View Full Version : More vintage song books and song sheets in the collection

05-05-2010, 12:57 PM
Well, I added another 25+ songsheets to the collection last month, mostly Rudy Vallee songs, but many others from that era, too.

Today I was in a local music/pawn/memorabilia shop and found four boxes of unsorted song books and sheet music dating from 1900 to 1950. I gathered about 50 vintage uke songs from it that and bought them all. I now have to scan and add to the collection. Wish some of the really nifty stuff pre-WW1 had uke chords, but it was all for piano. But I did get a few treasures from the lot.

One of the cool things I found was a large collection of clippings from English newspapers from the 30s that had uke songs in every issue. Lots of music I didn't recognize, too. A least 100 songs are in this format. They're fairly easy to scan, but it's painstakingly slow on my home scanner. Pages are fragile, too, so I have to be careful not to damage them.

Bandwidth problems with Hostpapa services have forced me to pull the links to the PDFs on my vintage music page and offer the collection only on DVD only until I can get a server with higher bandwidth (and better customer service - when they promise "unlimited" bandwidth read the fine print! Unlimited means something different in MY dictionary!).

I sell the DVD at a price to recover my costs - my goal is to share and keep alive vintage uke music, not make a profit.

At present I have more than 900 MB of songs in the collection. By the time I get all of this stuff scanned, it will be half again as large. By the end of the month I should have at least 50 more song sheets in the collection, maybe more if I am productive with these newspaper sheets.

If you have any vintage uke music, I'd like to be able to share it with others. Email or PM me about scanning it and including it in the collection.

05-05-2010, 01:32 PM
Interesting thread. I haunt the Goodwill stores in Phoenix, and recently saw a stack of sheet music in the "better goods" case that caught my eye because the top one was "Tiptoe through the Tulips". I didn't dig through the stack, but in the future, I'll keep you in mind, as sometimes things are pretty inexpensive there.

05-05-2010, 01:32 PM
Does the DVD have the lyrics & chords ? When will it be done, I am always looking for more music from that era

05-06-2010, 01:48 AM
The DVD contains scans of all the books and sheet music. I scan the covers in colour, the rest in B&W, all at 300 dpi. Then I collate the result. There's a partial display of the contents on my vintage music page (http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/musicbooks.htm). I've added many since I started that page, too, and I have many, many more to scan.
Here's a sample:

http://www.ianchadwick.com/pdfs/flying_trapeze.jpg (http://www.ianchadwick.com/pdfs/man_on_flying_trapeze.pdf)
Might be a slow loader due to bandwidth choking by server. Some of the songbooks are >10 MB, so they're glacial to load on Hostpapa. The last DVDs I made had 903MB of files.

Any files you can add would be great. I've been trying to get Tulips myself, and bid on it on eBay a few times, without luck. If you can scan it at 300 dpi and email it to me, I can put it together for the collection. I'm sure uke fans would love it!

05-19-2010, 06:29 AM
Added more than 50 songs to the collection in the past two days - 24 songsheets (including Makin Whoopee, I Got Rhythm, Ballad of Davy Crockett, Lazy Bones and Let's Fall in Love). The rest (>30 titles) were mostly scanned from newspapers dated late 1920s-mid 1930s. I have a lot of these to scan (mostly cut out of News of the World it seems), but they're fragile, yellowed and a little tricky. A lot more song sheets still to be scanned - about 100 I'd guess. It takes about an hour to scan 20-25, then another hour to conflate them, rotate and crop them. I have about that many newspaper songs to scan, too, but I can do those at home. All told about 325 items in the collection now.

Still looking for a clean PDF scan of Tiptoe Through the Tulips.

05-19-2010, 11:34 AM
Cool collection of music! Is the DVD in PDF? I need to order one of these, thanks Ian for your efforts.

05-19-2010, 11:37 AM
I would also like to order one of these! Excellent job putting them all together!

05-20-2010, 01:03 AM
Yes, they're all PDF.

05-25-2010, 10:09 AM
Added a dozen more today. There are about 500 files in the collection right now including more than 40 complete song books. Have to travel out of town later this week, which will interrupt my progress, but expect to add another 12-24 early next week.

Still looking for a nice clean scan of Tiptoe Through the Tulips with uke chords.

