Lately I have been on the hunt to find recordings of live performances by swing era jazz bands for my personal collection and for DJing. In that hunt I have stumbled on what I consider a treasure trove of live recordings, at this link:
Before and during WWII many jazz artists like Benny Goodman and Glen Miller did live broadcasts on the air. While amazing, unfortunately if you wanted to DJ any of this stuff you would have to self edit the songs in between annoucements and commercials from companies like Camel Caravan.
However the folks over at http://www.archive.org/ were kind enough to edit and in most cases label songs from many of Benny Goodman’s broadcasts during the WWII era.
While some of the songs due to recording technology at the time are probably not the best to DJ at certain venues, one can appreciate the different feel these live recordings have from recording sessions.
If you plan to use the blog linked, my recommendation is scroll down to “More Free Benny Goodman MP3 Compilation Downloads”. To quote the blog’s suggestion,
Benny Goodman (unspecified 795 10 songs without names!) The amazing thing about this one is that it contains 10 live broadcasts of 30 minutes each from Manhatten, presumably in 1937! All are commercial-free except the last one (Camel Caravan).
The best part of this all (at least according to the blog), all of these are free and legal! If you have any suggestions for other live recordings, please comment below. Otherwise, enjoy!