“Records are the lifeblood of singers, bands, and everything.  Those are the documents that people have.”

— Benny Goodman

On Old Time Blues, the ghosts of music’s past spring to life anew out of the scratchy grooves of old shellac records.  Old Time Blues is a weblog founded in 2015 by writer and 78 RPM record collector R.C. Montgomery with a mission to preserve the music contained within the grooves of his records and share their glory with new listeners in this postmodern age, and delineate their history as a digital repository of 78 RPM phonograph records.  On Old Time Blues, you will find good music of all sorts dating back to the first half of the twentieth-century; jazz, blues, hillbilly, folk music, and more—some obscure and others renowned—presented straight off the original record.

If you have any questions, comments, corrections, complaints, or requests, please leave a comment on this page or any of the posts herein!  I can’t promise I’ll respond, but I can promise I’ll read it and appreciate it (unless it’s hate mail).

About the Author…

Your master of ceremonies.

My name is R. Connor Montgomery (sometimes R.C. Montgomery, or just Connor if we’re friendly).  The R. stands for Robert, but I go by my middle name to avoid confusion with the movie star.  I  am a writer, an amateur historian and song collector, and in general an enthusiast of times past. More than anything, I am an admirer of the first half of the twentieth century, from the tail-end of the Victorian era to the early days of the Atomic Age, with a particular predilection toward the period interceding the two World Wars.

All of my life—as far back as I can remember that is—I have been captivated by times long before my own, and I’ve often felt that it is my purpose in life  to preserve the relics and traditions left behind from those days gone by.  When I was a child, I was enamored with the 1950s, and as I grew up so did my interests drift backwards, into the 1940s, 1930s, and 1920s.  My fond affection for those times is accentuated by my great distaste for so many facets of this so-called “postmodern age.”  Those days of yore just seem to hold a certain magic, a certain charm, a certain impossible to describe quality that is non-existent today.

As for how Old Time Blues got started, after I amassed a modestly sizable collection of 78 RPM records, I felt selfish keeping all that wonderful music to myself (and it seemed easier to spend all that money if I did more than just stick them on a shelf).  Having a life-long passion for writing, I created this website to share the joy of early twentieth-century music with the world, reproduced from the records in my collection, and accompanied by my ramblings about their history.

Why Old Time Blues?

Old Time Blues draws its name from the eponymous 1921 jazz composition by famed trumpeter Johnny Dunn.  Here, the name “Old Time Blues” represents not the genre of music—though plenty of that may be found here—but the feeling called the “blues,”  representative of a yearning to return; the blues for old times.  After much time spent brainstorming for an appropriate name the project, I came across the record pictured to the right and, as the saying goes, the name seemed to “click.”  Thus, Old Time Blues was born.

“Why does the logo say ‘Electrically Recorded’?,” you may ask.  Well, first of all, it looks pretty darn cool if you ask me, but more than that, just think about it, everything posted on the internet is “electrically recorded” so to speak, so it’s just as valid applied to a website as it was on record labels in the 1920s.

About the Media Posted Here…

All music featured here is transferred from 78 records in my personal collection.  They are recorded in Audacity from my very humble, very unprofessional Rek-O-Kut Rondine Jr. (a modified Gemini turntable) with either a Sanyo CN1000 MKII cartridge with 3.0 mil elliptical stylus or Grado F3+ cartridge with unknown 78 stylus (probably 3 or 3.5 mil), after running through (hardware) equalization.  The audio files presented here are unaltered, excepting varying degrees of restoration (usually minimal).  They may not be the best sounding transfers in the world, but I do my best to see that they’re not the worst, and I know for a fact that they sound better than some of the transfers that get commercially released!

Unless explicitly noted, all historical photographs are scanned from hard copies in my own possession, with credit given to the source.  All modern photographs were taken by R.C. Montgomery or close acquaintance unless noted otherwise.

This site uses your browser’s built-in audio playback, no third party applications.  If the system does not work for you, please report the issue in one of the comment sections, including the name of your browser, so I can try to figure out what’s going on.

About the Website…

Old Time Blues was created In the wee hours of May 27, 2015 by R. Connor Montgomery, previously the founder and administrator of Fett1138.net, home of the Star Wars fan group, the Followers of Mandalore since 2009.

This website uses WordPress with the Twenty Eleven theme, the background image is a circa 1920s photograph of Hamilton, Texas.  Logo typeface is an older (2011) version of “Crystal Deco” font by Pixel Sagas, licensed free for personal use; “Electrically Recorded” branding from 1927 Herwin record label created by Herwin Record Company of St. Louis, Missouri, believed to be in the public domain.

This site is optimized for desktop viewing and may not display properly on mobile devices.