05-26-2010, 12:53 AM
Hello Ian, I have some old music books, they are by publisher Francis Day and Hunter UK, "Camp Fire Side songbook", "Sea Songs and Shanties". Plus piano books which might not interest you, or they are already in your possession? I can have it scanned and e-mail it to you from where my wife works?? I can also post it to you ? Let me know if you are interested??? Thanks for sharing your research.

05-26-2010, 01:04 AM
I don't recognize those titles. If they have uke chords, I'd be delighted to add them. Thanks!

I scan at 300 dpi - colour cover and b&W (text mode) inside. I scan covers and insides separately. I scan song sheets 11 x 17 and then rotate and crop to size. If you can't crop or rotate, no worries. I can do it here. Anything less than 300dpi is not as clear when printed. I use 11 x 17 because most song sheets and many song books are larger than the standard letter size. I never use a scanner's "auto" size mode because it will cut off pages (it invariably chooses the wrong size).

I have some piano and some guitar books, but I'm not adding them because I'm trying to stick to ukulele music. There are about 8-10 guitar-chorded songs in the collection partly because they were mixed in with a stack and I didn't notice until I had them scanned, or because I felt the songs were easily translated to uke chords and were worth including.

You can email me the files at ichadwick(at)sympatico.ca. My server chokes on attached files more than about 6MB, so if they're larger, let me know and I can set up an FTP site (or if you already have one, email me the link instead). Thanks again - I look forward to getting them.

05-26-2010, 06:00 AM
Hello Ian, Thank you for your reply. Regarding your digital scanning requirements, my good lady scans them in on a photocopier, and she is not sure what the dpi rating is?? Each page shows ukulele tunings at the top. But let's make a start, and make adjustments as we go?? We will scan in the index, and that will give you the sequence of the pages as they are laid out in the book....PS I have ordered a set of Promasters for the equivalent of 170 Euros (inclusive delivery and Tax), not sure what that is in Canadian Thallers? Will be in touch, and looking forward to your updated harmonica pages !

05-26-2010, 12:21 PM
Send them anyway. I'll check the dpi. The scanners I use are Canon IR copiers for B&W, and an Ikon/Ricoh for the colour. They all have a dpi option setting. If she looks at the options, she might see the chance to change it.

170 Euros? About $222 Canadian. The Promasters are good, but for the price, Bluesmasters are a better deal. Still, those metal combs...

05-28-2010, 06:54 PM
Hi Ian I have pm'd you. You have not replied, so I am not sure whether the mail ended up in the spam bin?? (fromthee2me at gmail dot com)

05-28-2010, 06:59 PM
Good Morning again Ian,

Both books have been scanned in in pdf format. One is just over 7 Mb, and the other just over 11 Mb.

Your comments please, as you mentioned that your server will not be able to handle that ???

06-01-2010, 08:58 AM
Try zipping them, or breaking them into two parts with Acrobat. My server usually takes about 6-7 okay, but could choke on a higher file size.

Added another 25-30 song sheets in the last two days.

06-09-2010, 12:53 PM
Any luck with thise files?I'm looking forward to getting them.

Meanwhile, I added several more song sheets today, bringing the total to around 1.7 GB of files on the disk. I even added a few vintage guitar pieces today for anyone who wants to concert them into uke format.

07-07-2010, 05:09 AM
The collection of vintage music is bursting at the seams these days: more than 2 GB of PDF files. I just added several complete song books - the Happy Cowboy, The Cowboy Sings and 40 Hits of Our Time. Plus of course several new song sheets! There are more than 1,100 files now. The youngest date on a songsheet I have is, I believe, 1915. The oldest is 1961. Most are between 1920 and 1935. Covers in colour, rest in B&W. If you want a copy, go to my web site and order one.

04-03-2011, 10:58 AM
Thought I should update this thread with some newer figures. The collection fills a DVD with just over 4GB of files now - more than 2,000 PDFs of vintage songbooks and songsheets, the great majority from the 1920s and 1930s. I have so many uke arrangements, I've had to pull off duplicates and variations to make space for more. I still have a few guitar arrangements on the disk too, but only a handful of songs I have not found uke versions for (still searching...). I'm working on a separate website for just vintage ukulele music, and want to post a "song of the month" PDF for free download in the near future. That's where I will post any new finds.