Some Guy's 78 Collection
July 24, 2008 4:16 PM   Subscribe

The following is a list of over 3600 titles recorded from my collection of 78 rpm records....Right now, there are over 2,450 titles on this page linked to mp3's....I have about 2500 more records to record, so I'll be adding more titles as time permits over the next hundred years or so....I loaded a searchable ACCESS database for this list HERE. [.mdb] I don't know if it will work for everyone. Good luck!

I've picked up some non-english collections of 78 rpm records and have loaded mp3's of the songs. Since I cannot read these languages, I also loaded pictures of the record labels so you can see what they say.

Click the links below to see and hear them.

posted by carsonb (84 comments total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
via PCL Linkdump
posted by carsonb at 4:18 PM on July 24, 2008

Would you steal a pair of spats? Would you steal a tandem bi-cycle? Would you saunter into a gramaphone boutique and pilfer phonographs like a common ne'erdowell? Then don't pirate music.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:27 PM on July 24, 2008 [9 favorites]

Good Crazy.
posted by bardic at 4:30 PM on July 24, 2008

I have been working my way through this collection over the last couple of days myself.

If you are not a fan of music from the 1940s, you won't find much of interest. It's a motherlode if you're into the music of that time period, though.
posted by briank at 4:32 PM on July 24, 2008

posted by HuronBob at 4:36 PM on July 24, 2008

Wow. Need to check this out when I get home. Thanks!
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:42 PM on July 24, 2008

This is so cool ... thanks!

Looping through some old Ella Fitzgerald now; there's something extra-special about listening to this through the 78 crackle; reminds me of listening to some of my Dad's old 78's many years ago.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 4:44 PM on July 24, 2008

This is the kind of music that I don't love listening to, but really enjoy whistling whilst I stroll.
posted by klangklangston at 4:47 PM on July 24, 2008

Oh come on, a big collection of 78s and no Midnight with the Stars and You by Al Bowlly?

But an awesome collection... though I'd like to see it expanded beyond the 1940s.
posted by tinkertown at 4:50 PM on July 24, 2008

Oh man. I'm drooling. Thanks for this.
posted by twirlypen at 4:54 PM on July 24, 2008

A treasure chest to be sure and Al Bowlly was the man!
posted by podwarrior at 5:00 PM on July 24, 2008

If you are not a fan of music from the 1940s, you won't find much of interest.

I'd only scratched the surface when I made this post, so I didn't know the limitations of the music selection. Even still, this is blowing my mind. Thanks for the heads up, briank.
posted by carsonb at 5:01 PM on July 24, 2008

Awesome. Great post, carsonb.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:12 PM on July 24, 2008

Then don't pirate music.

Right. I'll just go down to the vintage 1940's Japanese Music Store and pay for a real copy.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:15 PM on July 24, 2008 [4 favorites]

There's quite a bit that intrigues me here. I was quite happy to find an early version of WITH HER HEAD TUCKED UNDERNEATH HER ARM. The Kingston Trio version has been a fave of mine since I was a kid.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:20 PM on July 24, 2008

This is great. Thank you.
posted by motty at 5:38 PM on July 24, 2008

Awesome. :)

However, this kind of thing is one of the main things .torrent is for. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking at it and considering a wget of the lot.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:39 PM on July 24, 2008

Oh, wow! Wow, wow!

This one about advertising is awesome. And so many more are awesome!

Anyone know why some are downloadable but not others?
posted by nosila at 6:07 PM on July 24, 2008

Oops...'twas merely my own quicktime. May I reiterate: oh, wow! Wow, wow!
posted by nosila at 6:21 PM on July 24, 2008

Oooh, the Arabic stuff! Awesome!
posted by Liosliath at 6:24 PM on July 24, 2008

Hitler in the Snow
posted by sourwookie at 6:45 PM on July 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by Senator at 6:54 PM on July 24, 2008

Nice find, sourwookie!
posted by nosila at 6:57 PM on July 24, 2008

I wonder how many miles of groove that is.
posted by Eideteker at 7:16 PM on July 24, 2008

oh god.. wget -r
posted by kuatto at 7:19 PM on July 24, 2008

Lionel Hampton, here I come!
posted by box at 7:21 PM on July 24, 2008

Hold off on the wget for a bit, then ... I'll publish a torrent once mine is done. Save hammering the poor guy's server!
posted by 5MeoCMP at 7:33 PM on July 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

AAAAAAAaaaaaahhhhh I love this shit. This'll keep me busy for a few days.
I thank you, and my wife curses you.
posted by Rykey at 7:39 PM on July 24, 2008

You just gave me a repetitive stress injury. Thank you.
posted by sy at 7:48 PM on July 24, 2008

