Music Sources

There are, of course, many places to buy (or freely download) recorded music, especially if you live in a large city. This is a list of specialized sources you may not have heard of. We have bought from many of them and have received good value (and some very interesting music).

In alphabetical order.
Last Updated: 30 December 2010

Acoustic Sounds, Kansas. One hundred plus page catalog of LPs, CDs, SACDs, and DVD-Audio. Order online at, phone 800-716-3553, FAX 785-825-0156 or write to PO Box 1905, Salina, KS 67402-1905.

AIX Records, California. This company specializes in making remastered, high-resolution recordings released as 24/96 DVD-Audio discs. That is, 24-bits at 96 k samples/second with some 24-bit, 192 k samples/second tracks. Very nice 14-page printed catalog (as of July 2004) or go online at

Angels On The Backroads, Mississippi.
Brothers Eddie and Frank Thomas spent several years researching and then recording blues music along Mississippi's famed Blues Highway, Highway 61. Please click here to read an interesting article on their project and the resulting four-CD compilation.

Archeophone Records, Illinois. A collection of CD's restored from early cylinder and disc recordings from the 1890's into the 1920's. Printed catalog or online at

Arkiv Music. Specializing in classical music. Stock CD's, DVD's and "on demand" CD's which are out-of-print recordings reissued under license from the original record labels. Click here to read a one-page review published in the January 2011 issue of The Absolute Sound.

Audio Ideas Guide, Canada. Andrew Marshall, the editor and publisher also has a top-quality recording studio. You can get CD info online at

Audiophile International. A source for hard to find LP records. Search their database online by performer, record label or type of music.

AudioXpress. A few specialty CDs such as "Sounds Cylindrical," a unique collection of music recorded on cylinders between 1900 and 1929.

Beautiful Music Company, New York State.
Specializes in CD and cassette tape releases of 1950s, 60s and 70s popular music. Very reasonable prices and also very slow service. Allow about two months between placing your order and receiving it. Customer service never answers email so don't waste your time trying, just phone 631-261-2254 to request a catalog or inquire about an order. You can also order online at Postage is free if you order two or more items but I had trouble getting that to work with an online order.

CD Baby, Portland, Oregon.
These folks advertise themselves as "a little CD store with the best new independent music." Categories include: Blues, Classical, Country, Easy Listening, Electronic, Folk, Jazz, New Age, Pop, Rock and others. They also claim they add about 150 new CDs every day. You can view titles and descriptions as well as play tracks and order online at or you can phone them at 1-800-448-6369.

Chequamegon Music, Montana. Specializes in CD releases of the acoustic guitar music of Steve Eckels. Online info at

Hawthorn's Antique Audio. Quarterly record auction that includes 78's, 45's, 33's and cylinders. Auction lists are by subscription or you can get a free pdf listing by email. 244 Folsom Road, Roseville, CA 95678. 916-773-4727. or visit their website at

HDTracks specializes in high-definition (mostly 96 kHz, 24-bit flac and aiff files) music downloads. Popular, jazz, classical, etc. Their website has full search capability and a download link is promptly provided as soon as they process your credit card info.

Jazz Record Mart, Illinois. Specializing in out-of-print jazz LP's as well as new CD's, DVD's and cassette tapes. Their Catalog is available at as a downloadable pdf (about 10MB) or you can request a printed version.

Mapleshade, Maryland. A recording studio in the Maryland countryside that specializes in a wide variety of music "not found in record stores." This includes Bluebrass, Traditional Blues, Big Band, Mellow Jazz and others. All recordings are mastered on reel-to-reel tape but this seems of limited value for producing standard CD's. However, with a high-quality master, the studio could easily release the music on DVD-Audio or SACD. Currently there are over a hundred CD's in their catalog. You can request a nice printed catalog or visit them online at

Music Direct, Illinois. Over 50 pages of recorded music in their 2005 general catalog: LPs, CDs, SACDs, DVD-A and DVD-V. Order online at, phone 800-449-8333, FAX 312-433-0011 or write to 318 N. Laflin Street, Chicago, IL 60607-1006.

Nauck's Vintage Records, Texas. These folks specialize in 78 RPM records and the equipment and supplies to enjoy listening to them. The have periodic record auctions and their printed catalogs are collectors items. Their current auction catalog, as well as a lot of other stuff is online at Or you can write to them at 22004 Sherrod Lane, Spring, TX 77389-4539, or phone them at 281-288-7826.

Prairie Music Records. Specializes in CD (and some cassette) releases of "oldtime country music" primarily as played by Bob and Sheila Everhart. Online info at

Rees Carillon. If you enjoy bell music you may want to check the online store at the Rees Memorial Carillon located in Washington Park, Springfield, Illinois. They have several CD's as well as some interesting books. You can't order online but you can print an order form and mail it to them with your check or money order. Visit them at

Sparta Old Time Radio. Mark Farmer has been collecting radio programs from the 1930s to the 1960s for many years. He has made them available for download (for a small fee) on his very interesting website which includes a lot of other useful information. This is his hobby so he isn't in it to make money -- the fees really are low. Please give him a visit at

Stereophile Magazine. Their online store offers a number of CD's, SACD's, and LP's which you won't find anywhere else. Some are awesome so they deserve a look. To find the online store go to the bottom of their home page and click "Recordings". (There are other ways to get there, but this is the easiest way I've found.) You can find them at

University of California, Santa Barbara, library.

This short article is quoted from the May 2006 issue of Nuts and Volts magazine.

The library at the University of California, Santa Barbara ( recently opened up a website that offers thousands of digitized Edison cylinder recordings, making a little-known era of recorded sound (the mid 1890s to the mid 1920s) broadly accessible to scholars and the public for the first time. The height of the cylinder record’s popularity was over 90 years ago and unlike 78-rpm and LP recordings, they have not been widely reissued in modern formats.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services – a federal agency – the library has created a new and growing digital collection of more than 6,000 cylinder recordings from its Department of Special Collections. The new online collection allows users to download digitized versions of thousands of cylinder recordings to their computers and MP3 players or to listen to the recordings online.

You can download streams of programs in groups arranged around a theme, including cakewalks and rags, German comic cylinders, American Vaudeville, early black artists and composers, operatic cylinders, pioneers of audio theater and historical speeches. All you have to do is visit Best of all, it’s free.

Voyager Recordings and Publications. CD's, cassettes and a few books of primarily "oldtime fiddle music." Online info at

To suggest sites to add to this list: