Alma Elizabeth Felt’s 1941 Voice Recording

Alma Elizabeth Mineer Felt - Age 90

Alma Elizabeth Felt
Age 90

I know for a fact that after you all had read Alma Elizabeth Felt’s autobiography you wondered “how” would it ever be possible to top that. Well, topped it I have, or I should say, Alma has. It turns out that when people find out that you’re interested in family history, they start volunteering stuff from their own collections of artifacts. And so it was, that I received an email from the outback of Vernal Utah.
Wes Toronto's old 78 rpm record.

Wes Toronto's old 78 rpm record.

My cousin Wesley Toronto said his dad Uncle Paul, had a collection of stuff that Wes didn’t really know what it all was and offered it to me to put online if it proved to be interesting. He mentioned that among this stuff was an old 78 rpm record with an old lady on it talking and singing. That sounded interesting so I said… “Sure, send it on to me and we’ll post it.”

My son Daniel, an audiophile, has a turntable but it’s top speed is only 45 rpm’s. (Remember those old 45’s?) We were able to play the record and upload it into a digital file, but at a 45 speed it was unintelligible until we applied some magical audio software to speed it up to 78 rpm’s. Yes, I do feel a little dirty taking the pure pristine sounds of a vinyl disc and corrupting it into disgusting digital mp3 format, but it’s the only way we could speed it up or post it here on the web for you. There’s a cost for every convenience.

RCA State-of-the-Art dynaflex record

RCA State-of-the-Art dynaflex record

But, Voilà! It turns out this State-of-the-Art RCA dynaflex record (It’s slip sleeve says, “It’s superior in many ways to any other record you have ever owned.”) is a voice recording of Alma Elizabeth Mineer Felt made in 1941 when she was 85 years old. If you thought her autobiography was funny, you *have* to listen to this. She really is a character. AND… to top it off, this former actress of the stage, of the Salt Lake Social Hall and the Salt Lake Theater, sings for us on this record! Ok, Ok, the singing isn’t very good, but hey, she’s 86 years old. It’s a true taste of music from the 1870’s and 80’s. Keep in mind that she was a member of the Tabernacle Choir having joined the Choir in 1883.

Now, you might think that this isn’t that big of a deal, but to me, I’ve never met, or even heard the voice of my great grandmother, nor did I or my parents even know this treasure existed. I don’t think anyone even knew this existed. It truly is a historical treasure emerging from the mists of the past, from the outback of Vernal Utah, that enables us to become better acquainted with our great, or great great, or even great great great grandmother Alma Elizabeth who walked across the plains, once sat on Brigham Young’s lap and used to play with his daughters.

So here for your listening enjoyment, is the RCA audio record of Alma Elizabeth Mineer Felt, provided to us courtesy of Wesley Toronto.

Click the play button on the right side of the audio bars below.

Side A: 4.11 Minutes

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Side B: 1.30 Minutes

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You have to admit that this is totally precious! Thanks Wes!

If you want to sing along with her on Side A, here’s the partial lyrics to the Ben Bolt song:

1. Oh don’t you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt
Sweet Alice whose hair was so brown
Who wept with delight when you gave her a smile
And trembled with fear at your frown.

2. In the old church yard in the valley, Ben Bolt
In a corner obscure and alone
They have fitted a slab of granite so gray
And sweet Alice lies under the stone.

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