1923: “Gonna Play the Villain Part” now available

Our 20th Phonographic Yearbook, 1923: “Gonna Play the Villain Part” is now available. The compilation features 25 selections from the year a popular president died amid growing public scandals and a new sign illuminated the Los Angeles skyline. Learn more and order today!

Anthology: America’s Favorite Entertainers by Collins and Harlan now available

Our Collins and Harlan compilation Anthology: America’s Favorite Entertainers is now available. Featuring 29 selections recorded between 1902 and 1924 and a 36-page booklet with new research and notes by Grammy-nominated authors Richard Martin & Ryan Barna, this career retrospective tells the story of the most popular recording duo of the acoustic era.

Three Grammy nominations for Archeophone releases

The 2020 Grammy nominations have been announced, and three Archeophone releases have received nominations. Our Unique Quartette release, Celebrated, 1895-1896, is a nominee for Best Historical Album, while The Missing Link and At the Minstrel Show are both contenders for Best Album Notes. Congratulations to nominated authors Colin Hancock and Tim Brooks as well as the production team behind all three releases.

Follow along as we reveal the tracks on Before the Big Bang

We’ve begun revealing the tracks on our upcoming 167-track, 6 CD box set Before the Big Bang: Country Music Origins in the Acoustic Era, 1890-1926 one at a time via our dedicated reissue website. Visit our archive of reveals to see any you’ve missed, and follow along each day as we unveil each new selection with an image, text, and sound sample.



  • “Truly epochal reissues, which unearth completely forgotten chapters of musical history. The tiny Illinois-based Archeophone label has been doing that kind of archaeology for several years now, almost single-handedly championing the popular music of the acoustic recording era.”
    Jody RosenSlate.com
  • “In the digital age, when liner notes have been reduced to a song name scrolling across a streaming playlist, the husband-and-wife team of [Richard] Martin and Meagan Hennessey are an anomaly. They gather rarities from the earliest era of recordings, research the music and put out entire books of analysis alongside the music.”
    Geoff EdgersWashington Post


On this day, 100 Years Ago: Greenwood Massacre, Tulsa OK

Count us among those who couldn’t believe we had never heard of it. The second release in our “Phonographic Yearbook” Series came out in the fall of 2000 and was called 1921: “Make Believe and Smile”—the subtitle taken from the sunshine-after-the-rain optimism of the Nora Bayes song, “Make Believe.” The approach we had established for … Continue reading On this day, 100 Years Ago: Greenwood Mas...
posted: June 1, 2021

Ring Out Their Names: Moore, Settle, Cayson, DeLyons

We have a much better idea than ever before of who was in the various iterations of the Unique Quartette, as well as some pretty good guesses as to which of the members participated in the group’s recordings. Good as his work was in Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919 … Continue reading Ring Out Their Names: Moore, Settle, Cayson, DeLyons
posted: June 5, 2020

Celebrated—what it is, and what it isn’t

At the time Tim Brooks published Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press) in 2004, he was aware of three extant cylinders made by the Unique Quartette. First was “Mamma’s Black Baby Boy,” made ca. 1893 for the North American Phonograph Company. Two others were made … Continue reading Celebrated—what it is, and what it isn’t
posted: May 8, 2020

Send this to a friend