Resources for locating and purchasing recordings of pre-1948 American popular music

Music search:  This website allows you to search for and compare prices of CDs, movies, and books (new and used) from a large number of distributors including, Barnes and Noble, etc. You can search for music by artist or album. This is an excellent starting place for locating items.

Online music stores:'s Music Home Page: Amazon’s selection of pre-1948 music has declined over the years, but there are several advantages to searching and shopping at Amazon. First, even if Amazon no longer carries an item, they still list it. This means that you can find out that the item exists and perhaps locate it elsewhere, or put yourself on a waiting list to buy the item if it comes available. Second, Amazon has a powerful search engine that allows you to search for keywords in song titles. Third, even if Amazon doesn’t have an item in stock, one or more of their marketplace sellers may have it.  If you can catch their sales on your favorite labels, you can get excellent savings on CDs here. Their selection is spotty, of course, since they deal in surplus CDs, but you can find some treasures here.

Allegro: A good place to find CDs sold at a discount.

Venerable music:  A company devoted to selling music originally issued on 78s, all pre-1960s. Their selections include blues, country/bluegrass, folk/world, gospel & swing/jazz. They have many offerings difficult or impossible to find elsewhere. and  Always a good place to spot check for hard-to-find, out-of-print, and bargain items.

Collector’s Choice Music:  Periodically they have very good sales.

Spun Music:  Buys, sells and trades used CDs.

Elderly Instruments:  In addition to CDs, they sell used musical instruments, books and other materials.

CD Universe:  Another place to look for CDs.

Barnes and Noble:  Like Amazon, a general store that sells a wide selection of CDs.

Walmart:  An online version of the superstore, with CDs.  A general selection of CDs.

J & R Music and Computer World:  CDs of all genres.

Alphacraze:  CDs, books, movies.

Hitmenow:  General store with CDs.

CD Now:  CDs of all genres.

Music distributors with offline ordering:

CrazyJazz:  A British company with an extensive list of offerings, including many difficult-to-find items.

Bear Records:  A Swedish company covering jazz of the 20s through 50s. Extensive coverage of CDs. Can also find LPs and other materials here.

Record companies with online shopping:

Archeophone:  A little treasure-trove of early American popular music (1890-1925) reissued on CD with extensive liner notes.

Yazoo Records:  Yazoo reissues CDs and DVDs of old music and rare film clips of early American popular music, including traditional (rural), jazz, blues, rags, and Hawaiian.

Document Records:  One of the best and most prolific music companies out there, Document Records has produced hundreds of CDs of reissued American music from our pre-1948 era. They cover blues, spirituals and gospel, as well as some jazz and traditional music. Their website includes an excellent search engine that allows you to search for song titles by keyword, as well as for artist or album.

Timeless Records:  This company produces jazz CDs from our era up through the present. To find early jazz, search their catalog under “Historical.”

Louisiana Red Hot Records:  Includes early through modern Louisiana music from a variety of genres.

Rounder:  Includes mostly folk/traditional music, some blues, early to contemporary. They issue the Alan Lomax Collection and the Library of Congress series, among others.

PastPerfect:  Restorations of jazz, swing and big band recordings, sold in their vintage music store online.

Old Victrola Music:  This company sells CDs recorded "from a 1918 hand cranked victrola using special equipment to enhance and retain the characteristic victrola sound." This is a remarkable collection of very early recordings, including 12 CDs of WWI songs!

Record companies with offline shopping:

Pavilion Records:  This company issues Pearl, Topaz, Flapper and Opal records, reissues of historical recordings. They offer a complete list online of all their CDs, a downloadable order form, and a list of distributors around the world.

Fremeaux et Associes:  A French company with an online catalog, but no online sales. They will snail-mail you a free catalog. Contact their distributor in your country to purchase items.

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