Welcoming Recorded Music to the Public Domain
Approximately 400,000 sound recordings made before 1923 will join the public domain in the U.S. for the first time due to the Music Modernization Act (read more at copyright.gov). You can peruse about 38,000 of them in our collection of digitized 78rpm records.
Peruse the collection to hear early jazz classics like Don’t Care Blues by Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds, Ory’s Creole Trombone by Kid Ory’s Sunshine Orchestra, and Jazzin’ Babies Blues by Ethel Waters.
Early recordings by Bert Williams (the first Black American on Broadway and the first Black man to star in a film), Fanny Brice (the real-life ‘Funny Girl’), Enrico Caruso (the legendary Italian operatic tenor), and so many others give life and flavor to our imaginings of the early 20th century.
Here are some of the top songs from 1922, to give you a taste:
- April Showers by Al Jolson
- Hot Lips by Paul Whiteman
- ‘Way Down Yonder in New Orleans by Margaret Young
- The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise by Isham Jones Orchestra
- Toot, Toot, Tootsie! (Goo’bye) by Al Jolson
- Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean
- Ory’s Creole Trombone by Kid Ory’s Sunshine Orchestra
- My Buddy by Henry Burr
- Oh! Is She Dumb by Eddie Cantor
- Three O’Clock in the Morning by Paul Whiteman
- On The Alamo by Isham Jones
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.