Earl McDonald

Earl McDonald (October 2, 1885 – April 28, 1949) was an American singer and jug blower, noted as a pioneer in creating and recording jug band music.

He was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He formed his first jug band in 1902 and toured widely, performing in New York City and Chicago by 1914. Later he established the Original Louisville Jug Band and the Old Southern Jug Band, which recorded in 1924 with the singer Sara Martin and the fiddle player Clifford Hayes, joining with Hayes to form the Dixieland Jug Blowers for recordings. In the 1920s and early 1930s, he performed regularly with his band, the Ballard Chefs, on radio station WHAS, helping to popularize jug band music, and made over 40 recordings.

McDonald died in Louisville in 1949 and was buried in an unmarked grave. A gravestone was provided in 2009 at the instigation of supporters of the annual Jug Band Jubilee.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 2, 1885, Died April 28, 1949

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1924 - 1931

Roles Represented in DAHR: jug, composer, leader, vocalist, songwriter, speaker

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 51-51 of 51 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Brunswick 14360-14361 10-in. 11/24/1924 Blues, just blues, that’s all Old Southern Jug Band Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, jug  
(Results 51-51 of 51 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "McDonald, Earl," accessed November 28, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/112702.

McDonald, Earl. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 28, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/112702.

"McDonald, Earl." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 28 November 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/112702

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