The Unique Quartette was a black vocal quartet in New York City. Founded in the mid-1880s by Joseph Moore, they are best known for a handful of wax cylinder recordings made in the first half of the 1890s. They are the earliest known black vocal group to have been commercially recorded, with their first recordings made in December 1890 for the New York Phonograph Company.
Several of their wax cylinders survive, most recorded by the North American Phonograph Company, and are among the earliest extant recordings of any African-American musicians, along with recordings by George W. Johnson and a single surviving cylinder recorded by Louis Vasnier.
The earliest surviving wax cylinder recording of the Unique Quartette - and thus the earliest surviving recording by any African-American musician - is Edison 694, "Mamma's Black Baby Boy," recorded in 1893. There are two copies left; one is in the Library of Congress and one is privately owned.
- Brooks, Tim (2005). Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry 1891-1922. University of Illinois Press. pp. 75–82. ISBN 978-0-252-07307-6.
- Gracyk, Tim. "Early Recordings of African Americans/Early Ragtime".
- Brooks, p. 76
- Brooks, p. 88
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