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John Yorke AtLee

John Yorke AtLee (1853–1933) was a pioneer recording artist in the 1890s in the United States.

AtLee was born in Washington, D.C. on March 22, 1853. He was working as a government clerk in Washington D.C. when the Columbia Phonograph Company was incorporated in January 1889. AtLee was one of Columbia's star artists of the early 1890s, second only to the U.S. Marine Band. Due to the Columbia Phonograph Company's early adoption of musical recording, AtLee was one of the first popular recording musicians.

AtLee was known for his virtuosic whistling, a style popular in vaudeville at the time. His signature tune was The Mocking Bird, an 1855 song by Richard Milburn. AtLee recorded prolifically for Columbia through 1897, and in 1898 went on to record for the Berliner Gramophone Company, singing 'The Whistling Coon' and 'The Laughing Song', signatures of George W. Johnson, another prominent whistler. His final recordings were for the Victor Talking Machine Company in May 1900.

AtLee married Ann Jennette Klock in 1883 in Prince George's County, Maryland. He died in Philadelphia on November 24, 1933.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 1st, 1853, Died November 24th, 1933

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1894 - 1900

Roles Represented in DAHR: whistling, baritone vocal

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 196 7-in. 10/8/1894 Whistling coon Artists vary Male vocal solo vocalist, baritone vocal  
Berliner 404 7-in. 10/31/1895 The laughing song Artists vary Male vocal solo vocalist, baritone vocal  
Berliner 433 7-in. 9/24/1898 Home, sweet home John Yorke AtLee Whistling solo vocalist, whistling  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]39 7-in. 5/25/1900 Marching through Georgia John Yorke AtLee Whistling solo vocalist, whistling  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]40 7-in. 5/25/1900 Laughing song John Yorke AtLee Whistling solo vocalist, whistling  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Atlee, John Yorke," accessed September 26, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107863.

Atlee, John Yorke. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 26, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107863.

"Atlee, John Yorke." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 26 September 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107863

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