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Vintage Muisc: 1920s and 30s

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I came across a couple of CD's mixed by a Dutch DJ called DJ Blue Flamingo.

All the music he uses comes from 78 RPM records and is old Jazzy style, very fun and danceable.

I was googling a bit and it seems like you don't need to buy 78 RPMs for that, most of the music should be available on CD.


Anyone know what exactly I am looking for and where to find it?

I think the genres I like are called Dixie and 2-step but there might be others as well.

I think there's old Belgian "Congo Jazz" in it as well. We had quite a few Jazz bands here at the time.


I'd really like to find some more of this stuff, so if anyone knows what i am talking about, please enlighten me.  :)

post #2 of 17
There are two basic types of 1920s popular dance band music... The hot jazz bands and the sweet bands. (of course there are some that straddle the line too.) Tons of great stuff is on CD, but you don't find much on the web or on file sharing because only us old coots know about it. My generation referred to it as "cartoon music" because it's what we heard in old B&W cartoons.

The best source is usenet. alt.binaries.music.78-rpm-era or somthing like that. A lot of collectors post their own transfers of old 78s there. I have a couple of CDs worth of 20s dance band records from my own collection that I've transferred. I'd be happy to share them if anyone is really interested. The tin pan alley period that preceded the dance bands was great too.

Check out Radio Dismuke on internet radio and the Red Hot Jazz Archive on the web. The King of this music is a fella named Rich Conaty who does a weekly radio show on WFUV. It's streamed on the station's website and his fans faithfully record and post it every week. That show will flat out blow your mind.


Congratulations! You've discovered the greatest unknown music ever! You and I may be the only people in the world that care about it.
Edited by bigshot - 6/2/12 at 8:47pm
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips and links Bigshot!


I'm listening to Rich Conaty's previous week's stream on WFUV now. That's indeed the music I'm talking about among other styles.


I do indeed remember some of thos old cartoons from when I was still very young. That and Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Too bad none of this stuff is on TV here anymore.


I did some searching and what I could make of it so far is that it all started in the late 1800s with Ragtime and then moved over Tin Pan Alley to the Toon Music. I'm not sure what the difference is between Hot Jazz and Sweet Jazz though.

From the 20s on this style seems to evolve into Dixie and then Charleston, Quickstep and Foxstrot. The best seems to be over by 1945.

Don't hesitate to correct my mnistakes, I'm just getting into this.

I just love the rythm and tempo of this music. I can listen to it as background music all day and then put my headphones on in the evening to have a serious listen.


So, after knowing a bit what to search for I listened to samples on iTunes and Spotify. From there I started to raid Amazon US and UK. I found some pretty exciting stuff I must say.

I got me 3 HD downloads with Dixie as well.

I also found 2 cd's from a DJ called "Jules Deelder" that a friend on a Belgian forum here will share with me.

Then someone on a second hand site here is selling 3 DVDs full of music that was recorded from shellacs as well, they're in MP3. For 15€ I couldn't pass up on those.


As for your offer to share some of the music you transferred yourself I'd gladly take you up on that.

If you want I can share those 2 CDs from DJ Blue Flamingo with you as well as those HD Dixie downloads.

Those Blue Flamingo CDs are virtually made of unobtanium now and they're really good.

I had to drive 500km back and forth to get one of them and at the same time met another guy at that store that had the second one and wanted to give it to me for free. He didn't have it with him but asked for my address and a week later I got it.  :)



EDIT: Her's a link to Blue Flamingo. I see he has a third CD out tomorrow. I'm going to look for it.

Edited by AppleheadMay - 6/3/12 at 10:17am
post #4 of 17
Dixieland is a bit different. It's a regional form of jazz that had its roots in ragtime, military band music like John Phillip Sousa and Tin Pan Alley. It went on to spawn Louis Armstrong and was the ground zero for jazz.

Charleston, Quickstep and Foxtrot were dances, not really kinds of music, although the record labels would say that on it sometimes. The overall style is Dance Band. There was a house band at every big hotel. This music was usually heard live. (Imagine what THAT would have been like!) After the era of the dance bands, swing music began, also dividing itself into hot and sweet. Now we tend to call the hot swing "jazz" and the sweet swing "big band". (There was hot big band too though...)

The difference between Hot Jazz and Sweet Bands will become more clear when you learn more of the performer's names. Most hot bands only played hot and most sweet bands only played sweet. Both are great, but sweet bands aren't quite as well known. Rich Conaty plays both kinds.

I'll post some of my transfers starting next week and link to them in this thread. I have some incredible early records that show where jazz came from too.
Edited by bigshot - 6/3/12 at 10:54am
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Indeed, I am mixing dance styles and music kinds up.


I wouldn't mind uploading some stuff and linking here as well, but I don't think I am allowed to do that since these are still recent CDs.

Still if you would like those Blue Flamingo CDs shoot me a PM because the first two CDs are nowhere to be found anyway.


One of the things I found on Amazon is this nice 500 CD box. I'm sure that will get me started. :) 

I bought it from the seller based in Germany at the much less expensive price of course. As far as I could find out he's selling at the original price the box was sold for. He has a few of the boxes listed on eBay as well, but at $399.


On HDTracks I found Kid Ory and Tiger Dixie Band.


I'm looking forward to hear your music. But with what I found to downloaded already I'm having a ball here! :)

post #6 of 17
I have a bunch of those Membran boxes. This looks like all of them rolled into one. That box will be different than what we're talking about here. It's more the later forms of jazz. Great stuff though. Jazz folks don't consider dance band music to be "real" jazz. Tey look down their nose at it. One little warning... The reason those boxes are so cheap is because they just slap 78s onto CDs without any attempt to make them sound good. Some are very muffled. If you hear something you really like, it's worth seeking out better transfers.

