Do not go to YouTube if you value your life. There is too much there and yes, you will be enriched, but your laundry will never happen. Amazingly, there’s even lots of content for people like me who obsess about pre-war era acoustic guitar blues. I just found this insane channel where someone even more obsessed with guitar blues than me has uploaded hundreds of ragtime guitar and other blues recordings from the golden era of what are called ‘race recordings, –recordings of African-american performers that were made in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, primarily for sale to northern black urban communities nostalgic for their southern homes.
Calling himself ‘Ragtime Dorian Henry‘, this person has taken over 1800 such recordings, made them into video soundtracks and placed a still image which appears as the tune plays. You can listen to it all in playlists. It’s an incredible educational resource for anyone interested in finding out about authentic, early 20th century blues. This YouTube channel‘ has a focus on ragtime and ragtime guitar, but also explores the blues thoroughly, with plenty of attention to the piedmont blues. There’s a lot of material here and I’m finding all kinds of stuff I’ve never heard or haven’t heard in years, as my vinyl collection died decades ago and I can’t hold on to CDs to save my life. Dorian is a teenager from France who has been doing research on the blues, and is doing what he considers a public service “sharing this music with the whole world”.
This collection‘ is growing currently with new videos showing up continually, so who knows how big it will get?