According to their website, the Great 78 Project “is a community project for the preservation, research and discovery of 78rpm records.”
IFrom about 1898 to the 1950s, an estimated 3 million sides (~3 minute recordings) have been made on 78rpm discs. While the commercially viable recordings will have been restored or remastered onto LP’s or CD, there is still research value in the artifacts and usage evidence in the often rare 78rpm discs and recordings. Already, over 20 collections have been selected by the Internet Archive for physical and digital preservation and access. Started by many volunteer collectors, these new collections have been selected, digitized and preserved by the Internet Archive, George Blood LP, and the Archive of Contemporary Music.
Many of the records that have been preserved are being digitized in Philadelphia, by George Blood at George Blood Audio/Video/Film/Data in Chestnut Hill. An international acclaimed preservationist, producer, and engineer, Blood was the recording engineer for the Philadelphia Orchestra for 21 years, and has worked as a producer at WFMT in Chicago.
While there are hundreds of thousands of songs preserved from 78 vinyl records in the Great 78 project, Blood has preserved a wide range of musical sides as part of the project including gospel music. You can listen to the entire collection of songs digitized by George Blood here. Below, listen to some of the gospel songs in the collection.
Just A Little Talk With Jesus by the Humbard Family
Lift Every Voice by The Southern Sons
Nearer To Thee by Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers
Jezebel by The Golden Gate Quartet
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child by Marian Anderson
This article was written for WXPN’s GOSPEL ROOTS OF ROCK AND SOUL.
GOSPEL ROOTS OF ROCK AND SOUL has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.