Glad y'all like the music. I've been recording for about 5 years and only recently started uploading the MP3's. All the songs from the list are 128kps MP3 files, converted from WAV files. Enjoy!
posted by CDBPDX at 7:52 PM on July 24, 2008 [6 favorites]

Erm ... except that his site is serving in the hundreds of kb/s and I can only manage a piddling fraction thereof for upload. Altogether, it's over 5GB so far, so I don't think I'd be contributing much. Dang this asymmetrical bandwidth!
posted by 5MeoCMP at 7:53 PM on July 24, 2008

I like nice people.
posted by swift at 7:57 PM on July 24, 2008

Wow, carsonb, great, great, great find, this is a treasure trove! And CDBPDX, thanks so much for your Herculean efforts. And, welcome to MetaFilter! That's a helluva hard-to-remember username you've chosen there, though!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:59 PM on July 24, 2008

Cool, welcome to MetaFilter CDBPDX! I hope this linkage isn't blowing fuses on your end.
posted by carsonb at 8:08 PM on July 24, 2008

Hey, thanks heaps CDBPDX! Welcome to Metafilter. My wife is very happy about this, which makes me happy too :)
posted by 5MeoCMP at 8:11 PM on July 24, 2008

I get unlimited upload, download and bandwidth, though it has been mentioned already that it is a pretty slow speed, so there most likely won't be any huge amounts of transfer in a short period of time. My user name is simply my initials and PDX for Portland.
posted by CDBPDX at 8:14 PM on July 24, 2008

Holy Good God Mother of Pearl, this is sweet. I'm only to the B's, and I've already found more than 10 songs that I've been wanting to find.... This completely changes my plans for the weekend.
posted by bradth27 at 8:18 PM on July 24, 2008

I wish "We're gonna have to slap the dirty little Jap" was active. I'd pair it with my copy of "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:34 PM on July 24, 2008

Sidebar, plz.
posted by Ritchie at 8:56 PM on July 24, 2008


CDBPDX (and others who have already started downloading), I hacked up a little piece of Perl to tag the MP3s based on the artist/title in the access DB. Obviously, it's not helpful if I re-share all the tagged ones, because my bandwidth is low and we don't want 2 versions floating about, but you can grab the script from here if you like. It's pretty specific to this particular application.

You'll need to have the Text::LevenshteinXS Perl module installed to handle some of the fuzzy filename matching; also id3tag from id3lib (or similar command-line tagging thing that you can tweak the Perl to use instead).

Unzip it into the parent directory of the "list/" and "novelty/" subdirectories, run do_tag, sit back and wait. It'll tell you about titles that it can't find the files for.

Note: I didn't want to fake genre tags, just artist/track/album (same as track title). It also uses a text extract of the access DB that I did (so I don't have to muck about with ODBC in Perl), provided in the zip file. I stress that it was a Quick Hack, and may be Ugly In The Sight Of Those Who Care About Such Things.

posted by 5MeoCMP at 8:57 PM on July 24, 2008

What a lovely site! Thank you, CDBPDX, for sharing your collection. I love the big band sound and have a bunch of these (remastered) from iTunes, but the 78 crackle transports me right back to an era I didn't actually live through. Amazing what a difference it makes!
posted by Quietgal at 8:59 PM on July 24, 2008

Wow. This stuff is awesome. When I was a kid, the family would play cards on Saturday night and listen to a big band show on the radio. I've been a fan of 40's music since then. Anyone for Pinochle this weekend?
posted by octothorpe at 9:29 PM on July 24, 2008

OK, the politically incorrect Were Gonna Have to Slap... is loaded. Enjoy!
posted by CDBPDX at 9:38 PM on July 24, 2008

Zounds carsonb, that's Wicked./
dang, didn't Allentown Jail Jo Stafford just pass away┬┐ Whadda voice. Peace.
posted by alicesshoe at 9:59 PM on July 24, 2008

Just wanna say one more time, CDBPDX, this is fantastic. You should get some sort of internet award. Thank you so much.

Lots of Vernon Dalhart here, which is A-OK with me. Tons of other great stuff.

One unexpected surprise: Booker T and the MGs. I didn't know Stax ever made 78s. Or was that one from a 45?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:02 PM on July 24, 2008

um, CDBPDX, excellent./ Thanks.
posted by alicesshoe at 10:16 PM on July 24, 2008

So that's where they came up with the name.
posted by pantsonfire at 10:29 PM on July 24, 2008

Just adding that this is excellent, mostly so I can come back to this and look through it later ... need sleep now.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:30 PM on July 24, 2008

Booker T and the MG's was a 45. Sorry 'bout that. There are also a dozen or so titles from LP's salted throughout the list. I don't know how those slipped through. I'll weed them out someday.
posted by CDBPDX at 10:45 PM on July 24, 2008

Sorry 'bout that.

