You know whenever someone says they're the first, someone else begs to differ. I'd like to stir the pot with two words: Wilbur Sweatman. Some (including the author of his article in Grove) suggest his December 1916 recording of Down Home Rag is a contender for the title.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Clark Johnsen
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 6:53 PM
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Subject: [ARSCLIST] URL Correction on "Jazz's First Record Turns 95"
*Come to find, the address of the first article became truncated.
I substitute the whole thing below. Apologies.*
[Recorded Feb. 26, 1917 and] released weeks later, the 78-rpm record became an overnight sensation - and a fitting start to jazz's future. On one side was a blues and on the other a dance number - two forms that jazz would rely on for decades to come.
- An alternate account, with pictures, can be found at