Saturday, November 9, 2013

Automated MP3 Downloads

A number of  visitors have requested Downloads for our Legacy MP3 Roots Music Albums.  These albums have been distributed on CD-Rs and DVDs since we started our website back in 2005.  Early this year (2013) we made some MP3 Downloads available at very reasonable prices (usually $1.99 per album).  However, our customers usually had to wait several hours before receiving the downloads because it was a manual process.

To do automated downloads additional software was required.  We found an excellent product (DLGuard) for a reasonable price and had several people test it.  We made a few adjustments and have already rolled it out. now has a  direct link  to the automated downloads that replaces the old "manual" link.

We have created several new albums for downloads only and are in the process of making all 300+ of our albums available for downloads.   Well over 100 albums are available now.

This allows our customers to purchase as few items as desired and spend very little money to get one of our many albums with content you will find nowhere else.

In the near future we will use our new store -  to also resume sales of Records (78s, 45s & LPs), Books & Magazines, Used Commercial CDs & DVDs, Musical Instruments, etc.

With today's technology it is unbelievable what can be stored on a tiny computer component.  I am now a true believer in eBooks and digital MP3s.  I still will buy physical CDs like the new Bear Family Johnson City Sessions Box sets as well as discs with meaningful notes from County, Yazoo and Arhoolie.  Unfortunately liner notes are not distributed with downloads.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Orleans 2013

My wife Amy and I returned from a short vacation in New Orleans, Louisiana last week. We had a great time.

We flew in to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport and picked up our rental car.  We were tired from the flight so we decided to eat at the Marriott Hotel's Restaurant at 555 Canal Street for dinner.  The food was excellent.  First we had a salad composed of watermelon, basil, grape tomatoes, grapes, red onions, feta cheese with a red wine vinaigrette dressing that was delicious.  We also had seafood gumbo.  I ordered a side of lobster mac & cheese and Amy had a bite.  Amy ordered a skirt steak and I ordered pecan crusted catfish.  For desert we each had peach cobbler a la mode.  We had white zinfandel wine with our food.  We were both pleased with our meals.

After a restful night's sleep we went to the Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Palace Cafe a block away on Canal Street.  Amy ordered a shrimp omelette and I had cajun eggs benedict.  The band was a small unit with a trumpet, banjo and standup bass.  Two of the fellows also sang.  I requested King Oliver's Canal Street Blues. They did a nice version. We bought a few souvenirs and dropped them off at the hotel.  We then went to Harrah's Casino for a little gaming.  To save money we had a take out dinner from Popeye's.  The fried chicken, red beans & rice, biscuit and sweet tea were very good for fast food.  On this day we had two very brief rain storms.  It did not rain again and the temperature remained pleasantly warm and humid.

The next day we had delicious brunch at Deanie's Seafood in the French Quarter and then went shopping at the French Market. We watched a small combo play some Fats Domino tunes, nice versions and the piano player sounded like Fats.  We had a snack of Crocodile Tenders that tasted similar to chicken. Parking there was quite expensive $38 for three hours.  We then relaxed at the swimming pool at the hotel and had a tasty snack at the hotel lobby before retiring for the evening.

Our next day's adventure included a trolley ride on St Charles Ave going towards LSU. Lots of nice old buildings and old mansions to view.  We turned around at the end of the line and went back to Canal Street towards the Mississippi River.  We went on a Steamboat Cruise up and down the Mississippi River and had a tasty lunch with fried catfish and other Louisiana items.  There was a jazz band with trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo, piano and drums.  They played some vintage Louis Armstrong material as well as some later dixieland type material.  We enjoyed the performances and the tour

On our 4th day we went back to the Harrah's Casino because we heard good things about their buffet.  We were not disappointed with the food.  Practically any Creole or Cajun dish was available so we did not try all the dishes that we wanted.  The gambling was again less successful.

For our final full day we drove around in both the French Quartet and Historic Uptown N.O. where we had a delicious lunch for a bargain price at Superior Seafood again on St. Charles Ave.   The fried green tomatoes were very tasty - similar in concept to fried zucchini.  Amy had a blackened salmon dish while I had shrimp and grits.  The desserts were only one dollar so I expected a small serving but was surprised that size was that of a six dollar California dessert.

The streets in New Orleans are usually narrow and people drive slow compared to California.  At any time on a street you may find automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, joggers, horse drawn carts, bicycle taxis, taxis, buses and trolleys.  We noticed a Red Line and a Green Line for the trolleys

We departed Friday but had our final meal at Mother's.  I remember the delicious ham and cheese po boy sandwich I had in 1960 for 15 cents.  Today's price was about eight bucks and it was as tasty as I remembered.  Amy ordered Mae's Omelette which came with grits.  I helped her finish both.   The flight from New Orleans went smoothly but we had a two hour delay at the Phoenix Arizona Airport before finally departing to Ontario California.

We picked up some In-N-Out Burgers to eat at home.  As much as we love to travel it's great to be back to Home Sweet Home.

Here are some pictures from our trip.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My new 1938 Harmony Supertone Parlor Guitar

For several years I've had a Link on Juneberry78s to Steve Chipman's website.

