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 About the YouTube History of Music



Viola Fair is largely a lot of projects begun to abandonment with the exception of the music histories [*]. The histories began in latter 2011 with a few music links on the Internet page, which then required their own pages, which then were realized to be historical, which then became the goal of writing a history of musicians issuing vinyl by 1980, which then became 1970 because I got myself into deep water. One reason the histories were pursued was the discovery of so much at YouTube of amazing historical value, so I made it a cloud history with YouTube samples, putting the art and writing I was doing on a back burner. I then discovered the perils of music research, notably discography. To become a discographer wasn't in my plans when I naively thought to address a history of music. It can take hours to write three lines to some degree of satisfaction that one isn't entirely in error, of which I've made not a few which I'm sure yet exist. I've no doubt read some discography wrong here or there, and typos seem infinite along the way. Discographies began getting put together around World War II, upon the manufacture of 78s (V-discs: vinyl discs) which labels afforded little space for information (who is that on trombone?). Since that time it's been a bit like catalogue numbers in classical music, which were an endeavor to make sense of opus numbers, which practice had begun about the period of Haydn, but for various reasons had come to a mess more confusing than clarifying. That is, discographies were an attempt to fill in missing data, there little documentation made or kept in early recording, then organize the mess and correct the errors. That can be dauntingly frustrating even at this late date, so we can appreciate the enormous accomplishments of early discographers. Of minor relevant note, though technically wrong for earlier issues of brittle shellac, the word "vinyl" is sometimes used colloquially in the histories as a generic term for 'issue", 'release", "record" or "disc" even though records weren't made of vinyl until the 45 RPM and LP replaced the 78.

The YouTube cloud history is intended to cover musicians up to those whose debut recordings were issued by 1970. Currently in 5 sections of 39 chapters, it includes classical music from medieval to modern composers born to 1950 (therefore publishing to roughly 1970), blues music from inception to 1970, country music from inceptions (bluegrass, folk and country western) to 1970, jazz from early influences preceding ragtime through swing and modern to 1970, and rock music from inception (boogie woogie/R&B) to 1970. Tasks yet to be accomplished address composition. I'm presently in the Country phases of that, pairing it with research per Tony Russell's 'Country Music Discography 1921-1942'. Deadline is May 2018. The next step will be Rock paired with research per Disco File (Fernando Gonzalez). The long haul through composition in Jazz will then be driven (having largely employed Lord's Disco to present point for greater authority with discographical data). Deadline for the totality is 2020.

Photographs of musicians were chosen according to a simple system to make them as random, thus impartial, as possible, to help keep me out of it. The websites to which they link, however, are necessarily not random. Each website to which we link has been inspected and carefully considered. Are they, for example, safe? Do they provide more than cookies on computers? Do they load within this lifetime without browsing interference? Such, etc., are big concerns, as there are countless websites containing only just enough content to call them such and/or not existing to purposes expressed to search engines (generally money to be gotten less than well). Be as may, it's hoped that choosing photos randomly has lent a vaster range of information, personality, color and culture from about the globe via linking, while at once maintaining anchor with more significant sites in the music field. (Be it said that we link to nothing for political or religious reasons.) The number of times we point to the same website is to some degree a measure of the significance of that site, albeit a number of the websites on which these histories have been heavily dependent are poorly represented, if at all, by photo sources. (See below for the elephants in discographical data and musical information on the internet.) As we wish links from this site to be an education in themselves per the global musical zeitgeist, as well as represent various aspects of music on the internet, we don't link to sites only because they have images, though in a few instances that occurs upon there being only one source for that particular randomly chosen photo. A few sites aren't 100% relevant to a music history, but they had the random photo, such apparently the more rarely published on the internet. Other sources were chosen per an equation between significance and variety with emphasis on musically historical relevance and/or substantial content per website as a whole. Some sources we're not real crazy about. Others are reference sites and/or otherwise of considerable quality which may not have been discovered without random process. Incidentally, Chrome quickly translates foreign pages into English with a right click on the page. As well, a huge image source on the internet is Getty Images, acknowledged less than more. In the course of these histories we've noticed Getty on an image branding campaign. We don't use branded images nor Getty's in especial, but innumerable photos on this site are property of Getty. For any and all mentions, as well as those missed or unknown, we credit Getty Images here once and for all.

