Free Music List
Today’s music business doesn’t want to promote any music that doesn’t mean $$ to them. Music is a language that is also an art. So I created this list of links, The Free Music List, which you could call the Free Music Playlist. Everyone should listen to the music on this list at least once. (read more)
– Click/tap on any title below for the full post:
OMG I CAN’T WATCH
Wow, I saw the best California Ska for free! That’s right! I saw them @ Music in the Park in Albany, CA. and you can listen to this song for free. The Uptones performed at this year’s final concert of the series. A classic Ska song is political without choosing sides. Eric Din has truly captured this kind of song with “Laws and Sausage.” Miss Lisa made a spectacular video of this song about making laws. The Uptones – Laws n Sausage from Miss Lisa on Vimeo.
Available from Fun Fun Fun Recordings (c)2010. Footage is from the Prelinger Archives. Animated clips are from “The Mascot” by Wladyslaw Starewicz, 1934.
Common People Stiffed in the U.S.
I loved this song when it came out, and I think I love it even more now. It’s timeless but it’s also a time-capsule, with music so perfectly matched to the lyrics, and production so right that you are thrust into the picture from the first bar to the end. It’s a ride. This was a number 1 in the UK but never hit that big here in the states, perhaps in part because it is SO very English. The kind of class consciousness the Brits deal with is quite different from the Yankee variety. And it’s all here, complete with booze and sex and fighting. I still get goosebumps from this single. It is one of my all-time favorite songs.
These Flying Fingers Were Slowed By Jazz
Ragtime is known as “the music that got lost” – mostly because jazz stole its thunder and captured the public’s attention after 1917. Ragtime showcases brilliant pianists like Alonzo Yancey, the lesser known of the Yancey brothers. Alonzo, raised in Chicago, recorded “Everybody’s Rag” in 1943. He serves his piano straight up, and one can only imagine what it’s like to move your fingers as fast as this melody requires. A compelling and ferocious performance.
Music From Unexpected Places
Yasmine can sing, no matter of language she’s singing!! This Lebanese singer, songwriter and actress, who is now living in Paris, is so compelling whatever language, it doesn’t matter to me. I first heard her in SoapKills, the first Middle Eastern electric act I heard about. Yasmine is a true pioneer who is not abandoning her Lebanese language. This song about Beirut is about the former beauty of the city. Beirut was a beautiful city before the civil strife made it a war zone. It was referred to as “the Paris of the Middle East.”
Woody Sings About How Much He Hates Fascism
This man is a towering figure in the American Folk scene, writer of “This Land Is Your Land” who influenced so many of the great American songwriters (Bob Dylan for example.) He hated fascists so much he wrote this song about the rampant ideology tearing Europe apart.
Homemade Guitar Genius Writes Prophetic Music
It took me a while to adjust to Scrapper’s guitar playing. Not only is he a self-taught guitarist, he built his own guitar out of a cigar box and wire. As you can guess by his name, he was a rather fiery character better known as part of a duo with Leroy Carr, they had a hit with “How Long Blues” and toured most of the Midwest. This song defines the “Blues.” I highly recommend this and have grown to like Scrapper’s guitar style.
Dirty Blues by Bo
Bo Carter was the leader of the Mississippi Sheiks. In 1928, he recorded the original version of “Corrine, Corrina,” which later became a hit for Big Joe Turner. His solo work is a lot more suggestive. This song is a perfect example of Bo’s “Dirty Blues.”
She Rocked so hard Elvis and Chuck Berry Noticed
I was amazed when I mentioned Sister Rosetta Tharpe and so few people even knew who she was. I found this documentary made by the BBC. It’s a must-watch for any music lover. I hope once you watch this 15 minute video, and then you’ll want to learn all about her music.
She was truly amazing, and needs to be appreciated for the unique talent she was. Here’s another gr8 example of her playing and singing.
Guns As Seen On TV
T.V. Guns is currently: “My most favorite song, I’ve ever produced.” It’s also one of the most meaningful songs I’ve been involved with.
It’s amazing, in my lifetime, just how much music has changed things. I think as a society we should all be concerned with glorification of guns on T.V. and video. The golden age of smoking in film was bad enough. Is the world we live in now going to be known as “The Golden Age of Gun Abuse On Video?”
Eric Din, the songwriter of T.V. Guns, is always making a point about the world he lives in. This entertaining song is so topical, and Eric’s voice is so intelligent. Give it a listen:
The Berkeley California Ska band, The Uptones have always made their opinions about the world we live in known, while still rocking out. A feat that very few can achieve without sounding pompous.
I’m such a fan, I’ve seen almost all their recent shows.
It’s also been my pleasure to help this song become realized.
-Matthew King Kaufman
Little And Loud
My favorite loud mouth:
This combo rocks, and singer Emily Jayne gets autobiographical when she talks about being a loud mouth.
Check out more.
Legalize Everything and Tax It
Got to love this madman. His song about the radio is raw and truthful just like his message:
Stop paying to police the un-policeable.
Stop jailing sick people.
Collect revenue, eliminate the criminal incentive,
and legalize all crimes against one’s self.
