148 episodes

Host Bryan Wright brings you a variety of 78 rpm records from the 1900s through the 1950s on each "Shellac Stack" program. You'll hear jazz, dance bands, blues, ragtime, vocals, country, classical, and more -- all direct from original 78 rpm pressings.

The Shellac Stack Bryan Wright

    • Music
    • 5.0, 23 Ratings

Host Bryan Wright brings you a variety of 78 rpm records from the 1900s through the 1950s on each "Shellac Stack" program. You'll hear jazz, dance bands, blues, ragtime, vocals, country, classical, and more -- all direct from original 78 rpm pressings.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Tenor Horn ,

Great selections, great commentary!

This podcast is what the title suggests - a program featuring shellac 78 rpm records from the first half of the 20th century. The content is delightfully varied, with informative commentary and great way to learn about music and musicians from that era. The sound quality from these old records is surprisingly good, with minimal surface noise without sounding dull. I always look forward to each episode - I have been enjoying these since the beginning!

Godwinshelley ,

Always fun and a pleasant surprise!

What a wonderful podcast! I love hearing music from the 30s and 40s. This is a great place for a curated tour into different corners of that music. I smile often while listening and am always happy to see the next podcast appear.

On a personal note, Bryan love your selections. I say bravo! And when filling out your program, please know more Hoagy Carmichael and Hoosier Hotshots are ALWAYS good choices!

Porlock ,

Not solely for the 78rpm enthusiast

This labor of love is, perhaps, the most enjoyable podcast of its kind.

I have collected records ever since I came across a stack of Edison recordings (discs, not cylinders) in an “antique” (junk) store in my preteen days in Southern California.

The first discs I bought were acoustic recordings, many with what would today be considered offensive titles. The sound quality was so poor that I could barely make out anything remotely musical. The hiss, crackle, ticks and pops rendered them unlistenable. It was only by researching at a public library (now, alas, going the way of the pre-electrical recordings), and speaking to to the ancients that I learned methods to properly set up my turntable and cartridge to extract the hidden hill-and-dale treasures. The elderly man who tuned our piano was at one time an accompanist to a great many song stylists from the Edison label, and I was fascinated by his stories of loudly banging away on the ivory keys of an upright piano positioned a few inches off the ground in order to have the full tonal range of the vibrations actually traced onto a single groove - a faithful, and pure mechanical copy of a live event from the long-dead past.

These early experiences gave me a broad education on a wide variety of musical genres - classical, popular, early jazz, dance, folk, and even news and recitations.

This led to my becoming a sound designer for theater, devoting time and money into the care and feeding of those brittle shellac mementos of yesteryear, emptying my pockets into Victrola restorations (with side trips into the areas of a Philco Model 20 “Baby Grand” Cathedral Radio, and a low-power AM transmitter in order to play Jack Benny programs as they were meant to be heard - not to mention cute little Scottie decorated Remlers), a player piano repair project, and - most recently - obtaining a wire recorder which I’m attempting to resemble a working model in order that it may make its stage debut in a local production of “Death of a Salesman”.

Now for the review: Bryan S. Wright’s podcast is a wonderful, enlightening, and most of all entertaining presentation of recordings from his collection - mostly from the first half of the 20th century.

His taste in music is, for me, ideal. It covers a vast catalog of music (usually) of every conceivable variety and era.

He presents them in the most charming way imaginable - including enough detail to satisfy the obsessive (record labels, catalog #s, bits of history on the performers and composers), but fully recognizing that too much detail can be overwhelming.

He provides some cultural references, opinions, and fascinating facts (and I mean fascinating to the general public, not just 78rpm nut jobs like me).

AND he is the most intelligent, gently humorous, and well-informed host anyone could hope for.

His knowledge is shared in a manner that reflects his love of the music and performers, but avoids the didactic tone of psychotic obsession that collectors can sometimes descend to.

He is, in my opinion, the ideal host. Never boring or showing off, he lets the music speak for itself - but remains a respectful and balanced vade mecum to provide just the right amount of detail to encourage you to discover things on your own.

I’ve never been so impressed by the balance his show provides the subject. His enthusiasm and civility make it my favorite podcast of it’s kind.

I hope my lengthy review doesn’t do his show a disservice. My goal is to gain him a larger audience - though it’s for purely selfish reasons. I want him to have so many listeners that he remains committed to providing these podcasts for many years to come.

Give it a try. If you have even a smidgin of interest in music of this kind, you’ll be a lifelong fan.

(And on a personal note, I’ve always wanted to use the term “vade mecum”, and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to appropriately do so).

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