If you haven’t heard of it already, the Great 78 Project is a collection of digitized 78rpm discs that the Internet Archive has been putting together for almost a year with the help of of volunteer collectors, George Blood LP and the Archive of Contemporary Music. As of this writing there are more than 25,000 digitized tracks that run the gamut from Jazz and Country to Polka and Waltz that date back all the way to the early 1900’s. You can listen to them or download them for free through the Internet Archive. Here’s what they have to say about the project: “We aim to bring to light the decisions by music collectors over the decades and a digital reference collection of underrepresented artists and genres. The digitization will make this less commonly available music accessible to researchers in a format where it can be manipulated and studied without harming the physical artifacts. We have preserved the often very prominent surface noise and imperfections and included files generated by different sizes and shapes of stylus to facilitate different kinds of analysis.” The hardest part is deciding where you want to start. We’d suggest 1948’s “Jungle Boogie” by The Bobby True Trio.
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