Thursday, January 15, 2015

Voice-O-Graph Update

Since posting the Reedy Voice-O-Graph recording last week, we have received some very interesting and helpful information regarding some questions we had. On the recording, John Reedy says that they were at a carnival-type location, but the name is unintelligible. Fred Barenstein, one of the founders of the non-profit online database called Bgrass Inc., suggested that "What sounds like “Lake Subu” could be the needle skipping on “Lakeside Amusement Park," located at the time on the west side of Dayton and a probable location of the Voice-o-Graph booth." John and Frances' son Tim Reedy also said that he thought "the carnival [John] was talking about, was an amusement park called Lakeside ... close to where we lived." 

Image from

According to the Southwest Ohio Amusement Park Historical Society, the Lakeside Amusement Park opened in 1890 and was facing various business challenges when the Reedys made the Voice-O-Graph recording in the early 1950's. It finally closed in 1964, but it would soon have its own interesting place in music history. "In 1968, Dayton businessman George D. Tuck purchased the park and announced that the roller coaster would be torn down and the Crystal Ballroom would be saved and remodeled. He renamed the ballroom Lakeview Palladium and used the structure to host music shows, dances and meetings. Stars such as Flip Wilson, Ike & Tina Turner, James Brown and Aretha Franklin graced the ballroom in the early 70s" (Lakeside Amusement Park, SOAPHS webpage).

On another nostalgia site called Dayton Originals, a descendant of the park owner commented, "This park belonged to my grandfather but was later turned into a bingo hall and trucking company, which was passed down to my father .... I enjoy being a part of this business because of my grandfather and his dream!" She went on to say how amazing and important the photos are to her family so they "can value where we came from" and "finally see photos, that we have never seen .... due to fires and lost footage." We shared a link to the Voice-O-Graph blog and recording to contribute to the documentation of the Lakeside Amusement Park for the Tuck family.

Timi's Uncle Tim was similarly appreciative to hear the Voice-O-Graph, and he clarified the name of the aunt they visited in addition to the location of the recording. "That was pretty cool. When Dad mentioned going to Indiana and getting those vegetables, he was referring to visiting his Aunt Myrtle. She lived on a big farm. She was his mother's sister, a Honeycutt, I think."

Thanks to everyone who has checked out the Voice-O-Graph posts and the recording over the past week, and special gratitude to Fred Barenstein and Tim Reedy who confirmed the location where it was made. Also, stay tuned for other recent research findings and some new and old publications that reference the Reedys!

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