Spotify might not have much of it either. It sounds like it's recommening dixieland. Try entering Paul Whiteman, Ben Bernie, California Ramblers, Scrappy Lambert, Benson Orchestra of Chicago, Ambrose and his Orchestra, etc. see what comes up.

There's a lot of uncharted areas in this music. If you find something fantastic, let me know.

If you can afford a hundred dollars a year, a subsciption to a news server will pay for itself in spades. There is an ocean of free downloads of super rare stuff on usenet.
Edited by bigshot - 6/3/12 at 12:03pm
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info. I'm really having a good time here with this music.  :)


I have been checking these artists out on Spotify. 

Indeed that's the Toons music I like next to some of the later forms and that was pretty well unknown to me before.

Here's a few examples of what I really liked, although some of these songs seem to be played by various bands:

Paul Whiteman's: Charleston, Happy Feet.

California Ramblers: No Foolin', Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue 

Scrappy Lambert: The Man from the South, My Melancholy Baby

Benson Orchestra of Chicago: Riverboat Shuffle

Ambrose and his Orchestra: B'wanga, Night Ride, Champagne Cocktail


I found a link to stream WFUV in 128k in iTunes instead of the standard 56k: http://wfuv-onair.streamguys.org:80/onair-hi

I also see he has links to CDs on Amazon after every show. They're more expensive than the compilations I found but maybe they will be well recorded?


I thought those boxes would at least have half decent quality, but well it will be nice to find some music and names that I can look into further.

And then I can check it out on Usenet. My provider used to have a free newsserver up until last year but now I have XSNews, along with Unison which is a rather easy to use Mac app to find stuff on usenet.

I read about your transfers in another thread. It must be a lot of work to EQ and record these albums like that.



Edit: I wonder what other music besides Dixie originated from this music.

Edited by AppleheadMay - 6/3/12 at 10:56pm
post #8 of 17
Back then, everyone played every song. Not like today where popular songs are associated with an individual artist. Another interesting thing is the vocal break... They didn't have female band singers, only male. So when they recorded songs like "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine" it was a man singing about another man! Odd, but it didn't seem to bother them back then.
post #9 of 17
Also, if you don't know about him, check out Raymond Scott. His music is insane.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

His music started in the 30s I see. A big time composer from those years.

He's something else indeed, a big variation in music from what I have listened on Spotify but really amazing.

Pretty darn good, certainly worth sourcing some CDs from him.


Edit: Got me four of his CDs. Three are of his earlier toons music, the fourth as well bt played with strings. I didn't buy the later more experimental CDs though.

Edited by AppleheadMay - 6/4/12 at 10:18pm
post #11 of 17

Here is the first batch of my transfers of 1920s dance band 78s.  This first batch is all acoustic recordings. They were recorded live without microphones or even electricity! Lots of new names to add to your spotify account. Enjoy!


Sheiks & Vamps: 1920s Dance Bands Vol. 1

Yes! We Have No Bananas (1923) Billy Jones with Bennie Krueger's Orchestra
Ilo (1921) The Newport Society Orchestra
Tricks (1922) Emil Coleman & His Montmartre Orchestra
Little Boy Blue (1923) Phil Baker's Novelty Orchestra
Stumbling (1922) Yerkes' S.S. Floatilla Orchestra
Foolin' Around (1923) Isham Jones Orchestra
Yoo-Hoo (1921) The Newport Society Orchestra
Come Along (I'm Through With Worryin') (1922) Emil Coleman & His Montmartre Orchestra
Lovable Eyes (1922) Leo F. Reisman Orchestra
Cutie (1922) Yerkes S.S. Floatilla Orchestra
The Sheik Of Arabay (1921) The California Ramblers
Nobody's Sweetheart (1924) Isham Jones Orchestra

Edited by bigshot - 6/11/12 at 4:10pm
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

I get these are mono, but is there any way to get sound on both channels?

My amp doesn't have a mono button but maybe I should make a change in Amarra?

post #13 of 17
It must be your player settings. ITunes play them out of both channels.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Indeed, iTunes standalone does.

Whenever I switch Amarra on it switches to one channel.

I'll check it this weekend, can't really find a setting right away.

post #15 of 17

Here's the next batch. All electricals this time. This completes the first CD, "Sheiks and Vamps"


Track 13: Clap Yo' Hands (1926) Phil Ohman & Victor Arden And Their Orchestra



Track 14: The New St. Louis Blues (1926) Ted Lewis & His Band



Track 15: Just A Bird's Eye View Of My Old Kentucky Home (1926) Jean Goldkette's Book-Cadillac Hotel Orchestra (Owen A. Bartlett, Director)



Track 16: Montana Call (1930) George Olsen & His Music



Track 17: Strike Up The Band! (1930) Victor Arden & Phil Ohman And Their Orchestra



Track 18: The Darktown Strutters' Ball (1927) Ted Lewis & His Band



Track 19 Gimme A Little Kiss, Will Ya? Huh? (1926) Jean Goldkette & His Orchestra



Track 20: Japansy (1928) Carmen Lombardo With Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians



Track 21: It Happened In Monterey (1930) Bob Borger With George Olsen & His Music



Track 22: Do Do Do (Someone To Watch Over Me) (1926) Phil Ohman & Victor Arden With Their Orchestra



Track 23: Alexander's Ragtime Band (1927) Ted Lewis & His Band



Track 24: Lonesome And Sorry (1926) Jean Goldkete & His Orchestra



Track 25: There's A Little White House On A Little Green Hill (1926) Jean Goldkette's Book-Cadillac Hotel Orchestra (Owen A. Bartlett, Director)


Edited by bigshot - 6/20/12 at 9:36am
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