This Christmas I got a rare gift of music from Eric Din, singer/songwriter, founder of The Uptones. It seems he made a special recording of four songs he wrote recently titled Peace And Love And Rock And Roll part 1. He recorded the songs at Michael Rosen’s East Bay Recorders, and then he sent the EP as a gift to his Xmas list. What a great gift! Right after I got used to fact that this sounds nothing like The Uptones I loved this recording. It’s a solid rock record!! The songs are magnificent! I’ve spoken to Eric and he’s ok with me sharing one song with you.
I chose the title track. Give a listen. Gr8 guitar work! Gr8 song! Love the sentiment!
“A Top-Notch Enjoyable Listen!”
Here’s a listen:
Public Domain Top Ten
This gr8 masterpiece has found its way to the TOP of the Top Ten.
II. Romanze (Andante)
III. Menuetto and Trio (Allegretto)
IV. Rondo (Allegro)
Paul Whiteman’s early classic is our new #2
This song is such a familiar part of our culture:
This tribute to our American pastime is still popular with our listeners:
This dance craze moves up to #5!
This selection has been mastered for streaming:
This classic makes its top ten debut!
This is the 1st time for this blues classic:
This is the original version of a song recorded by many contemporary artists
Another 1st time song for the Top Ten:
Louis Armstrong Beginnings
Jazz greats have to start somewhere, Louie Armstrong started here. Joseph Nathan Oliver, known as King Oliver, an excellent coronet player himself, gave Louis his 1st entertainment job in his creole band, took him under his wings, and taught him the music biz ropes. Tim Gracyk has made a sensational YouTube post of this song, and it includes some gr8 old images. I encourage you to expand your music horizons and give a listen.
The Music Business Farts Dust
The music industry is awash in confusion. Here’s why: Ancient laws based on Player Pianos and piano rolls.
The laws and business systems in place to provide royalties to music creators are woefully outdated. Some of these laws go back to the Player Piano era, with only minor updates in the years since. With technology (digital streaming) vastly outpacing these “old” rules, what we’re seeing is gaps in copyright law, unfair rates, and huge loopholes that allow corporations to profit off the work of creators without paying music creators a cent.
As a songwriter, I’ve seen my work played thousands of times on popular streaming platforms. The compensation for those plays is dishearteningly low, and noting how quickly income for music is shifting from sales to streaming, I’m concerned that with this lack of modern thinkings, music is going to remain in the dark ages.
Here’s some of the music business’s backstory, and my attempt to explain how we got to the current copyright law dilemma.
****There is one glaring fact: IT WAS A MECHANICAL WORLD BACK THEN, the home/bar entertainment system was advanced machinery called, pianos. Popular music was monetized in the early 1900s by the sale of sheet music to live piano players, who then played the hits of the day on their pianos. Think of humans acting like a jukebox. That version of the music industry was disrupted by the invention of a mechanical piano, that made these songs come to life without a human piano player. This invention contained a mechanism that operated the piano action via pre-programmed music stored on a perforated paper called the “piano roll.”
With a piano roll and one of those newfangled mechanical pianos, a dance song like “The Charleston” became a hit and would quickly generate a lot more income than old sheet music industry, but without replacing the sheet music industry. This mechanical piano and the paper-modeled performance technology changed music consumption forever. It allowed for the same exact performance everywhere! The sale of these Player Pianos and “piano rolls” became the new products of the music industry, rewarding the one artist whose performance was used to model the roll.
The roll I selected here was performed by piano expert, James P. Johnson, and it demonstrates his piano brilliance. The mechanical piano, armed with a number of interchangeable rolls, resembles the rudimentary ingredients of a primitive jukebox. This became the basis for the “mechanical license” (a metric used to pay songwriters for a music sale), and interpretations of this existing law from 1923 (and updated in 1976) are used as the basis for current music business copyright law and music compensation.
HOW NUTS! A copyright law affecting us today was written in 1923. Wow, truly insane when you think about it!
Here’s “The Charleston.” This piano roll is a hit. A great example of the past!
Dance Craze Sweeps The World
The Georgia Melodians were an early jazz band from Savannah Georgia that performed extensively on the east coast of the US and recorded for Edison Records in the 1920s. Here is their lively celebration of the dance craze The Charleston, released in 1926. Named after the city of Charleston, South Carolina, the dance became a world-wide sensation which peaked around 1927. Pictured is the great Josephine Baker, doing her famous version of the dance. This mp3 is from the original Edison Disc.
Most Well Known Jailhouse Song
This version of a multi-recorded song was a standard in Texas prisons. This song has been recorded by many singers thru it’s century-plus history. There is so much unknown about this song, that was made a hit in 1977. Some suggest the song, written in the 1800’s, was about a gun with a black stock. Somehow I don’t think these prisoners in a Texas jail were singing about a weapon. Check out this cover version with Johnny Depp plus a kick ass video. Great music is timeless.
