That was 2020 at Centuries of Sound

me, 2020

So that wasn’t the best year, was it?

Fortunately I won’t need to think about it again much until 2027.

The coronavirus has been bad news everywhere – on a personal level it has meant that I am now unemployed (CoS doesn’t really count as a job right now) – so before I get into the year a quick request that anyone reading this consider becoming a patron, buying me a coffee, sharing the site with a friend, or (best of all) introducing me to a radio station or other media/internet organisation who might be willing to pay me to do this.

Anyway, that out of the way, it has been a pretty good year for the site – there have been nice articles in The Financial Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker and The Cambridge Independent – and the show has been at times in the top 5 music podcasts in the UK and Ireland, the top 10 in the USA and number 1 in Singapore – I took a screenshot of this as it may not happen again, please indulge me for a moment.

In 2020 I’ve put up mixes for the years 1922 to 1931 and 2018 and radio shows on the years 1910 to 1922, with a variety of guest hosts. I’ve also started putting out “radio podcasts” and have released three themed compilation CDs.

Stats! (please skip if this is dull) The website had 12,727 visitors (up from 9,988 last year) and 29,797 page views (down from 30,456 last year.) The most popular download was the 1930 mix with 2,576(!) downloads but the most viewed page was the 1927 mix with 1,596 views (and 1927 has been streamed 609 times compared to just 161 for 1930 so not sure what’s going on there). The most viewed non-mix page on the site was this two-year-old blog post on The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs (again, no idea why this should be so.) I have gone from having 17 patrons at the start of 2020 to 46 as of today, so once again huge thanks to all of you for making that happen.

It’s not the usual way of things around here to look to the future, but in 2021 I will release mixes for 2019 (next week!) and 1932 to 1941. There will be radio shows on the years 1923 (out the day after tomorrow!) to 1935, and I hope to put out a good few compilations too (I am already planning the next Christmas one.)

One last thing, I am following in the steps of basically everyone else and doing a one-off Q&A podcast – that is, if I get enough questions. You can add yours here –

That’s all for now, and for 2020 in fact, until I get around to reviewing it in 2027 or so. Happy New Year and let’s all do what we can into will it to being a better one.

Centuries of Sound Membership: Support the project, and get a host of extra benefits for just $5 per month



Centuries of Sound is two years old now. I have made mixtapes / soundscapes for the years 1859 to 1909, plus 2016 and 2017. All of these will remain freely accessible without any advertising. But from the first of next month there will be a huge amount of other material available for anyone who becomes a member of Centuries of Sound on Patreon.

* Download our radio podcast, where we break up the sounds with discussion of the music and history of each year

* Be the first to hear new mixes, delivered to your inbox a week before public release

* Every three months get access to an exclusive compilation of artists and themes parallel to the main mix

* Access our archive of over 30 themed mixes

* Be listed as an expert in a chosen field of historical sound on our site

All of this can be yours for $5 per month, the price of a single large coffee, and cheaper than a single pint of beer in Cambridge.

As well as getting these rewards, you will be helping this site to survive. I run Centuries of Sound in my spare time, and have both a full-time job and a family to support, and need to get some kind of income both to cover costs and to prove that this is a worthwhile endeavor. In these two years I have received a lot of very nice coverage in the media, but none of it has yet paid a penny towards web hosting alone. I want to have mixes all the way from 1859* to the present day – together we can make that happen.

Just click this button to make these things happen.



*Actually I may push this back to 1843 now. How? Well, if I can make this pay, maybe I’ll have time to return to that.

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