At the top of each page artists are listed in alphabetical order. They are listed below that in chronological order by the year the artist is first found on disc ("vinyl"), alphabetical thereafter per year. Pages descend per their chronological charts. Release dates are guide albeit such is not always possible, recording dates to substitute. Classical composers are listed by birth rather than release dates. Performance or publishing dates may substitute for composition dates. Tracks per artist entry are listed in chronological order by year, then alphabetically by title (not by month or date). Classical tracks, however, are listed alphabetically by title, (not in order chronologically). Also per Classical, years at listing headers attempt to date years during which the musician was (possibly) actively composing in some manner. They are broadly circa and largely, though not exclusively, disregard childhood (juvenilia), but may account for unknown works, published or not, in early adulthood, college or study. End dates assume most composers were yet working at the time of their deaths excepting unique cases known otherwise.

We've discovered most YouTube dates to be amazingly correct, considering the high number of them. Our dates will nevertheless often differ from those at YouTube per recording versus release dates, etc.. (A song, for example, that was released in 1957 and reissued, rather than rerecorded, on a 1961 album at YouTube will still receive a '57 date in the history.) As it is impossible to check whether every YouTube date is per session or issue, not a few release dates may be undistinguished from recording dates. As that can make a big difference we endeavor the distinction on more significant recordings but can't check them all. Such as album covers and record labels may vary as well between this site and YouTube. That is, they are recordings, not data, to which the histories point (albeit data discovered on YouTube channels has on occasion been indispensable). Something might have been recorded on Decca, for example, that can't be found except on a much later release by another label: whatever it takes to get what's needed listed.

Our object is to follow each band's or musician's career, often spanning genres, decades, sometimes eras. Popularity (such as hit songs) is represented, though at some sacrifice to breadth, each upon the priority of finding the earliest possible recordings. Live performances are dated at the time of the performance, though the artist may have recorded the song years earlier. Where dates are too early for recording, or recordings are missing, more recent musicians or versions may substitute (more obviously the case with Classical). In rare cases a website other than YouTube may be used.

Some of the things we juggle for inclusion in the history:

1. Sound quality. Which often cannot be helped, but those with the software can make adjustments. (We ourselves, like most, are not so equipped.) Howsoever, both mono recordings and better sounding stereo versions may be listed per occasion. High quality remasters are also appreciated. Sometimes we're very lucky to find anything at all; sometimes there's so much that entries need be severely limited.

2. Basic information. Unless we already know the date or it is significant enough to hunt down, YouTube postings without recording or release dates are the most likely to be passed up. Some musicians or bands have countless recordings at YouTube. Since these histories need be condensed YouTube postings without dates sometimes become an editing tool. A whole lot of postings at YouTube are simply to share. Nor do I date everything that I simply share. But for the purposes of this website I've a necessary bias toward sources more involved. I've also something of a prejudice toward videos showing labels, particularly of more obscure titles, since I've too much to do to post images of plates or link to such in texts. Data's not so much a criterion after that, though whatever like a catalogue number or member of a band might get a YouTube post found by me. Rare information illuminating the obscure is also appreciated, more so than loads of information obtainable somewhere else, though we do note postings with a lot of work put into them relative to those with less. All else equal, maybe an image of a record label beats another photograph in terms of documentation. But since few go to YouTube for that sort of information, often documented elsewhere, maybe lyrics with a collage might supersede that, or something artistic even moreso. Who knows. Be as may, albeit YouTube postings have served invaluably in piecing obscure information together, we generally point to YouTune for audio and video samples rather than data beyond the basic.

3. Presentation: cutting off songs halfway through is always and in every case a no go. Early in this history we didn't recognize that such was actually done. I doubt we've yet uprooted them all but they are rare. Likewise, we can't include such as concert footage that begins, of a sudden, ten bars into a song.

