“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…
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.
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.