Red Hot Jazz Archive

Redhotjazz.com 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 Archive.org’s Wayback Machine. Keeping with both the original intent and mission of Redhotjazz.org 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

Memphis Blues First Blues Record

The First Blues Records

Also see: In 1920 Mamie Smith’s Crazy Blues paved the way for Black Music Title Artist Recording Date Company Memphis Blues (W.C. Handy) Victor Military

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Original Dixieland Jazz Band

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, who billed themselves “The Creators of Jazz”, have long been been dismissed as the White guys who copied African-American music,

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First Recording of Tiger Rag by The Original Dixieland Jazz Band

Jack Carey (1889-1934)

Trombonist Jack Carey was the older brother of Thomas “Pappa Mutt” Carey, the leader of the Crescent City Orchestra, and the author of perhaps the most

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Frank Duson

Frankie Dusen (1880-1940)

Frankie Dusen Jr. became the trombonist in Buddy Bolden‘s band in 1906 and took over the group after Bolden went insane in 1907. He re-named the group the Eagle Band after

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The Eagle Band 1916

The Eagle Band

The Eagle Band was a very important band in the history of Jazz. When Buddy Bolden went insane in 1907, Frankie Dusen took over Buddy Bolden’s Band and renamed it the

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Lucille Bogan

Lucille Bogan (1897-1948)

Hardcore might be the best way to describe the Blues singing of Lucille Bogan (April 1, 1897 – August 10, 1948). While many of the

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Irving Mills 1925

Irving Mills (1894-1985)

Irving Mills (January 16, 1894 – April 21, 1985) was born in New York City, in the Jewish ghetto on the East Side in 1894

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Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey (1886-1939)

Gertrude Pridgett was born into a showbiz family that performed in minstrel shows. She first appeared onstage in 1900, singing and dancing in minstrel and

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Superior Orchestra 1910

Peter Bocage (1887-1967)

Multi-instrumentalist Peter Bocage (31 July 1887 – 3 December 1967) was one of the great trumpeters in New Orleans history and ironically did not consider

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Jimmy Blythe (1901-1931)

Jimmy Blythe (1901-1931)

In 1915 Jimmy Blythe moved from his native Kentucky to Chicago. He was an accomplished musician and composer and found a great deal of work

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Jack Bland The Jazz Record

Jack Bland (1899-1968)

Banjoist and guitarist Jack Bland is best remembered as the banjoist for the Mound City Blue Blowers which he co-founded with Red McKenzie in St. Louis. By 1924 the

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Esther Bigeou (1923)

Esther Bigeou (1895-1936)

Blues singer Esther Bigeou  (c.1892 – November 15, 1936) was a cousin of drummer Paul Barbarin which made her part of one of the most musical

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Red McKenzie Bunny Berigan

McKenzie and Condon’s Chicagoans

Red McKenzie (1899-1948) and Eddie Condon: Profiles in Jazz Title Recording Date Recording Location Company China Boy (Dick Winfree / Phil Boutelje) 12-8-1927 Chicago, Illinois Okeh

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Bubber Miley

Bubber Miley (1903-1932)

Bubber Miley (April 3, 1903 – May 20, 1932) was the master of the plunger mute. His growling, drunken wah-wah sounding trumpet playing was largely

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The Washingtonians

The Washingtonians

In September of 1923 Elmer Snowden‘s Washington Black Sox Orchestra landed a six month gig at the Hollywood Club in Manhattan. After about three months

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Jimmy Bertrand

Jimmy Bertrand (1900-1960)

Percussionist and xylophonist Jimmy Bertrand (24 February 1900 – August 1960) moved to Chicago in 1913 and played in the State Theatre Orchestra before joining

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Vic Berton

Vic Berton (1898-1951)

The word child prodigy doesn’t even begin to describe Vic Berton who was playing drums in a Milwaukee pit orchestra at the age of seven.

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Paul_Whiteman-L29-1934

Paul Whiteman (1890-1967)

Paul Whiteman‘s Orchestra was the most popular band of the 1920s. They are also the most controversial to Jazz historians because Whiteman (March 28, 1890

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Brox Sisters

The Brox Sisters

The Brox Sisters were a close harmony vocal group of three sisters. They where born in Kentucky and Tennesse but grew up in Edmonton, Alberta,

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king-of-jazz

King of Jazz (1930)

This page by Dennis Pereyra: On October 23, 1928, a deal was made with Carl Laemmle and Nat Goldstone of Universal Studios for Paul Whiteman to

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Elmer Snowden

Elmer Snowden (1900-1973)

Elmer Snowden (October 9, 1900 – May 14, 1973) contributed greatly to jazz in its earlier days as both a player and a bandleader, and

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Don Redman and his Orchestra

Don Redman and his Orchestra

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company About Rip Van Winkle 1-17-1940 New York, New York Bluebird B-10615 After Sundown 11-14-1933 New York, New York Melotone

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Don Redman

Don Redman (1900-1964)

Don Redman is one of the first great jazz arrangers and was a pivotal figure in the development of Swing and the Big Band style

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Eddie Lang

Eddie Lang (1902-1933)

Eddie Lang was the first Jazz guitar virtuoso. A boyhood friend of Joe Venuti, Lang took violin lessons for 11 years but switched to guitar

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Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band

Earl Fuller’s New York Orchestra

For a band biography see entries for Earl Fuller’s Famous Jazz Band & Earl Fuller’s Rector Novelty Orchestra. Title Recording Date Recording Location Company Ain’t We