Hey, like, no problay-mo, man! I was just wondering, was all, if maybe Stax, for some curious reason, released a 78!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:03 PM on July 24, 2008

I have to agree with Liosliath: the Arabic section is by far the most swoon-inducing section of this. Yow.
posted by mykescipark at 12:46 AM on July 25, 2008

100 Dollars to the first person that writes an Automater script that pulls from that page to my iTunes library with the greatest amount of ID info.

For real. Email is in profile.
posted by sourwookie at 1:32 AM on July 25, 2008

...or I could just ask CDBPDX for some help.
posted by sourwookie at 1:34 AM on July 25, 2008

You Leave Me Breathless

Same changes as "I Love You" and "Tangerine" and to a lesser extent "Night and Day."

Ah, the good old ii bV--V7 b9--IM7 changes.
posted by sourwookie at 1:43 AM on July 25, 2008

Man, that Cal Stewart was obsessed with his Uncle Josh--and he sounds nothing like Al Stewart.

For a great mind fuck-- open several Cal Stewart tracks in multiple tabs. You won't be dissapointed!
posted by sourwookie at 1:54 AM on July 25, 2008

My gram used to sing me "A Bushel and a Peck." I've never heard anyone besides her sing it until now. So thanks!
posted by honeydew at 1:54 AM on July 25, 2008

I wish I understood what 5MeoCMP was doing, because that's what I'm after. OSX version PLZ?
posted by sourwookie at 1:59 AM on July 25, 2008

I love you
a bushel and a peck
a bushel and a peck
and a hug around the neck
a hug around the neck
and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap
and I'm talking in my sleep
about you

Damn, my mom used to sing that in the Fairmont station wagon in 79. I was seven.
posted by sourwookie at 2:03 AM on July 25, 2008 of my knowledge--no Stax 78s.
posted by sourwookie at 2:06 AM on July 25, 2008

And now that I'm past the A's, I'm beside myself with glee. Marion Anderson! Ma Rainey! Dean Martin! Rachmaninoff playing piano! George Gershwin playing his own Rhapsody in Blue! 1, 2. Abridged, but STILL. Absolutely freaking great.
posted by honeydew at 2:49 AM on July 25, 2008 of my knowledge--no Stax 78s.

Yeah, that's what I thought too, sourwookie, but I also know it's a big ol' strange and surprising world, and I've learned that even the "best of" my knowledge is still an absurdly infinitesimal sliver of all knowledge. Your "best of" is probably better than mine, though. I'm not, you know, a jazz musician, or anything...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:55 AM on July 25, 2008

sourwookie: I wish I understood what 5MeoCMP was doing, because that's what I'm after. OSX version PLZ?
I can help with OSX, though I'm primarily a Solaris/Linux geek.

Here, have a step by step:

1. grab, unzip it somewhere. Should be no need for anything else. This version should also work on Linux/Solaris with the bundled perl.
2. Download the mp3s (you can use lwp-rget on OSX, see below), put them somewhere
3. Open a Terminal window (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal), cd to wherever you unzipped tag78_osx, and run do_tag:

mr-smiths-laptop:~ $ cd Desktop/tag78
mr-smiths-laptop:tag78 $ ./do_tag ~/Music/78s

4. Ignore the errors from Text::Levenshtein :)
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:25 AM on July 25, 2008

OK, the politically incorrect Were Gonna Have to Slap... is loaded.

posted by octobersurprise at 5:36 AM on July 25, 2008

MeFi, you have done it again.
posted by wheelieman at 5:36 AM on July 25, 2008

CDBPDX, you magnificent bastard, your collection of Japanese and Arabic records are even more awesome!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:10 AM on July 25, 2008

Cal Stewart were recorded as early as 1899. Uncle Josh was his favorite character. Some of his recordings on the list were done in 1902. Cal Stewart's Ticklish Rueben was first recorded in 1902 with guitar accompaniment and then later in the 'teens with a band. Both versions are listed. Vaudeville was some of the first material commercially recorded in the 1890's. The Two Black Crows series was the birth of Amos and Andy.
posted by CDBPDX at 6:20 AM on July 25, 2008

Awesome CDBPDX! Maybe there is a patient Japanese speaker who could shed some more light on some more of those recordings. Meanwhile I shall content myself with listening to 210-6606 and trying out its accompanying dance instructions.
posted by rongorongo at 7:10 AM on July 25, 2008

Here is an underground party recording. Folks with delicate sensibilities please avoid. I just can't bring myself to post this one on the music web page, but some folks here might like it.
This one will bring a tear to your eye. A recording from Art Linkletters HOUSE PARTY show in 1953 interviewing a B-29 pilot POW from the Korean War. The daughter on the record is the person from whom I bought the record at the estate sale of the Captain.
posted by CDBPDX at 7:33 AM on July 25, 2008

Whoa. Mind asplodes.

