Victrola Favorites book and CD

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I just bought a copy of Victrola Favorites: Artifacts from Bygone Days, a lovely two-CD compilation of old wax and vinyl recordings from the 1920s-1950s. The collection is exquisitely packaged by Dust-to-Digital in a clothbound, full-color book of beautiful record label artwork, archival photographs, listening instructions, postcards, and all sorts of old timey music ephemera. The music on the CDs is a delightful and eclectic trip around the world: Persian folk, American jazz, Delta blues, Chinese opera, Korean flutes, Japanese bamboo xylophones, Burmese electric guitar, and a slew of other enchanting genres. Victrola Favorites is not one of those CD purchases that's ripped and then relegated to the storage box in your garage. It's an exquisite objet d'art more suited for the coffee table than for the iPod. I only wish I had the opportunity to hear these recordings on the media they were made for. Link to buy Victrola Favorites, Link to Dust-to-Digital's Victrola Favorites page


  1. ok, this does look like a great package, but, I have to say, I’d much rather have it on quality vinyl than cds….yeah, I know their name is “…to Digital” but it still seems a bit ironic, no?

  2. If you really want to get into the world of 78s and cylinders, you’re going to have to get to Archeophone Records ( Their stuff goes back to 1891. The history of popular music is a lot weirder than the standard Received Version would suggest.

  3. Large collections of cylinder-type recordings can still be had for next-to-nothing. Probably, apart from condition, because most of what’s on them is awfully cornball by today’s standard. (Most of the US was rural at the time.)

    Playing them might be a little more difficult. While they were made to be played without electricity, a simple tonearm with the proper needle can easily track them. After the dust and droppings are cleared out of the grooves.

  4. I grew up with a great affection for the 1917 Thomas Edison stand-up cabinet phonograph of my grandparents. (My mom has it now. Someday it will be my prized possession.)

    We would wind it up and thrill to the hottest licks of WWI. There were songs about “over there” and sweet French girls who would be true to the whole regiment. There were ukulele tunes from exotic, faraway Hawaii. There were gospel records and folk songs– even a protest song about the John T. Scopes trial, “The Old Religion’s Better After All.” We bounced on the bed to “The Wreck of The Old Southern 97,” and “The Runaway Train.” We laughed at comedy disks like “Uncle Josh Puts Up The Stove,” And “Uncle Josh Takes The Census,” in which the protagonist describes the comic types (usually European immigrants) he encounters on his rounds as Punkin Center’s official census taker. Some of the content wasn’t very P.C. But it sure was a good glimpse at popular culture of the time.

    Such great memories… I can still see grandma and grampa’s smiling faces as we listened, clapped and sang along.

    “Oh the runaway train went down the track and she blew…”

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