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Rhythm and blues started even before phonograph records were being produced because black people entertained themselves. It wasn't done for money. It was done for entertainment. Most white people didn't know anything about this because prejudice kept them from ever seeing what was going on.
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That's how you get deathless, volchitsa. Walk the same tale over and over, until you wear a groove in the world, until even if you vanished, the tale would keep turning, keep playing, like a phonograph, and you'd have to get up again, even with a bullet through your eye, to play your part and say your lines.
Catherynne M. Valente
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Everyone likes everything nowadays. They like the television and the phonograph and the shampoo and the soda pop and the Cracker Jack. Everything becomes everything else and it's all nice and pretty and LIKABLE. Everything is fun in the sun! Where's the discernment? Where's the arbitration that separates what I LIKE from what I RESPECT, what I deem WORTHY, what has... listen to me now... SIGNIFICANCE.
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He shook hands. With greening faces, with eyes full of sparks, his two friends leaned upon their canes. One had on a crushed bowler (why?)... Both were weary. Both knew that what was approaching was the end. Both had spent the day in their offices and when they interrupted their work with an indiscreet nod, when they turned the conversation toward that end, both broke in "Lord, we have strayed from our business." And ever deeper sunk their eyes, a deathly shadow was descending. The words of his friends had been bought with blood, but they were stolen. Someone, listening, recorded them on a phonograph and thousands of cylinders began to twang. A new enterprise opened, on sale a bronze throat, a screaming cavity; an experienced mechanic installed the throat phonograph. The purchased throat squealed day and night and his friends grew exhausted and one day he said to them both "Lord, I am going." He grinned. And they grinned: they understood everything. Now they stood on the platform, stood with him and saw him off. Someone long and dark with the face of an ox, shoulders crooked as a sorrowful cemetery cross and wrapped up in a frock-coat, swept into the coach. And then the bell rang, and then they waved their bowlers; three wooden arms swung in the air. ("Adam")
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Temples and churches have become social centers. They have lost their original purpose because the minds of the people are more attracted to worldly things than to prayer. The lips repeat the prayer mechanically like a phonograph record, but the mind wanders to other places. (23-24)
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I told [John Kruesi] I was going to record talking, and then have the machine talk back. He thought it absurd. However, it was finished, the foil was put on; I then shouted 'Mary had a little lamb', etc. I adjusted the reproducer, and the machine reproduced it perfectly. [On first words spoken on a phonograph.]
Thomas A. Edison
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No, no, it's not the books you are looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, in old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.
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Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village. downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph
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It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing-and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite - that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that.
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It's the latest popular song, " declared the phonograph, speaking in a sulky tone of voice. "A popular song?" "Yes. One that the feeble-minded can remember the words of and those ignorant of music can whistle or sing. That makes a popular song popular, and the time is coming when it will take the place of all other songs.
L. Frank Baum
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Ah, well! then the young woman was only in advance of the age, " said Miss Archer; "and what with that and the telephone, and that dreadful phonograph that bottles up all one says and disgorges at inconvenient times, we will soon be able to do everything by electricity; who knows but some genius will invent something for the especial use of lovers? something, for instance, to carry in their pockets, so when they are far away from each other, and pine for a sound of 'that beloved voice, ' they will have only to take up this electrical apparatus, put it to their ears, and be happy. Ah! blissful lovers of the future!
Ella Cheever Thayer
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I've just been playing the Trout Quintet on the phonograph. Listening to the andantino makes me want to be a trout myself. You can't help rejoicing and laughing, however moved or sad you feel, when you see the springtime clouds in the sky, the budding branches, moved by the wind, in the bright early sunlight. I'm really looking forward to the spring again. In that piece of Schubert's you can positively feel and smell the breeze and hear the birds and the whole of creation shouting for joy.
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Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You better beat it - I hear they're going to tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
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You're a hopeless romantic, " said Faber. "It would be funny if it were not serious. It's not books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the 'parlor families' today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios, and televisors, but are not. No, no it's not books at all you're looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type or receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course you couldn't know this, of course you still can't understand what i mean when i say all this. You are intuitively right, that's what counts.
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As we watch, in fascination, the arresting replicas of reality on our television screen, there may sit, in the same room, a telephone and a phonograph. On our bedside table stands a radio; another accompanies us in our car. These strange machines never move unless we move them; they come alive only at our touch. But give them their due: they serve us well. They provide the far-flung, trillion-nerved ganglia of commerce, of news, of our mighty military forces. And down through the days and nights of our lives, they ward off our loneliness and bring us nearer together. Perhaps someday they will make us brothers.
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When I take my hand out of this blanket, " he thought, "my nail will be grown back, my hands will be clean. My body will be clean. I'll have on clean shorts, clean undershirt, a white shirt. A blue polka-dot tie. A gray suit with a stripe, and I'll be home, and I'll bolt the door. I'll put some coffee on the stove, some records on the phonograph, and I'll bolt the door. I'll read my books and I'll drink coffee and I'll listen to music, and I'll bolt the door. I'll open the window, I'll let in a nice, quiet girl-not Frances, not anyone I've ever known-and I'll bolt the door. I'll ask her to read some Emily Dickinson to me-that one about being chartless-and I'll ask her to read some William Blake to me-that one about the little lamb that made thee-and I'll bolt the door. She'll have an American voice, and she won't ask me if I have any chewing gum or bonbons, and I'll bolt the door.
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And with a relentlessness that comes from the world's depths, with a persistence that strikes the keys metaphysically, the scales of a piano student keep playing over and over, up and down the physical backbone of my memory. It's the old streets with other people, the same streets that today are different; it's dead people speaking to me through the transparency of their absence; it's remorse for what I did or didn't do; it's the rippling of streams in the night, noises from below in the quiet building. I feel like screaming inside my head. I want to stop, to break, to smash this impossible phonograph record that keeps playing inside me, where it doesn't belong, an intangible torturer. I want my soul, a vehicle taken over by others, to let me off and go on without me. I'm going crazy from having to hear. And in the end it is I - in my odiously impressionable brain, in my thin skin, in my hypersensitive nerves - who am the keys played in scales, O horrible and personal piano of our memory.
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