4. All else equal, who do the least advertising on their channel always gain preference. We hardly dislike advertising in itself (some is quite good) and in various ways makes these histories possible (though there is none on this website). But it's the everywhere constantly-in-your-face, gonna-bug-you glut of it all without measure to which we take exception. You can't rest your cursor on a webpage without accidentally tapping an advertisement. Then you've got the especially masonic sort who after you x out of one advertisement they instantly block you with yet another. I place that type of insistent advertising on a level with phishing, scams, product "reviews" and rip-offs. It's worthless since the only thing I note, beyond brick upon brick of blockage of vision, is the x. Why don't I just move to Walmart and live in total darkness like a tell-tale heart? Pink Floyd can do the soundtrack: "We don't need no advertisement..." I especially like the scene in which I'm reading along quietly and am suddenly blasted through brick, concrete and steel rebar by an audio ad. I wear a helmet when I use the internet for fast exits. (The YouTube volume bar hasn't worked for ages. With a range of two choices between full blast or none why not simply have an On/Off button? The advertisements, of course, will be as loud as possible, way above any volume one might set.) Be as may, it is needful that people be able to use the histories with as little interference as possible.

5. We do endeavor to select the best YouTube presentations, knowing at once that we fail in that due that we can't search or compare exhaustively. Sometimes it's a minor detail, sometimes just dumb luck. Though perfection is to index titles individually we oft economize with such as albums, medleys, suites, 45s with both flip sides. That is, if some song isn't listed it may be on an album that is to avoid repetition. If a track is virtually the same on two different channels we try to list the older for reason of proper credit, particularly if there is no improvement in audio quality. All to say that we try to be fair but don't have forever. Howsoever, selections are per various particular needs. We keep track repetition to a minimum due to space limits. Something missing may be because it's already on that page or in another section, that way to represent the more otherwise. A good example of that is Billie Holiday and Teddy Wilson, their recordings together split between them rather than listing all twice. No telling how many other tracks on which some musician might be found via cross referencing, find, search, accident, ferry or fairy wand. Be as may, we're continually amazed at the more obscure material discovered at YouTube, otherwise lost to the world. In other cases like Beethoven or the Rolling Stones there's so much material that selection becomes a larger issue.

6. I don't suppose it can be helped that the history is a kind of 'The Best of YouTube'. That happens naturally, without intention, upon organization. Such as cylinder recordings made prior to the turn of the 20th century most definitely rate 'The Best of YouTube', with not a few others in these histories for any number of reasons. As well, the history is to some degree a musical rating system according to YouTube (a little like Billboard and Nielsen combined), edited by myself with emphasis on cultural and historical value. However, as a sort of YouTube rating system, such is qualified in that much that is popular at YouTube, or elsewhere, gets sacrificed to the more diverse or obscure. There is a little lessoning of major for sake of breadth. As for the numberless fine videos created at YouTube, into which people have put a lot of effort, we definitely note such. While audio takes precedence videos now and then substitute, especially if there is no lack for good audio but the video is premium.

7. The need to condense is the only reason many fine documentaries are not listed. That's a little ironic with a history, but it's a history of music rather than interviews or long narrations. Such are conceivable to append in some way in the future, but at present not listing such helps us keep within bounds.

8. Finally, MP4 is the format. Compatibility per who burn discs is the reason. AVIs and such present problems of inconsistency requiring special attention. There are a few of such yet in the history, due placing them before I recognized that. However, if something like an AVI is compellingly significant without alternative it may be included.

This page was made largely to thank the many great people at YouTube, without whom this educational device would obviously not be possible, for all the work they've made for me. The histories are but an archive of what each of thousands of music lovers at YouTube have already done, to me. As it is entirely dependent on the generosity and stability of YouTube channels that get censored, come and go or rearrange things, thus a faulty link occurs every so often. We try to avoid links that are meant to be temporary but it happens. It sometimes seems that the faster we made additions the faster they disappeared (like the next day - it's happened). During our last link check ages ago we discovered missing links on a couple occasions that were the result of a musician's management requesting them to be removed. By this time (2017) management and others have pretty much sifted what will be on YouTube and what won't, at least in comparison to 2013. Be as may, who knows: Will this "cloud" history have remained largely intact a decade from now? Perhaps we'll see. If it's like my ride it will rust away.

