It was just last week that I mentioned Archive.org, one of my favorite sources for free music, but I felt like I had to mention some of the stuff I’ve been listening to as the site has dominated my musical landscape over the past week. More than anything, the site has been turning me into a huge fan of 1920s music. What a wonderful time for pop music! People were having a lot of fun during the “Roaring Twenties” and you can really tell.
A number of hobbyists have ripped and uploaded tons of old music from 78 rpm records and wax cylinders and mercifully, many of them used software to remove the scratchy noises. Most of what I’ve heard this week was clear as a bell. Most if not all of the music on Archive.org is available for download, but when I’m busy — and I was very busy this week — I prefer to stream it. I’ve found several artist collections that allowed me to hear several songs in a row without having to mess with the site. There are also some great mixes of songs by various artists from the ’20s.
And below are a few of the artists from that era that I’ve become fond of. I’ll include a few songs you can stream from this blog — I’m still not hosting them though. WordPress lets me stream from anywhere I find a link to an mp3. You should still go to Archive.org and play the songs over there.
She was a very pleasant discovery for me. Playful, fun-loving, kind of like a precursor to Mae West. Some of her songs are slightly bawdy (maybe a lot bawdy by the standard of her day). I mentioned her to Mom and she said, “Oh yeah, she was famous.” But she wasn’t famous to me. Just a bit before my time. There are several collections of her songs on the site, but here’s a good one for starters.
“50 Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong”
It turns out I really knew of him and didn’t realize it. He was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney’s Pinochio. He was also a cool cat and a really good singer. He went by the nickname “Ukulele Ike” and apparently had a lot to do with popularizing that particular instrument. Here’s a good collection of his hits. And one of my favorites from that collection:
“Ain’t She Sweet”
Never heard of her before this, but I’m glad I finally did. She’s got a great voice and sings some really fun songs. She was kind of a looker as well…
And here’s one of her songs I really like:
“Hard to Get Gertie”