Who Created Audiobooks?

confusedWe are starting a series of posts dedicated to frequently asked questions about audio books.  They will for the most part be short posts unless they really need broader coverage.  As the first we have decided to track down who created the first audio book.

It has been hard to identify who created them because story telling has been around since the beginning of time.  Many sources on the internet attribute the first official audio books to be recorded by David Sanchez Juliao a Columbian writer who recorded a set of short stories in 1975.

If you look beyond this I would say the first recorded books were produced by the American Foundation for the Blind in 1932.  This was done as a result of Congress approving the talking book program in 1931.  I think the debate is whether the talking books are comparable to the performance like spin that the audio book industry has put on their productions.

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    • Chris Benson
    • May 1, 2009

    Among those of us in the audiobook industry, the first true audiobook as such was a 1952 recording of Dylan Thomas reading his own poems that was released on vinyl by Caedmon Records: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caedmon_Records.

    In the mid-80s, Newman Communications was the primary force promoting audiobooks into the book trade, and for a time was the most prolific publisher of audiobooks.

    (I should disclose that I am CTO & Vice President of Audio Editions Books on Cassette & CD, where I’ve worked with two of the founders of Newman Communications for just over 20 years.)

  1. Thanks for adding this. How appropriate that poetry was the first official audio book recording. “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night” is my favorite though haunting…


  2. Pingback: Poetry Was Meant for Audio Performances

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