Legal Disclaimer…

All media presented on this website are digitized from hard copies held in the possession of this site’s owner unless explicitly noted otherwise.  All sound recordings are digitally transferred from original 78 RPM format and presented in unaltered form.  All media in the form of audio, imagery, and reproduced text is credited to the proper source.  Much of this media is believed to be in the public domain, and the remainder is intended to conform to the Fair Use policies set forth by Title 17, Section 107 of the United States Code.  All material presented on this site is intended for the purposes of education, commentary, and criticism and in a strictly not-for-profit and non-commercial manner, thus all the content here does not generate any monetary gain nor loss for any entity.  Additionally, none of the audio files presented here are made publicly available for download.  The majority of the recordings featured here are over seventy-five years old and have not been commercially available for decades.

Should any complaint from copyright holders arise, the offending content will be removed immediately upon notification by the holder of the copyright without need for further discourse.  There is no ill will of any sort intended.

17 thoughts on “About

  1. No sound when I go to play them. I checked all my settings everything seems to be ok. I do get sound on others postings.

    • Several people have reported having this problem, and honestly I don’t know what the cause is. Are the sound files not showing up at all, or do they just not play? Sometimes the site can be a bit slow, and I think they can take a while to load once you click the “play” button. One commenter said that enabling “Gravatar” fixed it for him.

      Here’s a direct link to a sound file, does this work? http://oldtimeblues.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Pine-Tops-Boogie-Woogie.mp3

      • I tried to post this info below but there was a glitch.
        Violet Goulet is my Great Aunt, Violet had two other sisters, Vivian and Arlene (My Grandmother) She spent a lot of time making hooked rugs and would win several blue ribbons in CA state Fairs. A lot of her subjects where clowns and traditional town settings. Upon passing in the Early 1980’s the rugs where givin to family while some of them where then purchsed by family at an estate auction. She was married a couple times her later, was Johnny Lund. They spent their golden years living in the desert on Pebble Beach Drive, Sun City Ca. I would love to go visit often and even in the 70’s she would play me a song. As I never meet Arlene my grand mother who passed in 1955 or 56 Violet took her place and I somtimes called her grandma Aww the good ol days. Loved her so much..

  2. I have Capitol Criterion History of Jazz Volume 1. I don’t want to take to Goodwill. Can you tell me a better way to dispose them?

    • My recommendation would be to offer them to a local record store or used bookstore (such as Half Price Books) that deals in 78s. As I understand it, many Goodwill stores throw 78s away, and it would be a shame for such an excellent set as that one to suffer that fate.

    • I would say that jazz generally had a larger audience than blues in the ’20s (they did call it the jazz age after all). Blues had a large audience in the Deep South, I’m certain, but outside of the “classic female” vaudeville blues, it didn’t catch on in the big cities of the North until later, when artists like Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, Peetie Wheatstraw, and so on started to come onto the scene.

  3. Thanks as always, Conner for playing from your collection
    I Love that you play both sides of the 78 rpm’s
    Those are rarely played, Good to hear them too !
    Appreciate all your efforts.

    • It looks like you’ve got it pretty well covered, but you might add that it looks—from what I can tell by the pictures—to grade about a VV+ on the VJM scale. Very clean, doesn’t appear to be scratched, not much needle wear. Looks a little bit scuffed from shelf wear, but retains a good amount of shine. I would expect it to play very nicely.

      Also, when you’re shipping this or any other 78 records, I implore you to pack them according to these guidelines. The Post Office rarely treats them with respect, so they need all the protection they can get to survive shipping. You’re also likely to attract more bidders if you can assure them that their 78s will be packed securely.

      Best of luck with your auction, that’s a great record, one of the best in my book!

  4. Hey man, I put on the Asheville Shellac Bash and we’d love if you wanted to join us some time. We had about 50 pre war collectors there at our first bash some weeks ago. Big wild party for sure, and a lot of folks got to put some faces to some names. I live in Asheville, NC. Holler if you want me to keep you in the loop about it. Cheers! Brody Hunt

  5. Hello Connor,
    I just found your site. I like sites that are a work of love.
    I myself have a site on the Delmore Brothers and I just found on your site a picture of them that I did not know! Would you allow me to put it on my site and would you that I put a link to your site?
    Best from France.

  6. Dear RC,
    I often use my initials RJ.

    I’d love to have a chat with you some time .. we have the same passion for music as a link. I am a guitar collector, player, teacher .. and trader .. I started getting interested in pre-WW2 music in the late 1940s as a child. It all just felt better.
    I have some Youtubes up .. mainly demonstrating various guitars that I own or have owned .. my channel is MrRJFlood1 .. in a guitar deal a few years ago I also received a treasure trove of 78s .. many known and some forgotten country and blues artists from the war and before .. love the stuff you put up .. I thought you might be interested in some of this material .. some blues .. but mainly early rockabilly precursors, Cheers, Bob Zaidman

  7. Hi Connor,
    Congratulations on the fine sound of your recordings and digitization. I’m looking for a quality conversion software package to deal with my 78’s. For several decades, I recorded my records to cassette tape, then to .WAV files for processing out the clicks and pops, finally converting to .mp3 for CD storage.
    I think this all was a waste of time, since a simple single stage analog-to-digital process would have been more practical.
    Keep up the great work with your site and I’ll keep up my search for a practical software conversion.

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