Attention music historians, arrangers, and lovers of old-timey music! The Jack Baird library of old songs (in mp3 format) are back online after a too-long hiatus. This online archive was temporarily lost during some server reshuffling several years ago, but has been restored to the BHS web site as a part of our recent upgrades. (Thank you, Eddie Holt!!)
This simple list of over 900 songs from the early 1900s is just that... a server with directory browsing turned on, but it provides a place to explore the archive and will make it easy enough to click around and listen. These are not barbershop arrangements or performances, but rather the original versions of many beloved songs with vocalists and instrumentation that of course gave rise to many of the current arrangements we know and love. Most are digitized recordings from the original vinyl, so enjoy that vintage sound!
If you're an arranger looking for inspiration in the form of public domain material to be 'shopped, then bookmark this site. Hidden gems are sure to be discovered.