The emergence of the record industry had a powerful impact on popular music, carrying songs and styles across national borders and pushing innovation in unexpected directions. These early recordings can sound very strange, since the technology was limited, and most of the genres we are used to did not yet exist.
This website provides multiple paths into this sonic world, revealing new perspectives on the history of this period.
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Check out the musical categories that accounted for many of the recordings sold in this period.
Some of these performers are still famous today. Many more you’ve never heard of, though they sold hundreds of thousands of records.