Current top 5 tracks:
"For now, in keeping with the old hand-cranked, talking-machine vibe mentioned below, let’s go with these five."
Fletcher Henderson, "Do Doodle Oom" (Columbia, 1923)
Pale K. Lua & David K. Kaili, "Happy Heinie March" (Victor, 1914)
Uncle Dave Macon, "Death of John Henry" (Brunswick, 1926)
Clara Smith and Her Jazz Band, "Onery Blues" (Columbia, 1925)
Sam Lanin and His Troubadours, "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella (On a Rainy Day) (Parlophone, 1927)
Crew/label affiliation: "Victrola Favorites. A bunch of hardcore old dudes that will kill you dead with talk of matrix numbers, stylus radii, and other minutiae of the mutual affliction. Don’t even start with these guys."
Styles played: "All of the styles: blues, jazz, R&B, sweet bands, hillbilly, Western swing, and ethnographic records."
Events organized: "Two or three times a year I host a 78rpm DJ night at Bottleworks in Wallingford. It’s called Live 78rpm DJ Night With Your Host DJ JT. On those nights, it’s one turntable plugged into the house system and I play one record after another, electrified and loud enough for rock and roll. My pal Rob Millis shows up at quite a few of these events and will play some 78s from his collection; he always has good records. It’s always a fun time there rocking some cool old 78s and having so many delicious beers to choose from while doing it!
"This month at Bottleworks I’m doing something a little different. For two Sundays—February 18 and 25 from 3 pm-5 pm—I’ll be playing records on a hand-cranked Victrola. What this means is that no electricity is involved. The Victrola reproduces the sounds from the grooves on a 78rpm record in a purely mechanical fashion. Real old-time records played on a real old-time record player.
"Mostly I will try and focus on playing records recorded before 1930, as these always sound the best on an old, wind-up talking machine. I will definitely play some records recorded before 1925, as these were recorded acoustically, before the advent of the electric microphone, and beg to be played back acoustically. I’ll also bring a few records that are over 100 years old."
DJing philosophy: "No philosophy, I’m just playing records. Should I put a 'man' in there? I’m just playing records, maaaan."
Format: "10-inch 78rpm shellac records."
Worst request: "Vernon Dalhart. Sorry, that’s a terrible 78rpm collector joke; there is nothing wrong with Vernon Stalefart."