Free Download of Brian Rust’s Jazz Records Discography Is Now Available

The Personal Use Edition of Brian Rust’s Jazz Records Discography (1917–1934) is now available for free download.

Before downloading, please be sure to read the Q & A below:


Q: Why is Mainspring Press making this available free of charge?

A: For many years, we have had requests from the collecting and research communities to make Brian’s jazz-record data freely available for much-needed revisions, additions, and corrections. Brian’s Jazz & Ragtime Records 1897–1942 (the sixth and final edition) is now a seventeen-year-old publication in dire need of updating. With Brian’s death several years ago, it’s time to pass the torch to others, as he certainly would have wanted.

Although several groups and individuals have expressed interest in carrying on Brian’s work, all wanted an exclusive “lock” on the data (although they were not willing to actually pay for it). In the end, it was decided that a new model is needed in which the material is made freely available to all, to share and revise as needed.

It is our hope that collectors and researchers will come together to coordinate their additions and corrections—with appropriate  documentation standards and quality-control measures in place— in a way that eventually results in a free online jazz discography containing the most authoritative data available.

Q: Am I required to share my additions or corrections with Mainspring Press?

No, there are no strings attached. Mainspring Press is not involved in this initiative in any way, other than to serve as the initial data supplier, and we will not be publishing a seventh edition of Jazz Records.

Q: Does this mean that other Mainspring Press publications are also free to access and distribute?

A: No. All other Mainspring publications remain subject to copyright and exclusive publication-rights protection and require a paid licensing agreement, in advance, for any use exceeding customary fair-use standards. Works by Bryant, Sutton, and/or  the Record Research Associates are currently available for pre-paid licensing on a non-exclusive basis. Works by other authors are not available for licensing.

Q: What is the legal status of this data?

Mainspring Press (the sole copyright holder in this material, per a 2001 contractual assignment by Brian Rust) is placing all material contained in the Free Personal-Use Edition — that is, all entries from 1917 through 1934 — into the public domain. This means that you may freely use, alter, and distribute the data in any way, with one important exception.

Q: What’s the important exception?

The Free Personal-Use Edition may not be sold, commercially published, or incorporated into a for-profit work — i.e., you may not sell print-outs for profit, charge customers to download the file from your blog or website, etc. Mainspring retains all commercial publication rights to this material (which is a separate issue from copyright) and is licensing it solely for personal, non-commercial use, non-profit use. The data is contains may be used as the underlying basis for a substantially new work, provided that work is distributed free of charge. In addition, Mainspring Press will continue to hold exclusive commercial publication rights to the full edition of Jazz & Ragtime Records 1897-1942 (JR-6).

Q: Will the full edition of JR-6 still be available?

Yes. Although sales of JR-6 have been essentially nil for some  years now, we will continue to make it available on CD as a service to the occasional customer who may still wish to purchase it.

Q: Are the pre-1917 and post-1934 Rust entries also free to use?

No. For now, Mainspring Press is retaining copyright and exclusive publication rights in that material, as contractually assigned by Brian Rust, and it remains subject to the same rights and restrictions as our other publications. It could be released for free access in time, provided that significant headway is seen being made in use of the 1917–1934 data.

Q: May I make and distribute copies, or convert the file to other formats?

A: Yes, so long as you do charge to do so. The files are not copy-protected in any way, and there are no restrictions on conversion to other formats.

Q: Will Mainspring provide assistance in converting or working with the files, or provide the files on CD?

No. We will not be supplying any advice or technical support, and the files will be available only online.

Q: Can I post these files to the Internet?

A: Yes, provided that (a) you do not charge for them, and (b) you credit Mainspring Press as the source, with an active link to



The Playlist • Five Harmaniacs (1926–1927)



The usual members of this group were Jerry Adams, Hampton Durand, Walter Howard, Ned Nestor, Clyde Shugart, and Percy Stoner (with the addition of pianist Tommy Reilly on one oddball  Brunswick session at which the Harmaniacs had no harmonica player — the only instance in which at least partial personnel were listed in the recording files).


HARMANIAC FIVE: Harmaniac Blues

Chicago (Marsh Laboratories): c. May 1926
Paramount 20476 (Marsh mx. 1079)
From a tape dubbing supplied by the late Gilbert Louey. Jazz Records shows two banjos and no guitar, in error (one of each is audible, even through the horrendous surface noise and notoriously inaccurate “Marsh Sound”).


FIVE HARMANIACS: Coney Island Washboard

New York: September 17, 1926
Victor 20293 (mx. BVE 36327 – 2)
No personnel listed in the Victor files.


FIVE HARMANIACS (with uncredited vocal): Sleepy Blues

New York: February 24, 1927
Brunswick 7002 (mx. E 22013, renumbered from E 4587)
Race-series release (although the band was white). Originally recorded as a test master (Vocalion mx. E 4587, unissued on that label), and subsequently transferred to Brunswick on March 18, 1927, and assigned Brunswick mx. E 22013. No personnel are listed in the Brunswick-Vocalion files. Jazz Records shows a recording date of February 4, in error.


FIVE HARMANIACS: It Takes A Good Woman (To Keep a Good Man at Home)

New York: February 8, 1927
Victor mx. BVE 37751 – 1 (unissued in 78-rpm form)
From a c. 1960s blank-label vinyl pressing from the original stamper. Take 2 was released on Victor 20507 in April 1927. No personnel listed in the Victor files.


FIVE HARMANIACS (Walter Howard, speech): What Makes My Baby Cry?

New York: February 8, 1927
Victor mx. BVE 37750 – 1 (unissued in 78-rpm form)
From a c. 1960s blank-label vinyl pressing from the original stamper. Take 2 was released on Victor 20507 in April 1927. No personnel, aside from Howard, are listed in the Victor files.