April 12, 2007 9:31 PM   Subscribe

78Man is a member of YouTube, who has created a collection of 378 videos of 78rpm records playing on the phonograph or gramophone. It's an amazing mix of blues, ragtime, jazz, old quirky songs of all kinds and more. Choices include: I'm tired of fattenin' frogs for snakes. She's lazy,She's lousy and she loves it. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye (34 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

Well, now, that's a hoot, nickyskye!
posted by taosbat at 9:35 PM on April 12, 2007

If I were a kid today, accustomed to intricate and obscure electronic gadgets, I'd see it as no less than a miracle that music - gorgeous, lush, complex, vibrant music - can be produced simply by scratching a needle across a piece of vinyl. Magic.

thanks nickyskye!
posted by vacapinta at 9:41 PM on April 12, 2007

by scratching a needle across a piece of vinyl

Oops. I was thinking resin and the 78 but my fingers still typed out vinyl. The point remains :)
posted by vacapinta at 9:48 PM on April 12, 2007

awesome as usual, nicky
posted by growabrain at 10:01 PM on April 12, 2007

I can't access YouTube from work, but I saw a doco once on this silver-haired, cigar-smoking American man with an entire basement full of all these old 78s that he had been buying up from garage sales in the midwest for decades...I hope it's the same guy! He'd dance along to the music, play air-banjo, beaming all the while with the cigar clenched between his teeth...
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:05 PM on April 12, 2007

Great find, nickyskye!
posted by amyms at 10:15 PM on April 12, 2007

posted by donovan at 10:25 PM on April 12, 2007

UbuRoivas, that'd be Joe Bussard and the movie is Desperate Man Blues. I doubt that he and 78Man are the same person, as 78Man hails from Leicester in England.

Wonderful, wonderful find, nickyskye.
posted by jodrell banksmeadow at 10:29 PM on April 12, 2007

Finally--a use for the internets!
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:32 PM on April 12, 2007

Whoa! The spoken intro to that Cigareets and Whusky tune shows up decades later at the start of The Hombres "Let it All Hang Out!"

Whoa! After hearing that song on one of the Nuggets comps, I've wondered for years where those Hombres got that intro from. Thanks, nickyskye; you have solved one of the lingering mysteries of my life.
posted by mediareport at 10:48 PM on April 12, 2007

[this is so good]
posted by trip and a half at 10:48 PM on April 12, 2007

jodrell banksmeadow (if-that-is-your-real-name), thanks heaps for that!

Desperate Man Blues was such a fantastic doco - the guy was just so passionate about these old blues & jazz records that you couldn't help but get dragged along with his enthusiasm. I would've been happy for that movie to go on forever. At least, as long as I could duck out for a toilet break every now & then.

Curiously, the blurbs on the website are all from Australian sources. It's possible that our overseas friends haven't seen or heard of the doco, in which case, well, that heinous injustice has now been righted.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:51 PM on April 12, 2007

This is why I love MeFi. Thanks ever so much nickseye, I'll never lack for background surfing music again.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:52 PM on April 12, 2007

Oops. Nickyskye, I meant.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:53 PM on April 12, 2007

Stellar post, nickyskye - thank you!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:46 PM on April 12, 2007

FANTASTIC. Bonus for the Bussard mention. Anyone who says that jazz went out with big band has his heart in more than the right place.
posted by The White Hat at 11:47 PM on April 12, 2007

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:01 AM on April 13, 2007

This is really very very good.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:53 AM on April 13, 2007

Truly magnificent.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:28 AM on April 13, 2007

There goes my workday. Thanks.
posted by jazzido at 2:29 AM on April 13, 2007

It's all about the music, but I find it amazing that the guy who made these didn't use a tripod to shoot videos of a record playing.

Excellent find, thanks!
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:25 AM on April 13, 2007

This is the only thing I'm subscribed to on YouTube - joyous.
posted by jack_mo at 3:53 AM on April 13, 2007

Cigareets and Whusky solves a mystery for me too — about a year ago I heard some damn hipster playing it, but it turned out he'd gotten it off a mix tape and couldn't tell me where it was from.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:06 AM on April 13, 2007

Very cool. I see those 78s in junk shops all the time, I'm tempted but I can't start collecting those. I really shouldn't.
posted by PHINC at 7:18 AM on April 13, 2007

That "Laughing Record" reminded me of this great old recording of The Laughing Song, by George W. Johnson

From the website of Chris Ware's excellent Ragtime Ephemeralist. Chris made a great comic strip about this song. If you can't read that, you can find a copy of The Comics Journal Summer 2002 Special. It's in there.
posted by JBennett at 8:33 AM on April 13, 2007

One of my favorite posts of all time.
posted by danb at 8:49 AM on April 13, 2007

Youtube doesn't offer a link for non-members -- The 50 most viewed 78man videos on You Tube (as of 28 Feb 2007)
posted by acro at 9:04 AM on April 13, 2007

posted by unknowncommand at 9:35 AM on April 13, 2007

Excellent, excellent, excelent.

78s are getting their due. Witness the excellent Bussard- and R. Crumb-curated comps.

Thanks for finding this.
posted by the sobsister at 1:28 PM on April 13, 2007

Evening all, just in from work, got online and am tickled pink you liked the post. :)

78Man is really dedicated and there's something charming about the sheer simplicity of him filming the record playing.

Finding any information about 78Man was difficult, just his eBay profile. But just now I found his MySpace profile. He's such a likeable fellow, 78 years old, like the rpms, single, no kids, from the United Kingdom, Leicester, England, as jodrell banksmeadow said. He's obviously got a twinkly sense of humor, since his Public Service Announcement is this.

Some of the song titles are even better than the songs, like Two buck Tim from Timbucktoo.

flapjax, the Chewing Tobacco song sounds distinctly eefy.

Can't help thinking he'd enjoy some feedback from anyone here who likes his videos. :) I sent him a link to this thread, maybe he'll get a kick out of it.
posted by nickyskye at 4:46 PM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Interesting stuff. I have been tuning into this for many months now, but can not remember how I found it. I think some mp3 blog. The video portion is kind of silly, but the music is really, really intersting stuff. I love the internets. Thanks Al.
posted by caddis at 8:52 PM on April 15, 2007

Hey, nickyskye, you linking animal you, thanks for the link to his MySpace. Once again I say, "MetaFilter! Do not be afraid of or ashamed to link to MySpace! Sometimes it's great!"

And caddis, I disagree about the video part being kind of silly. I think this visual representation (complete with shaky hand-held technique, zoom-ins on the label, etc.) are a big part of the charm, and particularly worthwhile in the era of CDs and MP3s, where there is no visible spinning disc as visual counterpart to the music. A good reminder of how things were not so many years ago.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:26 PM on April 15, 2007

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