3 Minute Record

"We learned more from a three minute record baby than we ever learned in school..." -from No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen

Filtering by Tag: 78 RPM

Library of Congress debuts The National Jukebox

title of the race-records-catalogue of victor ...

Put away your handful of quarters, nickels and dimes. This month the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. launched a new ambitious project called The National Jukebox.

I first heard about this project earlier this month on NPR. The site is a free archive of sound recordings that documents sounds (music and speeches) recorded at the dawn of the 20th century and allows the listener to stream (but not download) each song via their computer. Still the site garnered interest from the public with over 250,000 visits already.

The Library of Congress spent the majority of 2010 digitizing over 10,000 sides (78 RPM records have one song on each side) from the Victor Talking Machine Company (now under the arm of Sony Music Entertainment) originally produced between 1900 and 1925. The website states that, "The National Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives." As a mission this ambitious project has 

The goal of the Jukebox is to present to the widest audience possible early commercial sound recordings, offering a broad range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

Further, this collection will not remain static and stodgy lending credibility continued. The website continues by stating, "New recordings are added to the Jukebox every month. Later this year, we will begin digitizing recordings from additional record labels, including Columbia and Okeh, along with selected master recordings from the Library of Congress Universal Music Group Collection."

First, I clicked on genre and found the Traditional/Country section and near the top was a favorite country standard of mine.

Wreck Of The Old 97 - Vernon Dalhart - 1924 http://media.loc.gov/player/flowplayer.commercial.swf?0.8696789029376122

Next used a search term "St. Louis" and found some interesting hits from an even earlier era. The first song is a classic from the 1904 World's Fair hosted in Forest Park in St. Louis performed here by Billy Murray. A strong tenor voice helped Murray become one of the most popular singers of the first quarter of the 20th century singing into as acoustic recording horn. Murray started out in vaudeville as a teenager and by 1903 he was in the New York area making studio recordings. By the mid-1920s when the electronic microphone came into use, the new sound of crooners eclipsed Murray's sound forever.  

Meet Me in St. Louie, Louie - Billy Murray - 1904 http://media.loc.gov/player/flowplayer.commercial.swf?0.8545572064060243

St. Louis Tickle - Ossman-Dudley Trio - 1906 (Instrumental) http://media.loc.gov/player/flowplayer.commercial.swf?0.4831903982451466

St. Louis Blues - Original Dixieland Jazz Band - 1921 http://media.loc.gov/player/flowplayer.commercial.swf?0.18645644567922426

That Baseball Rag - Arthur Collins - 1913 http://media.loc.gov/player/flowplayer.commercial.swf?0.4422833037025974

As an owner of both a vintage jukebox and my great-grandfather's Victrola, this project intrigues me to no end. The website allows you to make playlists to back and listen to these songs again and again; just like pulling out your old records over and over.

Before reading any articles or news reports, the first thing I thought about when I heard about this project was Joe Bussard's collection of 78 RPM records. Wouldn't it be great to have his collection as part of this rich history of recorded American music?

If you've never heard of Joe Bussard then you're in for a treat. Bussard, the self-professed "King of Record Collectors," is a record collector who started collecting 78 RPM records in the 1950s and 1960s - mostly blues, Cajun, country, folk, gospel, and jazz. He took trips into remote Mid-Atlantic towns near his Maryland home to seek out people who would sell their rare records. Presently, Bussard is an opinionated, cigar smoking old man with a record collection of 78 RPM sides that has few rivals. There is a well done documentary about Bussard called Desperate Man Blues: Discovering the Roots of American Music that gives a nice synopsis of the man and the collection.

Old Hat Records released a compilation of some of Bussard's 78 RPM sides a few years ago on Down In The Basement: Joe Bussard's Treasure Trove of Vintage 78's.

But these will remind others of the collection Harry Smith put together in the 1950s for Moe Asch's Folkways Records called the Anthology Of American Folk Music. Cited by countless musicians as a heavy influence on their work, this collection effectively re-started the entire Folk music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Kudos to the Library of Congress for taking on such an ambitious project. America's musical heritage is a treasure and worth preserving for future generations to hear.

Footnote: For some reason the ability to embed these songs into the post did not work correctly and I'm not sure why. If you can speak to that issue please let me know.

