Audio Reissues
(Click image to download)
If you represent a label or rightsholder and would like me to remove recordings, please email me.

Library of Congress Brown Wax Cylinders
Glenn Sage / Library of Congress (1999)

259 brown wax cylinder records from the collection of the Library of Congress, digitized by Glenn Sage in 1999. The collection includes home recordings, radio recordings, recordings by rare publishers, high fidelity Concert/Grand recordings, and special recordings by ragtime composer Ben Harney, obscure vaudevillians Will White and Al Reeves, and many more. Nearly 12 hour total play time.

The North American Phonograph Co., 1889-1894
Mark 56 (1979)

36 cylinder recordings from the 'first record label', the North American Phonograph Co. Bands and orchestras, comic songs, and instrumental solos from the very earliest years of the recording industry.
First Disc Recordings
Mark56 (1979)

Early disc recordings by the Berliner Gramophone company, recorded 1894-1900.

Original Sounds of the 1890s
Westwood Records (1979)

More early disc records by the Berliner Gramophone company.

Emile Berliner's Gramophone
Symposium CD (1988)

39 Berliner disc records from all over the world, including early recordings of the inventor himself.

The Edison CD Sampler
Thomas Edison Historic Site / Sony (1984)

A collaboration between the Edison National Historic Site and Sony commemorating the opening of the first American CD pressing plant. It includes 19 tracks of historical recordings with narrations for historical context. Recordings include a talking doll cylinder, several recordings of Edison, Theodore Roosevelt on social justice, and several musical records.
The 7" Record
Rubini Collection GV 72 (1970s?)

More early disc records on the Berliner Gramophone, Gramophone & Typewriter and Zonophone labels.

Folk Music in America
Library of Congress (1976)

A very special 15-LP chronical of the folk music of America. It spans nearly a century of recordings in an incredible variety of styles. Read more about the project on the blog.

History Speaks
Gotham Records (1967?)

2 LP volumes of recordings of historical figures, including Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Arthur Sullivan, U.S. Presidents Taft, (Theodore) Roosevelt, and McKinley, Pope Leo XIII, Leo Tolstoy and more.
Negro Songs of Protest
Rounder 4004 (1973)

Protest songs recorded by Lawrence Gellert between 1933 and 1937 in Georgia and the Carolinas. Performers are unknown.

Blog Post
Sidney Bechet Jazz Classics, Vol. 1 & 2
Blue Note 81201 & 81202 (1960?)

A variety of traditional jazz recordings primarily featuring clarinetist Sidney Bechet and cornetist Bunk Johnson. Recorded 1939-1951.

Blog Post
Freddie Keppard - 17 Rare Selections...
Herwin 101 (1971)

Rare recordings by one of the earliest jazz cornetists, Freddie Keppard. Recorded 1923-1927.

Blog Post
Birmingham Quartet Anthology
Clanka Lanka CL 144,001/002 (1980)

An ambitious double-LP reissue of gospel quartets of Birmingham Alabama between 1926 and 1953.

Blog Post

Frank Stokes' Dream
Yazoo L1008 (1968)

Probably the most fun LP yet on this list. Memphis blues 1927-1931, featuring Frank Stokes, Tom Dickson, Pearl Dickson, Furry Lewis, Noah Lewis, Will Weldon, Memphis Minnie and Cannon’s Jug Stompers.

Blog Post 
 Paramount Jazz Rarities
Paramount Hot Jazz Rarities, 1926-1928
Herwin 110 (1977)

Rare hot jazz sides by (mostly) obscure bands, recorded for the Paramount Record Co. 1926-1928.

Blog Post
Country Girls 1927-1935

The Country Girls! 1927-1935
Origin Jazz Library OJL-6 (1964)

Country blues sung by women, 1927-1935, dispel the irksome myth that blues were a man's world. Don't miss 'Wayward Girl Blues'.

