Syria Lamonte may have been Australia’s first-ever pop star. Syria was the first known Australian to make a commercial recording and her song ‘They Always Follow Me’ has been added to the Sounds of Australia archives.
Lamonte was born Sarah Cohen in Sydney in 1869. In 1896 she travelled to London and record 21 record sides between August and October 1898.
American sound engineer Fred Gaisberg made Lamonte’s recordings. Gaisberg used the state of the art equipment of the day, the brand new zinc-etched flat disc technology.
One of the songs from those sessions was ‘They Always Follow Me’ from the musical The Belle of New York.
The Australian Film and Sound Archives has added 14 songs to the Sounds of Australia Collection for 2014 including the only known recording of a Dingo in the wild, recorded in 1990 by Vicki Powys alongside songs by Cold Chisel, Icehouse, Divinyls and the Go-Betweens.
Included in the 2014 additions:
1898 Syria Lamonte – They Always Follow Me
1926 speech of the Opening of the Columbia Gramophone Company Australian factory by the Governor of NSW, Admiral Sir Dudley de Chair. The factory was the first Australian record manufacturer.
1941 Concert in a Cave at Tobruk
1967 Dr Val Stephen – ‘Fireworks’ and the ‘Orgasmic Opus’ (Australia’s first electronic music recording).
1978 Cold Chisel – Khe Sahn
1981 Divinyls – Boys In Town
1982 Icehouse – Great Southern Land
1983 The Go-Betweens – Cattle and Cane
1990 Dingo by Vicki Powys
1992-2014 – Deadly Sounds