Wed, 26 Nov 2008 00:21:02 -0500
Bim was Pond's son. Photos of young Bim can be seen in the book
"Overland with Mark Twain." Holbrook recounts meeting his old friend
Bim in the introduction to his published edition of "Mark Twain
Tonight" but does not reveal how he had already developed a friendship
with him (Bim) long before he (Holbrook) had developed his stage show.
Unless there is another audiofile they didn't mention, I recently
checked in with Yale and they have the three-minute (seemingly
fragmented) recording of Gillette's impersonation of MT's Jumping Frog,
but not the fabled 9-minute version often heard of in whispers but
never actually heard. The Gillette file comes from FC Packard's Harvard
Vocarium project of the 1930s. Last I checked with Harvard they didn't
know where the original was, but admitted they were in a state of
moving. Michigan State's Vincent Voice Library only has the 3 minute
I have heard from Harvard's Woodberry Room Tennyson reading "Charge of
the Light Brigade." It was a digital file converted from wax cylinder.
To be honest, no one would be able to replicate a Tennyson performance
because the technology back then was so faint and spotty, and that's
before age got a hold of the recording. For it's historical value of
course something from Twain would make everyone giddy, but by no means
would Twain the performer come through in true 5.1.
That said, I am trying to track down leads concerning the Boston
phonograph company from whom Twain leased the phonograph and cylinders
(through Howells) for American Claimant.