St. Louis Record Collectors Show Recap

On Sunday, my friend Tom and I ventured out in the freezing temperatures to go to the St. Louis Record Collectors Show. After paying our $2 admission fee ($1 off with a card or mention of Facebook), we started to walk around and get a lay of the land as this was Tom's first time to the show. I usually run into someone I know or at least recognize and this time was no different. I ran into Jim who works at Euclid Records and Larry who runs the 45's section at The Record Exchange. Most, if not all, dealers take cash and there was a mix of local and out-of-town dealers. For those people determined to get their money's worth and stay most of the day, the hall also sells refreshments and snacks.

I do not usually have an agenda or list when I go to a record show. I like to look around and see what surprises I may find. One seller was selling a box and a couple of stacks of 78 RPM records. These were mostly Swing music and Pop tunes from the late 1930's, 1940's and early 1950's. He was selling them for $2/each, but I could have taken the entire box for $50 and everything for $75 which roughly calculates out to about $0.50 cents per record.

I found another seller that had a table with mostly some LP's and 45's and some video games and other miscellaneous stuff. The guy was asking .50 per record on the 45's. I asked the guy if he bought and sold collections, but he just advised that he was selling because his wife had finally won the argument to get rid of some records. He is a collector as he mentioned he is not selling but "keeping his gold stash. However, he would be classified as your basic hoarder - at one time he must have bought everything he could find as he had a lot to sell! I searched through the bins and I found twenty 45's for the jukebox. None of these are rare, but most if not all are very clean copies of the records and most are still wrapped in their original paper sleeve from the original label. The guy was asking $0.50 per record. He had some picture sleeves, but most were from the 1980's and I did not find anything special. Tom found a bootleg DVD of the Guns & Roses St. Louis show where a riot broke out on July 2, 1991 at Riverport Amphitheater (aka Verizon Wireless Amphitheater) in which he attended nearly 20 years ago.

Here's my list of 45's finds: a mix of Rock 'n Roll, Soul, Pop, and Country --
The Allman Brothers - Ramblin Man b/w Pony Boy (Capricorn, 1973)
The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger b/w Knucklehead (Volt, 1967)
James Brown & The Famous Flames - Cold Sweat Part 1 b/w Cold Sweat Part 2 (King, 1967)
James Brown & The Famous Flames - I Got The Feelin' b/w If I Ruled The World (King, 1968)
James Brown & The Famous Flames - Papa's Got A Brand New Bag Part 1 b/w Papa's Got A Brand New Bag Part 2 (King, 1965)
Petula Clark - Downtown b/w You'd Better Love Me (Warner Bros., 1964)
Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline b/w Dig In (UNI, 1969)
Neil Diamond - Cracklin' Rosie b/w Lordy (UNI, 1970)
Dave Dudley - Six Days On The Road b/w Feel A Cry Coming On (Golden Wing, 1963)
Eddie Floyd - Knock On Wood b/w Got To Make A Comeback (Stax, 1966)
The Mama's & The Papa's - Monday, Monday b/w I Got A Feelin' (ABC Dunhill, 1966)
The Mama's & The Papa's - California Dreamin' b/w Somebody Groovy (ABC Dunhill, 1965)
Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay b/w Sweet Lorene (Volt, 1967)
Jeannie C. Riley - Harper Valley P.T.A. b/w Yesterday All Day Long Today (Plantation, 1968)
Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy b/w Early 1970 (Apple, 1971)
Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild b/w Everybody's Got Next One (ABC Dunhill, 1968)
Stephen Stills - Love The One You're With b/w To A Flame (Atlantic, 1970)
The Surfaris - Boss Barracuda b/w Dune Buggy (Instrumental) (Decca, 1964)
Johhny Taylor - Cheaper To Keep Her b/w I Can Read Between The Lines (Stax, 1973)
Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Love Land b/w Sorry Charlie (Warner Bros., 1970)

2011 St. Louis Record & CD Shows

Record collectors can now rejoice! The gentlemen who run the St. Louis Record and CD Shows have announced the dates for the 2011 shows. If you love vinyl (45's and LP's), compact discs, 78 RPM records, videos, rare items, and more - these shows are for you. If you haven't been to one of these shows check out the video made by Lo Fi St. Louis from You Tube at the bottom of the post for a glimpse of what the show is like. You can also read this feature story from the Riverfront Times earlier this year. Where: American Czech Hall 4690 Landsdowne (at Kingshighway) St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Dates: (All shows on Sundays) January 9, March 6, May 1, July 10, September 11, November 6

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Admission: $3.00 Early Bird: $5.00 (8:30 a.m.) Table Fee: $35.00 (set up 8:30 a.m.)

Official St. Louis Record and CD Show website

For Information send an e-mail at stlrecordshow@gmail.com

You can also find their page on Facebook