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Various Artists, Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1891-1922 (2005)

This collection, featuring pioneering African-American recording artists and musicians (as well as Booker T. Washington's Atlanta Exposition Speech), showcases the distinctive styles of post-Civil War music and offers a powerful perspective on the early recording industry.

Various Artists, The 1890s, Volume 1: "Wipe Him Off the Land" (2001)

With songs including the Edison Male Quartet's "My Old Kentucky Home," J.W. Myers' "The New Bully," and Edward Favor's "I Guess I'll Have to Telegraph My Baby," this collection hints at the rapidly changing physical, technological, and cultural landscapes of the old American frontier. The accompanying booklet, complete with old photographs and historical essays, help illustrate the decade in which each of these tracks were recorded.

Various Artists, The 1890s, Volume 2: "Wear Yer Bran' New Gown" (2002)

Volume 2 of Archeophone's series on the 1890s offers thirty original recordings from the decade that witnessed the Chicago World's Fair, Plessy v. Ferguson, and the Spanish-American War.

Various Artists, 1915: "They'd Sooner Sleep on Thistles" (2007)

This collection from the Archeophone series features sweet love tunes like Cambell and Burr's "Close to My Heart," as well as songs such as "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier" and "Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts for Soldiers" that hint at growing concern over America's role in the war escalating in Europe. Be sure to check out the accompanying booklet, which is filled with interesting historical tidbits and photographs from the time.

Various Artists, 1908: "Take Me Out with the Crowd" (2004)

Another fabulous selection from the Archeophone series, "Take Me Out with the Crowd" offers a light-hearted cross-section of tunes in honor of a time when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, the London Olympics captivated the nation, and Henry Ford introduced the Model T. As with any of the Archeophone discs, the liner notes are not to be missed; each CD's booklet is filled with interesting historical tidbits and photographs from the time.

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