John W. Myers
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John W. Myers
J.W. Myers 1893.jpg
"My Darling Nelly Gray" sung by J. W. Myers in 1904

John W. Myers (c. 1864 – c. 1919?), who was usually credited as J. W. Myers, was a Welsh-born baritone singer, who recorded widely in the United States between the early 1890s and the early 1910s. His recordings, including "Two Little Girls in Blue" (1893), "The Sidewalks of New York" (1895), "Just Tell Them That You Saw Me" (1895), "When You Were Sweet Sixteen" (1901), "On a Sunday Afternoon" (1902), "Way Down In Old Indiana" (1902), and "In the Good Old Summer Time" (1902), were among the most popular of the period.

Biography

Little is known of his life, although he is believed to have been born in Wales and emigrated to the US at the age of 12 in the 1870s. He worked at various jobs before becoming a theatre manager in New York City. By 1892, he was identified as an already seasoned recording artist, suggesting that he may have first recorded as early as 1890.[1][2][3]

His first successful recordings were in 1892. He became regarded as "the foremost baritone ballad singer of his era",[3] and recorded probably hundreds of songs for many phonograph cylinder recording companies, including Edison, Berliner, and Victor. In 1895 he resigned from his position in the theatre in order to join a touring opera, and in 1896 set up his own short-lived cylinder company, the Globe Talking Machine Company.[1][2]

Most of his recordings after 1900 were for Columbia Records. Many were of songs made popular in Broadway musicals, such as "In the Good Old Summer Time" from The Defender, while others such as "Come Take A Trip In My Air-Ship" referenced modern technology. According to Joel Whitburn, Myers had 32 hit recordings in all between 1892 and 1907.[3]

After 1907, Myers' singing style became less fashionable. He invested in another recording company, the U.S. Everlasting Cylinder Company of Cleveland, Ohio, but seems not to have recorded for them, although he did record for Columbia, perhaps as late as 1914. His life after that time is unknown; researcher Jim Walsh suggested that he may have died around 1919, although it is also possible that he returned to Wales.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Biography by Uncle Dave Lewis at Allmusic.com. Retrieved 9 May 2013
  2. ^ a b Myers, J.W., at Last.fm. Retrieved 9 May 2013
  3. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954: The History of American Popular Music. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. pp. 333-334. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.

External links

  • A discography of Myers' disc records in the Discography of American Historical Recordings
  • Audio of Myers' disc records via the Library of Congress' National Jukebox
  • Audio of Myers' cylinder recordings via the UC Santa Barbara Cylinder Audio Archive
  • A biography of Myers in Jim Walsh's "Favorite Pioneer Recording Artists"

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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