We've obviously a few extraordinary musicians to thank as well, whose gifts this library helps to preserve for the ears of much of the world. What can make life a whole lot better - music - oughtn't simply vanish from the majority on Earth who can in no way afford concert tickets. Howsoever, we early recognized the problem of "Free Music!" at YouTube whilst at once aiming for a legitimate history via the same. On the other hand, some who use this history next go some place like Amazon and make a purchase. We're glad if that comes to some kind of a win-win that shows Viola fair. I myself make no money and promote nothing on this website to that purpose.

We also thank Google which brings us YouTube. (Though it likely doesn't need to be said, Viola Fair isn't associated with YouTube in any way. We've an account with which we've done nothing.) I'm certain most are aware that Google pays big money for a good portion of what is freely available at YouTube. I've no estimate how much shorter this history would be if it didn't, but it would be a big bite. I think (I recall, good luck) it was about December of 2013 that YouTube began an aggressive campaign against copyrighted material that left many a bad connect. So many broken links resulted that we considered ceasing. That may or may not have assisted with the problem of a cloud history subject to evaporating links. Piano pieces by Nat King Cole come to mind at the moment. The removal of those from YouTube was like losing Goldilocks' just-right bowl. Not a few significant tracks have disappeared from the history with the disappearance of channels as well. Be as may, we've also Google to thank for an all-important website search bar.

Other than not every YouTube date distinguished between recording and release, the major fault of this history is that we've not pursued it in the more scholarly manner of citing every source of information per every occurrence. I worked on the history for well over a year with no serious intent. I was at first content with Wikipedia and All Music until I discovered dates not jiving. I then had the choice of wasting the history or digging into discographies. Even now such as "first recording dates" is appropriately qualified by "to the best of my knowledge" or the discography being used. I've been continually embarrassed by some huge hasty errors. I remember placing a photo of Ted Heath, the Prime Minister, instead of the bandleader, for instance. Howsoever, we can't possibly cite every source of a bit this, a bit that, by which we've arrived to some finally agreeable conclusion. That is, many the source of an invaluable bit of information got lost along the path of labyrinthine research. Whatsoever the error of our ways, our major sources have been:

Wikipedia. Which significance certainly matches ancient libraries (Alexandria, etc.). The histories have been five to six years in the making. Begun at truck stops with wi-fi, it would have taken forever at a library. What we've done in several brief years is the result of what others have spent lifetimes untangling. Howsoever, while it's true that Wikipedia requires verification, so does Britannica and, for that matter, every authoritative source to which we've referred. Sometimes an inquiry gets so many differing answers, if any, that when two sources agree it can throw you from your chair.

All Music has been heavy duty to 20th century history, especially with bios and reviews. God knows how much of this history was assisted by authors at All Music such as Bill Dahl, Scott Yanow, et al. Being our initial main source with Wikipedia, All Music was our spearhead reference site and remains a major source. Discogs has been a major source for dates together with heavy use of 45cat, both indispensable. Other major sources for dates in general include Global Dog Productions, American Music, Rate Your Music and Second Hand Songs (modern vocalists). Particularly helpful with later jazz have been All About Jazz and Jazz Times. Particularly helpful with songwriting credits have been allmusic, wikipedia, 45worlds, 45cat, discogs, secondhandsongs and australiancharts.

The Classical section simply wouldn't be without the Petrucci Music Library. Bach Cantatas helped us tie things together not a little.

Modern jazz sections would be a joke without the Jazz Discography Project (Walter Bruyninckx). Red Hot Jazz Archives has also been of considerable assistance. Elemental to jazz is Tom Lord's Discography, not unhelpful in blues and rock as well. The histories were first written without Lord's assistance, doing it the hard way to avoid tunnel vision by forcing exploration of the vaster array of sources. Also since that time Brian Rust's huge discography, 'Jazz Records 1897–1942', Sixth Edition, has become public domain for personal or institutional use at Mainspring Press. Years 1897-1942 in PDF. Years 1917-1934 in Word.