Blog Post
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
The Songs of Blind Alfred Reed
Rounder 1001 (1972)

Fiddling and folk song from blind Virginia fiddler Alfred Reed. His values are outdated, but his style is unique, and some of the songs, notably 'How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" are as on-point today as ever.

Blog Post

When I Lay My Burden Down
Fred McDowell and Furry Lewis
Biograph BLP 12017 (1970)

These were recorded at the artists' homes in 1969 and 1968, respectively. Late-career recordings by two of the original bluesmen, but they've still got it. Each sings a version of the old spiritual "Glory, Glory" (When I Lay My Burden Down).


Great Voices of the Century
Angel NP-4 (1964)

Operatic arias and art songs from some of the most celebrated vocalists of the 20th century. Recordings made 1902-1944.

Blog Post

Miss Annabelle Lee (Vol. 1) & 
Hallelujah! The California Ramblers (Vol. 2)

Biograph BLP-12020 / BLP-12021

24 classic tracks by one of the first and best white dance/jazz bands in New York. Directed by the astute Ed Kirkeby, the California Ramblers are now probably best known for their role in launching the careers of Red Nichols and the Dorsey Brothers. 

Blog Post

Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra, 1923-1929
Historical Records ASC-9 (1967)

Early hot jazz from Kansas City.

Steppin' on the Gas: Rags to Jazz, 1913-1927
New World Records NW 269 (1977)

A study of the music that preceded and prompted jazz. Ragtime, foxtrot, marching band, it's all there. A worthy concept, and well-executed.

The Bix Beiderbecke Story (3 Vol.)
Columbia CL 844, CL 855, CL 866 (1963)

3 volumes (36 tracks) following the career of one of the finest jazz cornetists ever. If you know him, you love him. If you don't, download these this instant (before they're taken down!).

These recordings exemplify the period after the traditional 'dixieland' style of New Orleans and Chicago, but before big band and swing took root. It's composed, but unpredictable, sweet but hot. Simply some of the best jazz ever recorded.

Download links are separate for each volume in case you know you've got all of the recordings from any of these periods / groups.

Volume 2 / Volume 3

Byways of Jazz
Origin Jazz Library OJL-9 (1965)

Rare sides from obscure jazz bands 1926-29. I'm not really sure what, specifically, they were getting at with this release (I don't have the notes), but it's worth a listen. Won't hear it anywhere else!


Bootleg Rum Dum Blues
Biograph BLP-12003 (1968)

Search Warrant Blues
Biograph BL-12023 (1970)

No Dough Blues
Biograph BLP-12031 (1971)

Not technically published together, these are the first three volumes of Blind Blake's reissues on the Biograph label.

Blog post

Really! The Country Blues
Origin Jazz Library OJL-2 (1962)

Rare country blues 1927-33

'Crying' Sam Collins and his Git-Fiddle
Origin Jazz Library OJL-10 (1965)

Early delta blues by the enigmatic veteran Sam Collins. Includes standards such as 'Hesitation Blues', 'Yellow Dog Blues' and 'Midnight Special'.


Blind Willie McTell: The Early Years (1927-1933)
Yazoo L-1005 (1968)

14 early recordings of blind Georgia bluesman Willie McTell.

Georgia Sea Island Songs
New World Records NW 278 (1971)

Sacred and secular songs of the Spiritual Singers of Georgia. Recorded by Alan Lomax in 1960 and 61.

Harmonicas, Washboards, Fiddles & Jugs
Roots RL-311 (1968)

A compilation of somewhat obscure jug band recordings from the late 20s and early 30s. Includes original notes on recording dates and locations. Published by the fantastic 'Roots' record label, the precursor to the modern-day 'Document Records'.

Negro Prison Songs
Tradition TLP 1020 (1958)

A collection of songs and interviews recorded by Alan Lomax at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman in 1947.

Sea Songs & Shanties
Archive of American Folk Song AAFS L26 (1952)

A collection of shanties and other sea songs recorded by Alan Lomax 1939-1951. Includes original liner notes with lyrics and short descriptions of the songs.