You know those Levis commercials? Yeah, got into a conversation about whether or not that was actually Walt Whitman reading those poems. (The poems are written by Whitman) My sister said that it couldn't be because, you know, he's from the 19th century. Well, lo and behold, the "America" poem is likely Whitman, though the other one is read by Will Greer, who played the grandpa in the Waltons. It was likely recorded in the 20's or 30's.
Anyway, the first recording of the human voice was by a Phonautogram in 1860. (Check the audio clip on the right side.) If you don't feel like reading that, here's the gist: This thing recorded sound as a line on paper or wax so scientists could study the acoustics of the recording. However, they didn't realize that these recordings could be played back. The first time these early recordings were played back were in 2008.
PS Some say Whitman liked the little boys. I'd give a cite, but google popped up a NAMBLA cite, so I didn't want to click it. Do it yourself.