A Site for Sore Ears: 1910s–20s Pop Songs

Anyone know the real deal? If I track down an original record (and I have a pretty good idea where I might), can I use it in, say, a film?

IANAL, but my understanding is that everything pre-1917 is in the public domain.

You mean-- 1920’s style death-lays.

Thanks, Already in Use, I love Irving Aaronson and His Commanders!

And here’s yet another link, this one to scads of red hot jazz on, ummm, redhotjazz.com. Great stuff from the late 1910s through the early 1940s.

Well, count me as another someone who would rather listen to Red Nichols and his Five Pennies than 50 Cent. (D’ya see what I did there? D’ya see?)

Some other good sites for 1910s, 20s, and 30s music:

SwingLife is a German page that has some good songs by American, British and German bands in mp3 format.

Hot-Dance and Vintage Jazz Pages has some great songs in mp3, (Don’t miss “That Certain Party”, it’s a hot one) and some other neat stuff too.

This is a site where you could spend a lot of time. It’s a listing of songs from other sites, in mp3 and RA format, that have been organized in alphabetical order. This makes it possible to listen to a song as played on cylinder recording, player piano roll, and on to different interpretations by different jazz bands. Very interesting stuff.

Dismuke’s Virtual Talking Machine is my favorite. Here you’ll find lots of 20s and 30s pop, and also some good turn of the century stuff, all in RealAudio. The best part, although it hasn’t worked for me in a while, is Radio Dismuke. It has something like 40 hours of material on it, including some vintage commercials.

Jeff, great page, I’m bookmarking it! I’ve been planning to do something like that myself, once I get the necessary equipment.

And I second Eve’s recommendation of redhotjazz.com. I love that place!

I am bookmarking this entire thread! Weehee!

Now, we get the TRUE “golden oldies”.

Eve this kind off topic but since your a fan of the 1920’s have you ever heard of the West Baden hotel or of French Lick Indiana

Great stuff, Eve, and all the others who posted links! I’m with Guin - that bookmark is right at the top.

Now to start filling my hard drive…

I have been downloading them most of the afternoon. It’s the most enjoyable site I’ve seen in a while.

I have CD’s and CD’s full of mp3’s of public domain recordings from the twenties and thirties downloaded from alt.binaries.sounds.78rpm-era

A river of great stuff passes through there every day. You’d love it, Eve.

To all that posted URLS…


This is a great find. Thank you.

Another website everyone might enjoy: Parlor Songs. No mp3 files, but plenty of midi files and, most interesting to me, plenty of covers to the original sheet music.

You gotta love a website that has tidbits of useless knowledge like, “Theodore Morse seems to be the primary architect of the 20th century surge in monkey related novelty songs.”

You and me both, Guin. This is the stuff I’ve been looking to learn how to play - next stop, jazz fiddlin’!

Of course, this thread requires that I post the link to www.tinfoil.com, another early American recording collection of wax cylinders, featuring the world’s oldest playable recording from 1878!

I am also bookmarking like mad, and will buy some blank cassette tapes today to record scads and scads of this stuff—Billy Murray! Ada Jones! Al Bowlly! Ukulele Ike! Even Sophie Tucker!

I am plotzing.

Hey, I just bookmarked THIS thread. Then I have all the links I need!


When I click on that “Martin’s 78 Turntable” link that Already in Use provided, I get an error message: “Your DNS2Go account has been disabled. To restore service, you can purchase a DNS2Go subscription.”

What the hell is this? Can anyone else access that link? It was working fine last night . . .

I would love to find some Gershwin and Glenn Miller…and maybe some Cole Porter?

It doesn’t work for me either, Eve.

There are quite a lot of views to this thread, I wonder if some traffic or download limit was exceeded with all the hits. I hope it will be up again soon, because there’s some real good stuff there.

Guin - Are you really having trouble finding stuff from those artists? They’re some of the biggest names in music, I thought they’d be easy to find! What specifically are you looking for? Mp3? Streaming files? I’d be glad to help you look.

www.archive.org has about 70 or so public domain songs from the 1910’s-1930, which I have already posted about here.

Direct link: http://www.archive.org/audio/audiolisting-browse.php?collection=opensource_audio&cat=366

In have a horrible feeling those bastards at “DNS2Go” have dangled that site in front of us for a few looks, then yanked it away and now want to charge us for future access. Crap, I didn’t even get to heaer Billy Murray singing “K-K-K-Katie.”

Screw them—even if it were only five cents, I wouldn’t pay it, out of ther principle of the thing! Can anyone else access it, or is it gone?