On Friday, June 7, 1912, 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The James Whitcomb Riley Recordings at the Indianapolis Public Library consist of seventeen unpublished recordings of the Hoosier Poet reading his work. There are dialect selections, sad poems, happy poems, stories, tales, and a funny little speech, The Soldier’s Story, that Riley must have told many times.
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation Logo
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. They are not high fidelity recordings but are of greatest interest to all.