I had always enjoyed viewing his inventory of vintage guitars and reading about the ones that he has restored..

I knew his prices were for the working man so I began the process investigating a purchase from Steve about a month ago.

What I wanted was a small body, ladder braced guitar with 12 frets to the body - like those most of the old Early Blues and Old Time Artists used.

Steve was very accommodating providing me with pictures and sound clips of guitars based on my request.

The instrument that appealed to me the most was a 1938 Supertone made in Chicago by Harmony.

It is 0-sized, 12 frets to the body, ladder braced, all birch body with a tailpiece and a floating bridge.

Steve sent me the guitar on approval,  he wanted me to be absolutely sure that I wanted to keep it before paying for it.

I tried out the guitar and was surprised that a small guitar had so much volume.

Must be the 75 year old aged wood.

I enjoyed playing the guitar after getting used to the baseball bat like neck.

Steve supplied two bridges the lower one for finger picking and the higher for flatpicking.

After about one week I decided to keep the guitar, sent Steve a check and I now own it.

Steve recommended an eBay seller that carried 3/4 size Hard Shell Cases and I ordered one.

Here are a few pictures of the guitar.

Here's an interview with Steve discussing his parlor guitars. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Early History of the Juneberry78s Roots Music Catalog and Websites.

We began making digital recordings of early American Roots Music around 1998 when CD Burners became "affordable".  At that time affordable meant the burner cost $500, blank CDs cost almost $2 each and you needed to use a $1500 Windows 95 and then Windows 98 PC. The failure rate when burning CDs at 1X (real time) was about one in three and you were limited to 74 minutes of music.

My former boss, mentor and lifelong friend Jerry Olson was already making audio CDs on his PC from his extensive LP collection. Jerry explained to me what hardware and software he used, I tried it and it worked like a champ.

I had been trading Roots Music with the late Robert Nobley of Roanoke Alabama since 1973.  I started collecting Roots Music in 1964 and Robert started about 1954.  In 1998 Robert sent me a tape of some new 78s, I burned an Audio CD and sent him a copy. When he played the CD he was in total shock not believing I could create such a CD on my PC.

We began making Audio CDs of roots music, not duplicating content on such labels as County, Yazoo, Document and other independent labels.  Most of the Blues/Jazz albums (our 14000 series) came from my collection.  The first 100 or so Old Time Music albums (our 15000 series) came from Robert.  He would send me a master tape, I would create a CD Master copy and send him some CDs.

A guy at work had a small website and showed me the basics of  HTML code.  Larry was paying Yahoo way too much money to host a site so I researched and discovered I could do it all myself.

In early 2002 I built a Linux Server using an old 386 PC and configured to be an Apache Web Server.  I was able to use a free DNS Service, Verizon DSL and began hosting the original Norms78s Website from my home.  Norms78s was used to trade/sell Public Domain CDs and I corresponded with people across the globe.   MP3s were still in the future so distributing audio CDs (.wav files) became problematic.  This was because we had well over one hundred and fifty albums in our catalog and would need to burn each CD after we received a request.  In early 2004 Verizon blocked the ports that web servers use so we chose to shut down Norms78s rather than pay them an unreasonable amount of money.

To be continued.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Health Status
As some of you might be aware Juneberry78s suspended distribution of our MP3 Discs, and trades / sales from our 78, 45 and 33 1/3 RPM Record Collections.
This was due to health issues and order fulfillment concerns.
Treatments have been successful so far and I look forward to returning to full strength.
I still have upcoming radiation treatments in Los Angeles in July.
After that I'll be on maintenance for two years.
Thanks to all for the good wishes posted to this blog, facebook, forums, e-mails, text messages, phone calls, etc.

 Juneberry78s Website Status
We have re-opened our MP3 Discs Distribution with some changes.
> We have reduced distribution of MP3 CD-Rs to 3 items.
> All of the content on the discontinued CD-Rs has been reissued on 3 new DVDs.
> The MP3s for all albums have been modified so the ID Tags now include Artist Album info and relevant JPeg images.
We will still wait a while before re-opening our Record Store.
We have found a mobile app for our website that runs great on Smart Phones.
There is no charge to you for this app and our site is now easy to use on your phone.
We also installed some Flag Counter mini windows on our home page.
In the past we received correspondence from such countries as Latvia, Japan, Sweden, Australia, France, China, Canada, as well as many other locations.
We similarly received correspondence from perhaps 25 to 30 US states.
Going forward we will have a more comprehensive picture.
It's too bad that we can't get the country, state & province counts retroactively.
Finally we are working on some MP3 Downloads featuring some interesting newly compiled albums.
Two of these albums are ready with more to come soon
Lots of great Roots Music.
Check it all out on

Playing Music
I'm an amateur musician who plays for my own enjoyment.
This T Cell Lymphoma cancer I've been battling and the treatment have left my fingers a bit "spastic",so in a way I'm starting over but still having fun.
Somehow my fingers do find their way more accurately playing clawhammer & minstrel banjo than they do on guitars.
This probably is due to fewer and lighter gauge strings on my banjos.
I try to play a little each day