With so many great mp3s in our collection, we understand you might have a problem figuring out where to start. That’s why we created “Classics,” a list of our favorite public domain mp3. Scroll down for the player to enjoy this playlist!

Big Bill Broonzy – “How You Want It Done”

In his long career, Big Bill Broonzy wrote and copyrighted over 300 songs. Many were original, some were adaptations of folk songs in the oral tradition. You can hear in this early Broonzy recording of “How You Want It Done,” the seeds of rock and roll guitar playing which would later sprout in the hands of Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and many others in the 1950’s. We’re fortunate to have a nice clean digital copy to enjoy today.

Ma Rainey – “Slave To The Blues”

When you read the words “slave to the blues,” it doesn’t compare to how it sounds and feels when Ma Rainey sings this song. You can imagine her holding her heart in chains during this dreary memory. It’s another way to say endless heart ache.

Blind Blake, “Diddie Wa Diddie

blind-blake-100Blind Blake was born Arthur Blake in Jacksonville Florida. During Blind Blake’s prosperous career he recorded over 75 cuts for the Paramount label. “Diddie Wa Diddie” shows off Blind Blake’s distinctive vocal and guitar rhythm. This song was later covered by Ry Cooder and Hot Tuna. I only wish somebody would tell me what “Diddie Wa Diddie” means.

Scott Joplin – “The Entertainer

Only one of the greatest and most famous piano works of all time, here is Scott Joplin‘s “The Entertainer,” as performed by the American composer himself. More than stand the test of time, this unforgettable theme has become part of the very DNA of popular music, rediscovered by every generation since its conception. From its first run as a piano roll hit, through a chart topping radio resurgence in 1974 (precipitated by a prominent use in the hit Paul Newman / Robert Redford movie The Sting), to its ubiquitous presence on the loudspeakers of ice cream trucks the world over, this piece is synonymous with joy and fun.

Dick Justice,”Cocaine

Cocaine” by Dick Justice is a lighthearted account of the effects that drug addiction can have on life. Originally written and recorded by Luke Jordan in 1927, Justice, re-made his own version of the song blending a little folk with some blues and speeding up the tempo to give it a foot tapping effect. While he may have only recorded ten songs in his career, he may be one of the few 1920s folk/blues artists to have an animated video of his song on You Tube.

Ed Meeker, “Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Edward MeekerThe World Series always makes me think of Ed Meeker and his classic song “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” on Edison recordings. What a chorus! Next year is this songs 100th anniversary. People everywhere still sing it. Now that’s popular music! This version is ripped from a 78rpm recording, but the quality and gusto of Ed’s voice resonates magnificently. Remember, it’s “1, 2, 3, strikes you’re out at the old ball game!”

13 Comments

  • I want to know if all the music on this site is copyright free, and free to use? I added a song to a youtube video that I got here, and they have challenged me saying its owned by some company. Am I going to get into trouble now because I believed your site is what it says it is?

    • Dear Judy,

      The music here is free to listen to and download. To synch this music to video is a separate right, that you must research on your own. Please don’t rely on our research because it’s different for listening and downloading.

  • I want it all. I have been looking for more of the music of this time period. I was just cruising around looking for public domain music.

    • Have at it Michael! LOVE your site! Taj Mahal doing “All Along The Watchtower” = priceless! Cheers, Eric

  • Eric, You do not understand. I am starting an internet radio station and I literally want it all. Do you have a mass upload deal where I can get as many as I can at one time? I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off so I really do not have the time to do it all one track at a time.

    • Oh I see! Well no, actually, can’t help you there. Best I can suggest is download ‘em one by one.

  • Does anyone know of any good Mexican music that is in public domain? Would love to know if you guys have something in this archive. Open to hear some suggestions. Thanks,

  • Every African American kid should get on this site, they have such a rich heritage of wonderful music.

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