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Just got a new shipment of musicOld Time Recording

GUEST,josepp 25 Oct 11 - 07:11 PM
Ross Campbell 25 Oct 11 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,josepp 26 Oct 11 - 12:14 PM
Spleen Cringe 26 Oct 11 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,matt milton 26 Oct 11 - 06:57 PM
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Subject: Just got a new shipment of music
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Oct 11 - 07:11 PM

I had sent away online to OTRCAT which I believe stands for Old Time Recordings Catalog. These are MP3 CDs meaning they won't play on a standard CD-player but will play on a computer. I can rip them onto my portable 500 gig hard-drive and make audio CDs of them if I want to. The advantage is that there's a huge number of songs on each CD and each one was only $5!! Yes, you read that right--$5. Five bucks.

I got an Ada Jones comp--she was a turn of the century ragtime-cakewalk and coon-shouter. A coon-shouter is a white artist who performed in black dialects and sang songs today considered too racist for anyone but black rappers to perform in public. But coon-shouters also performed in Italian, Irish, German, Chinese, Japanese, American Indian, Eskimo, Mexican, Scandinavian, Yiddish and other pseudo accents and dialects.

I bought three volumes of wax cylinders converted to digital. The first volumes goes from 1877 to 1899. Volume two covers 1900-1904 and volume 3 covers 1905-06. These feature Len Spencer, Arthur Collins, Dan W. Quinn, Ada Jones, Walter Van Brunt, S.H. Dudley, Harry MacDonough, Billy Murray, Byron G. Harlan, Vess Ossman, Arthur Pryor, Bert Williams, the Haydn Quartet, Will Denny, the Peerless Quartet, Williams & Walker, etc.

There are two George Washington Johnson songs from 1891--"The Laughing Song" and "The Whistling Coon". He is the first black recording artist.

Then I bought a CD called "Racist Songs" which contains mostly the same artists doing coon songs that we would consider today to be shockingly racist and unacceptable to perform in public. And not many stones are left unturned here:

"Chin Chin Chinaman", "The Mick That Sent Pick", "Hebrew Vaudeville", "Heine", "Pickaninnies Paradise", "When Little Yellow Fellow Plays Piano", "The Original Cohens", "Run Nigger Run". I'm surprised that "When Tony Goes Over the Top" is not included here ("Keep-a you eyes-a onna fighting wop!"). Just incredible that they recorded not only stuff like this back then but SO MUCH of it. And the gamut of songs runs from the 1890s to the end of the 1920s. This CD is LOADED with stuff. It sounds worse to us today through our super sensitive PC filters but it had to touch raw nerves back then too.

Finally, they sent me a free sampler. You get 9 samplers to choose from. You only get one but you get quite an array to choose from. I picked one that had a bunch of old radio shows on it. I listened to one today called Beyond Tomorrow that was likely early 50s. They did the Robert Heinlein story, Requiem. There are 41 hours of radio programs to choose from here--on a single CD--41 hours!!!

Walter Wincehll hosts Tribute, Alka-Seltzer Time, True Detective Mystery, Young Doctor Malone, Dick Tracy, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch, Detective Nick Harris, Hallmark Playhouse, Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge, Tales of Foreign Service, Columbia Presents... and that's not even a quarter of the stuff on this CD. They are uncut, unabridged, lasting up to an hour each. Yet no track is more than 6 or 7 Mb. Just cool as hell.

Six CDs for under $30 and that includes the shipping charge!! Now you can't beat that with a hammer, folks.

So go to OTRCAT and take a look at their extensive and very cool catalog. Another great site that deserves to stay in business so give them some of yours. It's well worth it!

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Subject: RE: Just got a new shipment of musicOld Time Recording
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 25 Oct 11 - 10:19 PM

Some interesting articles and background info there too.

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Subject: RE: Just got a new shipment of musicOld Time Recording
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 12:14 PM

I learned that Harry MacDonough was a Victor executive and that this was only a stage name but it also happened to be the name of another singer of that time. I also thought the S.H. Dudley here was black. I have a photo of him. But it turns out that this S.H. Dudley was really S.H. Rous who took the stage name of Dudley but claimed he had no idea there was another and this new Dudley was white so it must have caused some confusion.

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Subject: RE: Just got a new shipment of musicOld Time Recording
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 03:21 PM

It's a shame the bitrate of the mp3s is only 32kps 22hz to 64kps 44khz, according to the FAQs at the website. I know they say that the original recordings are poor quality, but that's way below what you'd usually expect... especially for the music CDs.

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Subject: RE: Just got a new shipment of musicOld Time Recording
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 06:57 PM

A lot, perhaps even all, of that stuff is available for free at

(That's not to say they're not earning their money in compiling it all together in convenient packages, of course)

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