From a 7" single sided 78 RPM record with a date of 1900.

It seems to be different from the 1897 version I found online.

I digitally transferred it today.I thought you might enjoy.

YANKEE DOODLE 1900 played by Vess Ossman

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Thanks Dave!  I love it.

"Star of the Banjo"

A couple of the "variations" Sounds like he is just trilling the same notes while to orchestral takes the melody.

I just noticed that the ABF has a MS version of a 1900 Monarch recording written out by Wayne Adams in 1987 in their library.

There is also the George Morris Version from BMG.

Hi Joel  : You're right that the recording quality isn't good enough to hear all the notes in the variations clearly. Even after noise reduction (see below). 

From the Adam's transcription of a similar recording, the score indicates the variations rely heavily on regularly striking  the 5th string to create a drone effect against which Ossman plays the melody notes. In this recording, the drone overwhelms the melody.

According to Adams,  the first variation is sixteenth notes and every second note is on the 5th string. The second variation is triplet rolls. The first note of the triplet is a melody note and the last note of each triplet is a G on the 5th. Four G notes per measure in both variations.

YANKEE DOODLE Vess Ossman noise reduced


Thanks Dave for sharing....that was awesome! Definately different from the previous available recording I am familiar with. It's always amazing to hear something new to my ears from one of "the greats"!


And did you clean that up? Nice work buddy!



First, thanks Dave for posting. Hope you don't mind my editing out the noise.

Texican : The challenge in restoring early recordings has been to find tools and settings that are powerful enough to remove the very high levels of unwanted noise yet still retain as much of the underlying, often weak or fragile recording as possible.  After a few years of experimenting with different sound editing programs, this is where I am with it.

I think that we will have to call you "Modest Shawn" from now on!

I have seen the complexity of the software that Shawn uses and know that the results involve considerable technical skills and a fair dose of Black Magic.

I tried to clean up the recording this morning and gave up after an hour of messing with software switches and sliders and the end result?...  a recording of someone throwing nails in a metal bucket. So I deleted it in disgust and left it to the expert!

Thanks Shawn...  er, "Modest Shawn" I mean.

Nice magic, Mr McSweeney. :-)

Great job on the noise removal Shawn! Many of the old recordings on, etc have noise reduction to the point where they sound like their being played underwater, perhaps for banjo loving whales or dolphins. I'd rather hear more hiss, scratch and bumps, you found a perfect balance.

Interestingly, Tony Trischka uses a version of Vess playing Yankee Doodle on the beginning of his album "Banjoland" (you can check it out on YouTube). My ears aren't good enough to determine if it's this version or another, but it doesn't sound like it's the 1897 recording, perhaps it's this one. He also tabbed it out in his Banjo Song Book.

Shawn, I can send you the .wav file that may be better for you to work with as opposed to a compressed MP3. Just let me know and I can send you a file link.

Glad everyone enjoyed!

Hi Dave. Those recordings you referred to are the sonic equivalent of a bad facelift, where the wrinkled skin is stretched so tight the defining features disappear.

I remember the Yankee Doodle snippet from "Banjoland". It was the lead-in to Salt Creek, as I recall. Ossman recorded Yankee Doodle at least a dozen times over the years, so it would be hard to identify which version was used.

Thanks for the offer to send the .WAV file, but these early recordings have such low fidelity that using the uncompressed format doesn't really help.

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