Thanks to Vince Giordano and Rich Conaty (who have given us so much, so generously, and continue to do so) for this amazing bit of time-travel:  silent film footage recorded at a Knoxville, Tennessee radio broadcast of Maynard Baird and his Southern Serenaders, and the Tennessee Ramblers.

You could spend a lovely nostalgic time just enjoying the fashions of the crowd, their happy faces (where are those cheerful girls now?  Oh, we know . . . ), the way the musicians are set up on the stand, the girl trio all holding their hands demurely clasped at their waists, the rollicking string band, the child dancer whose skinny legs are moving so fast they blur . . . I don’t know why the footage ends up with shots of elegant furniture, but what came before was an emotional banquet — a look into a vanished time.

I could swear I saw Andy Schumm and Josh Duffee in the crowd . . .

And, yes, I know many of you are poised to write, “If only it had sound.”  I agree.  But it doesn’t.  And its silence leaves us immense room to fill in what it might have sounded like . . . so we can turn an absence into a great gift.  Or at least may I suggest the possibility?

May your happiness increase.


  1. Coincidentally, this video was brought up in the Bixography Forum by a Russian participant. See my response.

  2. Bradley Reeves

    Great to see this out there! Match it up with a Baird recording (Postage Stomp) from the period!
    How about a little credit to the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound, Thompson Family Collection, for finding and preserving the film?
    Thank you,
    Bradley Reeves

  3. Sure — I apologize for the lapse in manners . . . and thank you for rectifying it in your comment. Cheers and thanks, Michael

  4. Wow, that is SO cool. Makes you wonder, what’s still out there somewhere, waiting to surface? And what’s the last 25 seconds inside the house about? And the 2 men talking, can someone identify them?

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