Websites:

James Whitcomb Riley Books:

The Best of James Whitcomb Riley Child Rhymes When the Frost is on the Punkin The Gobble-uns’ll get you ef you don’t watch out!
Little Orphant Annie

Recommended by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services

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