Red Hot Jazz Archive was a crown jewel of the early internet. Starting in the mid ’90s it made the offline discographies and biographies of early jazz available to the online public. It also hosted thousands of audio files donated by people who were digitizing their 78 RPM record collections, making many obscure recordings available for the first time. This all started long before Youtube and even before Wikipedia was much more than an idea.

We are duplicating the content of the Red Hot Jazz Archive from a snapshot saved in’s Wayback Machine. Keeping with both the original intent and mission of everything will be publicly available outside of our paywall. For ease of use we are improving each entry to meet the norms of the phone friendly modern internet.

The downloadable music files are mostly MP3s but some are in the ancient Real Audio (.ra) format. Rather than opening a new tab so you can stream or download them the Real Audio files will immediately download when you click them. Don’t be frightened. You don’t need Real Audio player to play them but they won’t work on Windows Media Player. We recommend the free and open source VLC player.

For more information read: About the Archive

Lil Armstrong Chicago Boys Gotham

Lil Armstrong and her Chicago Boys

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company Baby Daddy (Lil Armstrong / Williams) 4-4-1950 Chicago, Illinois Gotham G 241 A Baby Daddy (Lil Armstrong) 4-4-1950 Chicago, Illinois

Read More »

Lil Armstrong and her Orchestra

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company Everything’s Wrong, Ain’t Nothing Right Vocal Chorus by Lil Armstrong (Lil Armstrong / Evans) 9-8-1938 New York, New York Decca 2542

Read More »
Louis Armstrong and Lil Hardin

Lil’s Hot Shots

Lil’s Hot Shots was a pseudonym for Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five. This name was used when recording for Vocalion.   Title   Recording Date  

Read More »

Midnight Serenaders

This is likely a photo of the Midnight Serenaders that recorded for Paramount in 1928. If so they were led in the studio by Bill

Read More »
Bill Haid's Cubs

Bill Haid’s Cubs

Bill Haid played banjo for the Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra and led several small recording sessions in Chicago and New York for Paramount and Broadway

Read More »

Blue Ribbon Syncopators

In the 1920s, the top African-American band in Buffalo, NY was the Blue Ribbon Syncopators. They recorded in their hometown for Okeh Records in 1925,

Read More »
Jimmie's Joys

Jimmie’s Joys

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company Bugle Call Rag (Elmer Schoebel / Jack Pettis / Meyers) 8-1-1923 Los Angeles, California Golden B-1865 No No Nora

Read More »
The Clicquot Club Eskimos

The Clicquot Club Eskimos

The Clicquot Club Eskimos was a banjo orchestra under the direction of Harry Reser. The band was quite well known because of its nationwide weekly half-hour

Read More »

Irving Mills and his Modernists

Although Irving Mills is remembered mostly as a music publisher and for being the manager of the Duke Ellington Orchestra he was also a singer and songwriter. Mills contributed vocals to

Read More »

The Hotsy Totsy Boys

Here is a nice little recording that was never released and existed only as a test pressing. “Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now” was a very

Read More »

Pinetop Smith (1904-1929)

Clarence “Pine Top” Smith (June 11, 1904 – March 15, 1929) was one of the earliest pianists to recorded a boogie-woogie” piano solo. His 1928

Read More »
Lucille Bogan

Bogan’s Birmingham Busters

Lucille Bogan’s recording career came to an end in 1935 and she eventually returned to Birmingham where she reverted to her real name and performed

Read More »
Dolly Kay

Dolly Kay (1900?-1982)

Dolly Kay (12 June 1900? – 26 August 1982) was a vaudeville and cabaret singer who started performing sometime around 1920 on the Orpheum curcuit

Read More »
Or look at our Subscription Options.