Listen to The Hen Convention (1896) – Australia’s Oldest Recording


This was first recorded by Thomas Rome and sung by John James Villiers, a local Warnambool crockery store owner who was was also a local entertainer. It was recorded on a wax cylinder. It features not just one but two of our favourite chicken solo’s ever.

A year later, in 1897 Rome recreated a train derailment with the assistance of Drum virtuoso George Twentyman, known as ‘Herr Schoot’, who created effects to mimic the sounds of a steam train pulling out from a station and then leaving the rail.

That concludes the history of Australian recorded music day at Cyclic Defrost. We hope you’ve enjoyed the tunes.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.