Howdy…not sure if anyone caught the recent story regarding a 78 collector in Oregon who is in the process of digitizing his vinyl stash and uploading MP3 files of each song to his site for anyone to download? And download for free? There was mention made recently on Wired magazine’s blog, which apparently sent so many readers to the site that it was temporarily crippled. As a result, there were some conspiracy theorists postulating that the RIAA had cracked down on the guy and made him take down all the content. Nope. Just an issue of being overwhelmed by so many users in such a short period of time that a Yahoo filter shut down access to the site.
Anyhoo, it’s now back online and all 3700+ files are once again available to freely download. It’s a very simplistic page, but with a staggering amount of content. I spent about 45 minutes roaming around the site last night and I must say, it’s a pretty sweet time-killer. From the, say, 25 or so files I checked out, the sound quality runs the gamut. Many to most would have all the surface noise you would expect to hear from a 78, but there definitely some files that were deadly quiet.
I grabbed a handful of tracks on my initial visit – Homer & Jethro’s hilarious “You-Ewe-U,” Lonesome Pine Fiddlers killer “You Left Me To Cry,” Ernest Tubb’s “I’ll Miss You When You Go,” (yes, I’m very much down with the twang), Les Paul & Mary Ford’s “Tiger Rag” and Marlene Dietrich and Rosemary Clooney dueting on “Too Old To Cut The Mustard.” There were a few short-lived disconnects (I’m assuming due to continued large visitor volume), but overall it was smooth surfing.
I’ll definitely go back for more at some point. You can check it out for yourself at 78records.cdbpdx.com. And if the RIAA asks comes a calling, we never spoke. Cheers.