AU CLAIR DE LA LUNE

Latest update on 11/12/2018

Artist: Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville
Author: Charles Fonteyn Manney/Jean Baptiste Lully
Year: 1860

18th century old French children song sometimes crediting J.B. Lully for the melody. Ten seconds of this well known song (Au clair de la lune, mon ami Pierrot) are now considered to be the oldest example of recorded sound, period. Probably sung by the inventor of the devise used: the phonautograph, patented in 1857 by Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville (1817-1879). By activating a stylus while singing or speaking through a horn, soundwaves could be captured in lines on sooty paper. Reproducing was the next step, finally invented some two decades later. In 1878 Thomas Edison patented his phonograph, that's one year before Scott de Martinville died, making Edison the Father of recorded sound, overshadowing our poor Frenchman. Then in 2008 researchers in a lab at Berkeley, CAL finally found a way to make that painfully guarded piece of sooty paper audible, restituting its author to the place in history he deserves. The soundbite is on Scott de Martinville's own Wikipedia page.

Covers:

1896:

Maurice Farkoa [on Berliner]

1905:

Jeanne Leclerc [for Odeon]

1913:

Geraldine Farrar & Edmond Clement

1914:

Alma Gluck & Paul Reimers

1919:

Eva Gauthier

1948:

Charles Trenet

1957:

Lucienne Vernay

1959:

Colette Renard

1963:

Springfields [as Say I Won't Be There; lyrics: Tom Springfield; top 5 UK]

1964:

Ray Charles Singers [different lyrics]

1974:

Gilbert Montagné

1997:

Sylvie Vartan

Contact


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