Check this one: "It Never Rains in Sunny California" by Spike Jones.

So I'm guessing Albert Hammond (father of the Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr.) took a bit of license with this when he wrote "It Never Rains in Southern California." Cool.

Damn, I love stuff like this. Thanks.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 5:24 PM on July 25, 2008

Lovey Dovey by the Clovers on Atlantic Records from 1954. Pretty sure this is where Steve Miller picked up some great lyrics for The Joker.
posted by CDBPDX at 7:30 PM on July 25, 2008

CDBPDX (and carsonb) thanks for this. It's really, really wonderful.

Also, since flapjax brought up Vernon Dalhart, who is wonderful even if he was an opera singer and not a country boy, you should check out the Carson Robison sides (if they're available). He is the unnamed player on "The Wreck of the Old 97" by Dalhart and a genius of country music (as it was in the 40s--he was the first country music "sensation" to travel the world, supposedly) and an amazing whistler in his own right.
(Plus, he's a Kansas boy and I can't fault anyone for that. I once talked to his son for a paper I was working on and it was a great day with great stories. His son actually played with Robison towards the end of his career.)

Thanks again for this great link and for the time and effort to record these.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:47 PM on July 25, 2008

I am digging this in a huge way. Thanks for posting the link and many thanks to the fellow that collected, digitized and shared all of this wonderful almost forgotten music.

I love the older American music I an finding lots of gems here. I am just starting to go through the Arab collection. Wow! very cool.
posted by dougzilla at 12:21 AM on July 26, 2008

Hey, sleepy pete, thanks for the heads up on Carson Robison. I missed him on the first go-round (I've already downloaded a few hundred songs from CDBPDX's collection), but I'll sure get him on the next journey through this treasure chest.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:32 AM on July 26, 2008

Fans of 78s might be interested in the "Peelennium" list broadcast by legendary DJ John Peel during the last 100 shows of 1999. It included a small number of records chosen as the "best of" from each year of the last century.
posted by rongorongo at 3:08 AM on July 26, 2008

I would like to state for the record that 5MeoCMP is a super genius for writing and idiot-proofing his grab-o-matic script. It's fetching the tunes for me as I type this, and I am extremely grateful.
posted by bink at 11:11 PM on July 30, 2008

Just a mini-update: has a post on this now and it includes some photos of CDBPDX's setup and notes on 78-to-mp3 conversion :)
posted by bhance at 8:36 AM on August 13, 2008

Unfortunately CDBPDX's site seems to be down. :(
posted by carsonb at 9:35 AM on August 13, 2008

Just a mini-update: has a post on this now and it includes some photos of CDBPDX's setup and notes on 78-to-mp3 conversion :)

But the link the the site itself seems to now be dead (for me at least).
posted by rongorongo at 9:35 AM on August 13, 2008

Google cache of the site.
Torrent of the Arabic set. (working great)
Torrent of the Greek set. (untested by me)
Torrents via this reddit thread.
posted by knave at 11:37 PM on August 13, 2008

I had a nice chat with Jeff Goldstein of Yahoo web hosting and he confirmed that the sudden spike in activity caused the 29 hour shutdown of the music page (and all the rest of my web sites). He was very nice about it and is going to send a tech my way with some suggestions on how to avoid this in the future.

On a different note, I have posted a link on the web page to my records list sorted by artist.

Enjoy the music! CDB
posted by CDBPDX at 8:33 PM on August 15, 2008

Any chance of this coming back? I was absolutely loving it.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:52 AM on August 19, 2008

It's been up and down, CunningLinguist. I'm guessing it gets linked somewhere, activity spikes, then an automatic '29 hour shutdown' goes into effect, and that the tech with avoidance suggestions either hasn't yet been sent or hasn't yet had their suggestions implemented.
posted by carsonb at 12:07 PM on August 19, 2008

Okay, thanks. When I was plundering it the other day, it was up and down minute to minute. This solid absence made me think it was gone for good.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2008

This is what the site says now:

Hello, Everyone. My web host provider (Yahoo) shut down my web site because of high volumes of data transfer. Apparently, several folks, thousands each day, were downloading the entire music library, which is over 10 gigabytes, and that was placing a strain on their servers. My web hosting program offers Unlimited Data Transfer, but the amount of data being transfered was greater than the unlimited amount I was alotted so they shut it down. After much negotiation with the Yahoo techs and management, the only option available to get my domain up again was to not allow anyone to download stuff from my domain.

This sucks. Do you guys know of a some way, other than torrenting, that I can get my hands on this archive? It was making me very very happy.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:29 AM on August 24, 2008

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