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

Paul Barbarin

Paul Barbarin (1899-1969)

Paul Barbarin (May 5, 1899 – February 17, 1969) was from a musical family. His father Isidore was the leader of The Onward Brass Band,

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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 (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. When she was thirteen she dropped out of school left

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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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