Common Law Wife Mind-Reads
Recorded shortly before Charley Patton’s death, “Mind Reader Blues” is a song he performed with his common-law wife, Bertha Lee. In her magnificent voice, Lee scolds Patton for his womanizing even as he lovingly accompanies her on guitar. The lyrics are auto-biographical: “I remember a day when I were livin’ at Lula town, I remember a day when I were livin’ at Lula town, my man did so many wrong things ’til I had to leave the town.” Bertha Lee hailed from Lula, Mississippi, and Patton lived there with her for a time. What exactly he did so they had to leave, one can only wonder! This is a clean transfer from 78RPM platter from 1934.
Mozart never sounded better
It was the holiday season, December 17, to be exact, in 1936, when this magnificent performance of Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” was recorded by The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Under the inspired leadership of the great German conductor Bruno Walter, each movement of the masterpiece comes to life and crackles with joyful energy.
Kudos to F. Reeder for the outstanding audio transfer to digital from the original Victor 78 RPM record. Here are all four movements, as breathtaking and unpretentiously beautiful as any music ever conceived. You can click the first one and the player will take you through the rest in sequence, or if you prefer you can download them by right clicking the links, select “save as” and download the files. Enjoy!
II. Romanze (Andante)
III. Menuetto and Trio (Allegretto)
IV. Rondo (Allegro)
Birthplace Of Modern Guitar
In his long career, Big Bill Broonzy wrote and copyrighted over 300 songs. Many were original, some were adaptations of folk songs in the oral tradition. You can hear in this early Broonzy recording of “How You Want It Done,” the seeds of rock and roll guitar playing which would later sprout in the hands of Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and many others in the 1950’s. We’re fortunate to have a nice clean digital copy to enjoy today.
Glenn Campbell, Ed Sheeran, Jack White, And Johnny Cash Versions Of A Classic
Written in the 18th century, this song has been sung by many. I remember this song from when I was frequenting the coffee house/folk scene. The site thebluegrasssituation.com is totally worthwhile, and this post is classic, including different versions of this song done by 20 gr8 voices – Glenn Campbell, Ed Sheeran, Jack White, and Johnny Cash to name a few. Check out Jack White singing this song on YouTube.
Monkey Man Strikes
Born Albert Clemens in Kingsport, Tennessee in March of 1887, Cripple Clarence Lofton was a key figure in the Chicago Boogie Woogie and Blues music scenes. His stage presence was legendary, with a live performance that included virtuoso piano work, singing, storytelling, percussion, and even his own high energy dance steps. In the 1930’s, Lofton recorded and performed with Big Bill Broonzy and other giants of pre-war blues, continuing to retirement the late 1940’s. Here is one of his great classic sides, “Monkey Man Blues,” on mp3 from the 78 RPM disc.
Blind Musicians Can’t See You
Blind Blake was born Arthur Blake in Jacksonville Florida. During Blind Blake’s prosperous career he recorded over 75 cuts for the Paramount label. “Diddie Wa Diddie” shows off Blind Blake’s distinctive vocal and guitar rhythm. This song was later covered by Ry Cooder and Hot Tuna. I only wish somebody would tell me what “Diddie Wa Diddie” means.
Led Zeppelin Does It Too
A peculiar detail about Chicago Blues legend Joe McCoy is that he had a lot of stage names. Best known as Kansas Joe McCoy, he also performed and recorded as Georgia Pine Boy, Hallelujah Joe, Hillbilly Plowboy and Mud Dauber, to name just a few. Joe was married for a time to blues guitar great Memphis Minnie (who’s real name was Lizzie Douglas) and they made this classic record together in 1929. This song was much later recorded by Led Zeppelin. Here’s the timeless original, hot off the 78RPM vinyl.
Today’s music business doesn’t want to promote any music that doesn’t mean $$ to them. Music is a language that is also an art. So I created this list of links, The Free Music List, which you could call the Free Music Playlist. Everyone should listen to the music on this list at least once.
Wow, I saw the best California Ska (more)
I loved this song when it came out (more)
Ragtime is known as “the music that got lost” (more)
Yasmine can sing, no matter of language she’s singing (more)
This man is a towering figure in the American Folk scene (more)
It took me a while to adjust to Scrapper’s guitar playing (more)
This is the coolest song I’ve heard this year (more)
Bo Carter was the leader of the Mississippi Sheiks (more)
I was amazed when I mentioned Sister Rosetta Tharpe (more)
T.V. Guns is currently: “My most favorite song (more)
This combo rocks, and singer Emily Jayne gets autobiographical (more)
Got to love this madman. His song about the radio (more)
This Christmas I got a rare gift of music (more)
This gr8 masterpiece has found its way to the TOP (more)
Jazz greats have to start somewhere, Louie Armstrong started here (more)
The music industry is awash in confusion (more)
The Georgia Melodians were an early jazz band (more)
This version of a multi-recorded song was a standard (more)
Recorded shortly before Charley Patton’s death (more)
It was the holiday season, December 17, to be exact (more)
In his long career, Big Bill Broonzy wrote and copyrighted (more)
Written in the 18th century, this song has been sung by many (more)
In his long career, Big Bill Broonzy wrote and copyrighted (more)
Born Albert Clemens in Kingsport, Tennessee in March of 1887 (more)
Blind Blake was born Arthur Blake in Jacksonville Florida (more)
A peculiar detail about Chicago Blues legend Joe McCoy (more)