Len Spencer

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Len Spencer
Born February 12, 1867
Washington, D.C.
Died December 15, 1914(1914-12-15) (aged 47)
New York City
Occupation Musician, songwriter
Nationality American

Leonard Garfield Spencer[1] (February 12, 1867 – December 15, 1914) was an early American recording artist. He recorded numerous popular songs in the pre-1920s, the most popular of which[citation needed]was "Arkansaw Traveler" (sic) (1902). The song is an early novelty record and consists of a back-and-forth banter with an Arkansas local who is playing a fiddle. Examples from the conversation include asking "How far is it to the next crossroads?", to which the answer is given, "You just follow your nose and you’ll come to it." One man asks, "How long have you lived here?" The answer, "See that mule? It was here when I got here." In another, a man asks another why he doesn’t fix the leak in his roof, to which the man replies that it’s been raining. The first man then asks him why he doesn’t fix it when it isn’t raining. The answer is that doesn’t leak when it doesn’t rain. The song ends with the first man completing the fiddle tune for the Arkansan.

Some of his most popular recordings include:

  • "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom Der E" (1892)
  • "The Old Folks at Home" (1892)
  • "Little Alabama Coon" (1895)
  • "Dat New Bully" (1895)
  • "A Hot Time in the Old Town" (1897)
  • "Hello! Ma Baby" (1899)
  • "Ma Tiger Lily" (1900)
  • "Arkansaw Traveler" (1902)
This 1906 record by Spencer enticed store customers with the wonders of the phonograph — 1414 KB

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