As for charts: Billboard and Music VF. Nigh all chart information in Rock is per the latter. Needing to condense, the length of time songs remained on charts isn't usually pursued. That information is easily available at Music VF, among the most remarkable of our sources, listing charts since 1900.

Of major assistance to British recording has been British Modern Jazz.

Our Doo Wop section wouldn't be without Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks, Soulful Kinda Music (Dave Rimmer 'The Rare Soul Bible') and DOO WOP. Goldberg is a contributor to Ferdie Gonzales' Disco-File, an R&B discography worth considerably more than its cost. An ancient version of Word will open its doc files.

Other very helpful sites, with country and otherwise (rock), have been Praguefrank's Country Music Discographies, Rockin' Country Style, Roland Note, BlackCat Hall of Fame, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, ROCKY 52 and Wangdangdula.

Another major contributor is Zarzuela per early Latin music.

Jazz Discography (Michael Fitzgerald) is connected with databases made with BRIAN that have clarified matters on numerous occasions. BRIAN is a program used by professional discographers that people with old record collections might use as well.

Both The Guardian and New York Times have been frequently consulted.

As well as Marc Myers. "Jazzwax" got written into many a search just to see what Myers might have to say about whatever.

We've done rather a lot of squinting and zooming throughout the history at Google Books. We can't recall every author but we've seen a lot of Scott Yanow (All Music, etc.). Google Books also made available such as 'The Rough Guide to Jazz', 'Goldmine Record Album Price Guide', 'Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records 1948-1991', 'Goldman Price Guide to 45 RPM Records' (Martin Popoff), 'Noise Uprising' (Michael Denning), 'The Dawn of Indian Music in the West' (Peter Lavezzoli), 'Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia', 'Synth Gods' (Ernie Rideout) and 'The Modern Language Reveiw Vol III'. We haven't had to squint at 'Gumbo Drums' by John MacCalkies, 'The Rise of the National Jazz Tradition in Sweden' by David Tenenholtz, 'Boston Composers Project' (Ed: Linda Solow), 'Jazz and Death' by Frederick Spencer, 'The John Coltrane Reference' by Lewis Porter, 'The Music of Michael Nyman' (Pwyll ap Sion). 'All Music Guide to the Blues' (Carp), 'Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music' (McNeil), 'American Singing Groups: A History from 1940 to Today' (Jay Warner), 'Encyclopedia of Rhythm and Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups' (Mitch Rosalsky), 'Goldmine Standard Catalogue of American Music 1950-90' (Thompson), or the 'Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music' (currently lost). Speaking of Goldmine, peruse some expensive records.

In addition to those not already mentioned, not a few of the websites below have been downright indispensible to the histories and some used extensively. A few others which we've not used have been included due their notability:

45 Worlds  (78 rpm)   706 Union Avenue
AB Fable Archive    Adale    Amazon (reviews)    Amoeba    Andalucia    And The Conductor Is    Attic Toys
BB10K    BBC    Bean Benders    Be Bop Wino    BlackPast    Boija    Both Sides Now    Brazilian Music    Britannica (particularly classical)    The British Sound
CBN    Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University    Choro Music    Chrome Oxide    Classic Bands    Classic Country Lyrics    CMT    Noal Cohen    The Concert Database    Concert Vault    Concord Music Group    Cultural Equity
Dangerous Minds    De Flamenco    Discaholic Corner    The Discographer    Discography of American Historical Recordings    Doug Payne Sound Insights     Downtown Music Gallery    Drummerworld
EFI (European Free Improvisation)    Enciclopedia del Jazz    Encyclopedia Com    Stian Erikson    ESP-DISK
Fiddler Magazine    The Flamenco Experience    Flat International    Free Form    Free Jazz Research    Fresh Sound Records    Funky 16 Corners    Funky Czech-In
Getty Images    Ghana Web    Gibson    Grape Wrath    Guitar Music    Guitars 101
George Harrison    Andrey Henkin    Hep Cat    The History of Rock n Roll     Honking Duck (78 rpm)    Hymnary
IMDb    International Jazz Productions    Internet Archive    IsraBox    iTunes
Jackojazz    Jazz Archeology    Jazz @ the Albert    Jazz Discographies    Jazz Documentation    Jazz History Database    Jazz House    Jazz - Improvised Music    Jazzlists    Jazzology    Jazz Portal (Джаз-портал)    Jazz Realities    JSTOR    Just Gospel
Hitoshi Katta    Gene Krupa
Last FM    Library of Congress     The Louisiana Weekly
Malaco    Michael Minn    Michigan Rock and Roll Legends    MIG    MTV    Musica Brasiliensis    The Musicians' Olympus    Music Sales Classical    mymusicbase
Naxos    Never Stop Singing    New York Downtown Scene
Oldies Com   The Online Discographical Project (78 rpm)    Organissimo    Orkester Journalen
Percussive Arts Society    Peter Losin    Pittsburgh Music History    Pledge    Polskie Radio    Pop History Dig    Portela Web    Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music
Rag Piano    Record Connexion    Red Saunders Research Foundation    Re Structures    Rockabilly Hall of Fame    Rock On Vinyl    Rolling Stone    Roots World    Royal Family
Sabotage Times    Sax On The Web    Piero Scaruffi    Schott    Setlist    Seven45Rpm    Smithsonian    Songkick (concerts)   Songwriters Hall of Fame    Soul Tracks    Soul Walking    Sunnyside Records    Allan Sutherland    Svanga-Benga
Take Your Time! (ごゆっくりどうぞ!)    Tinfoil (cylinders)    Top Twenty Club    tradjazzradio
University of California Press
Vamos a Guarachar!    Verve Music Group
Way Back Attack    White Doo Wop Collector    Who Is the Monk    World Cat    The World of Marion-Net E-zines (big deal)

God knows how long this list of credits should be, even as I've necessarily concentrated it. I've not, for example, included the websites of most individual artists or groups unless they contained substantial discographies beyond their own. Though such are at times excellent sources, they generally aren't designed for discographical or historical reasons. Nor could one hope to list the host of individual authors per various websites above. As for countless other credits lacking, I don't know what to say but admit that, yeah, someone got into the cake and I've got frosting on my face.


YouTube History of Music


Group & Last Name Index to Full History:



Early Blues 1: Guitar

Early Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 1: Guitar

Modern Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 3: Black Gospel Appendix


Medieval - Renaissance


Galant - Classical

Romantic: Composers born 1770 to 1840

Romantic - Impressionist

Expressionist - Modern

Modern: Composers born 1900 to 1950




Country Western


Early Jazz 1: Ragtime - Bands - Horn

Early Jazz 2: Ragtime - Other Instrumentation

Early Jazz 3: Ragtime - Song - Hollywood

Swing Era 1: Big Bands

Swing Era 2: Song

Modern 1: Saxophone

Modern 2: Trumpet - Other Horn

Modern 3: Piano

Modern 4: Guitar - Other String

Modern 5: Percussion - Other Orchestration

Modern 6: Song

Modern 7: Latin

Modern 8: United States 1960 - 1970

Modern 9: International 1960 - 1970

Rock & Roll

Early - Boogie Woogie - R&B - Soul

Doo Wop

The Big Bang - Fifties American Rock

UK Beat

British Invasion

Total War - Sixties American Rock

Other Musical Genres - Popular Music Appendix

Musician Indexes

Classical - Medieval to Renaissance

Classical - Baroque to Classical

Classical - Romantic to Modern

The Blues

Bluegrass - Folk

Country Western

Jazz Early - Ragtime - Swing Jazz

Jazz Modern - Horn

Jazz Modern - Piano - String

Jazz Modern - Song - Latin - Percussion - Other

Jazz Modern 1960 - 1970

Boogie Woogie - Doo Wop - R&B - Rock & Roll - Soul - Disco

UK Beat - British Invasion

Sixties American Rock - Popular

Latin Recording - Europe

Latin Recording - The Caribbean - South America


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