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Ted Lewis and his Band

Ted Lewis and his Band

Ted Lewis and his Band was one of the best selling Jazz bands of the 1920s and Lewis was Columbia Records best selling artist. Lewis got his start

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Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band

Earl Fuller’s Famous Jazz Band

By 1917 Earl Fuller led a society dance band at the popular Rector’s Restaurant in New York City called Earl Fuller’s Rector Novelty Orchestra. Their

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Ted Lewis

Ted Lewis (1890-1971)

Clarinetist Ted Lewis was born in Circleville, Ohio in 1890 and was playing leading bands in Ohio as early as 1910. Ted formed a musical

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Original Indiana Five

The Original Indiana Five

The Original Indiana Five were not from Indiana. Their name was an apparent attempt to sound like other bands of the day that had names

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Red McKenzie Bunny Berigan

Red McKenzie (1899-1948)

Red was the leader of the Mound City Blue Blowers, in which he played comb, kazoo, and sang. Later, he went on to play with the Paul

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Duke Ellington Ulriksen Caricature

Duke Ellington (1899-1974)

Duke Ellington brought a level of style and sophistication to Jazz that it hadn’t seen before. Although he was a gifted piano player, his orchestra

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Bessie Smith in 1924

Bessie Smith (1895-1937)

Bessie Smith was a rough, crude, violent woman. She was also the greatest of the classic Blues singers of the 1920s. Bessie started out as

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Barney-Bigard

Barney Bigard (1906-1980)

As a young man in New Orleans, Barney Bigard (March 3, 1906 – June 27, 1980) took clarinet lessons with Lorenzo Tio Jr. and Papa

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Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet (1897-1959)

Sidney Bechet was a child prodigy in New Orleans. He was such good clarinet player that, in his youth he was featured by some of

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danny-and-lu-barker

Danny Barker (1909-1994)

Guitarist and banjoist Danny Barker, a nephew of drummer Paul Barbarin, discovered his interest in music at an early age and was soon taking clarinet

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Roy Bargy in king of jazz

Roy Bargy (1894-1974)

Pianist Roy Bargy got his professional start accompanying films in silent movie houses in Toledo, Ohio. In 1919 he moved to Chicago and was hired

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Paul Barbarin

Paul Barbarin (1899-1969)

Paul Barbarin was from a musical family. His father Isidore was the leader of The Onward Brass Band, and all of his brothers were very

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Smith Ballew

Smith Ballew (1902-1984)

Smith Ballew was born in Palestine, Texas on January 21, 1902, the youngest of five children born to Mr. and Mrs. W.Y. Ballew. He studied

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Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker (1906-1975)

Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1906. When she was thirteen she dropped out of school left home and got married but

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Buster Bailey (1902-1967)

Buster Bailey (1902-1967)

Like many of the early Jazz musicians from Memphis, Tennessee, Buster Bailey got his start playing with W.C. Handy’s Orchestra. He toured with Handy from

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Lovie Austin with Alberta Hunter

Lovie Austin (1897-1972)

Lovie Austin (September 19, 1887 – July 8, 1972) was a popular and colorful figure of the 1920s Chicago Jazz and Blues scene. She was

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Sidney Arodin (1901-1948)

Sidney Arodin (1901-1948)

Clarinetist Sidney Arodin (March 29, 1901 – February 6, 1948)is best remembered to today as the writer of the song “Lazy River“. Oddly enough, although

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Lil Hardin Armstrong on August 27, 1971, at Chicago’s Civic Center

Lil Hardin-Armstrong (1898-1971)

Lil Hardin-Armstrong (February 3, 1898 – August 27, 1971)was the most prominent woman in early jazz. She played piano, composed, and arranged for most of

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Irving Aaronson's Crusaders

Irving Aaronson’s Crusaders

Irving Aaronson and his Crusaders is simply the early name of Aaronson‘s band, which may have existed as early as 1923. Aaronson upgraded their rank

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Irving Aaronson and his Commanders - 1934

Irving Aaronson and his Commanders

Irving Aaronson and his Commanders are remembered primarily today for their wonderful version of Cole Porter’s “Lets Misbehave“. The Commanders were one of the most popular

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Texas Alexander

Texas Alexander (1900-1954)

As his name implied, Blues singer Texas Alexander (September 12, 1900 – April 18, 1954) was from the Lone Star State. He started performing at

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Irving Aaronson

Irving Aaronson (1895-1963)

Irving Aaronson (February 7, 1895 – March 10, 1963) was a silent movie accompanist from childhood, and he may or may not have been related

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Grégor et ses Gregorians

Grégor et ses Gregorians

Grégor Kelekian was an Armenian dancer and singer who lead a Jazz band in Paris in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He is remembered

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A Rhapsody in Blah: Notes Concerning the Extraordinary Restoration of The King of Jazz

Jazz Films

There were a handful of short Jazz films made in the late 1920s and early 1930s. These films were usually one or two reelers, and

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St Louis Cotton Club Band 1925

Red Hot Bands

Most of the links in this table will take you to biographies and discographies for these artists on the Archive.org copy of the former Redhotjazz.com.

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jazz reference books

Jazz Essays

The essays on this page are hosted on the Archive.org Wayback Machine. Without express permission from the authors we are hesitant to migrate them in

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Kid Ory First Band

About the Archive

Look here to see the latest entries. Redhotjazz.com was a crown jewel of the early internet. Starting in the mid ’90s it made the offline

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Read More »

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