Doug Pomeroy, a very kind friend (and a wonderful archivist), digitized the acetate I received a few weeks ago from the Blanchard family. Unfortunately, the record did not contain any music. It was a letter to the folks back home from the man himself, Claude Blanchard, Sr. I believe it was recorded in the late 1910s. It reveals a sparkly personality, a quick manner of speech, love of food (especially cafeteria style chicken — he was a hungry serviceman after all). He also talks about plans to dress up on his return home. He was a dandy!
The first side is scratchy , and the second side is clearer. On the first side, Claude sings a lyric. I am hoping to discern the lyric and try to match it to a popular tune. Was it something he learned? Or was it a composition in the works? He has a wonderful voice, that much is clear.
Even though this acetate didn’t turn out to be a treasure of early jazz music, it’s still very special. The Blanchard family is delighted to have this preserved. Thanks Doug!