This is very interesting,but I think you are going back a little further than I was thinking of.Could you provide a more distinct timeline than this,or better a link? Origin is a label I am unfamiliar with.Josh White,is one of those artists,that could sometimes be classified more as folk,rather than pure blues.It seems to me,White was rarely without a label.I think it was the Elektra stuff that made him a "star" on the folk circuit,but I may be wrong.It could be the Mercury stuff.Before that there was his Decca/London records(Of which I own two,one a 1949 Lp.),and before that Disc/Acsh,and before that Keynote,and so forth.There was always blues avaliable in the UK,and EMI liscenced a lot of it.I am not 100 % sure,what was issued.There was quite a bit of the OKeh stuff, (I own a Victoria Spivey on Parlophone.)but I cannot speak for Paramount material,but I betcha there are European pressings out there.The Josh White/Bill Broony Columbia sets,were pressed as single records by
EMI/Columbia,in the 40s.I have seen the former come up,and own two of the latter.
A note on Mercury.They started in the mid-40s,recording older blues artists like Sippie Wallace.There are at least three different Lp issues.I have none of the first on hand,but the second ones(eg Josh White's "Strange Fruit"),are the ones with the David Stone Martin art.The third issues,being the ones from "The Jazz Greats" series,of the late 50s.
As for later stuff,there a number of Chess records,pressed by Decca/London, beginning,about 1952 or so.The early ones are very rare,but they are out there.(I watched a rare 1953 Spiders 78 on Australian London(?),go for decent money last week,on eBay(Too rich for my blood right now.)There was a 1953 London Muddy Waters EP,I saw the other day,that opened at almost four hundred bucks.
I have also read recollections from musicians,where they were talking about going to record shops in the 50s,where dealers would import blues reissues,from America.
Folkways,and such,I assume.
Thomas Stern <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
this is a fascinating area for discussion-I think some rigorous research
I remember little of the TIME LINE of the blues revival - certain
critical events stand out in my mind: Sam Charters
"The Country Blues" book, the by subscription release of Charly Patton
on Origin, and certainly the Robert Johnson first LP
on Columbia. These were late events in the sequence. Foggy
recollections of what was available early in
the game (to non-"race records" audiences) -i.e. the late forties/early
fifties: Library of Congress African-American 78's & LP's, Folkways
Harry Smith Anthology, Stinson LP's (from 1940's Asch & Disc 78's) of
Josh White and Leadbelly.
Some Big Bill Broonzy on Columbia 78's, and the Mercury LP (was that
50's????). Riverside, primarily interested
in early jazz issued some blues performances from Paramount 78's (Blind
Lemon, Ma Rainey). There were also other primarily jazz labels which
had some blues representation (Jax, Jolly Roger) Historical had a jazz
series of compilation LP's, and also a country series. Iirc, the
reissues of the 78's spurred the search for
those performers, culminating with the "rediscovery" of Mississippi
John Hurt, Son House, et.al. Arhoolie was releasing
important blues performers who were not rediscoveries, demonstrating the
vitality of the tradition. Arhoolie LP's were
sold primarily by mail order, through a blues record club before the
'revival' got them into stores (repackaged, slicker
jackets and no mimeographed notes) .
When did Bob Koester's blues recordings become available (Sleepy John
Estes, Big Joe Williams...)
In the UK (via Dobell's, they had another trading name for export) there
were interesting ep's on Swedish Blues Society,
Collector, and even RCA (a series of 3 ep's, available singly of
Leadbelly, Jug Bands, maybe Furry Lewis), a wonderful
German Brunswick LP of rural blues singers - don't remember if that
pre-dated Folkways The Country Blues.
There must be interviews with many of the british blues artists which
indicate what their sources were - what they
were listening to in the 50's????
What was the relative importance of 20-30's 'country/rural' blues
compared to electirc 'Chicago" blues on the British,
and American performers?
There was a series of 3 Rolling Stones lp's issued in Japan which
collected the recordings they did in Chicago in homage
to the Chess blues performers. JoAnn Kelly must have heard either
originals or reissues, drawing heavily on Memphis Minnie.
Another issue worthy of some discussion - how did information about
these recordings get disseminated (Sing Out,
Little Sandy Review covered these, as did the little jazz
publications.....what uk publications?.)
I hope someone can put these things into their proper time frame.
Best wishes, Thomas.
steven c wrote:
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Roger and Allison Kulp"
>>Oh jeez,where to begin here ? Are you completely brushing aside,labels
>like Folkways,Takoma,and Delmark ? Takoma,you recall,also gave us the a
>cappella gem "Ever Since I Have Been a Man Full Grown"
>http://www.wirz.de/music/takomfrm.htm (I own an original of this.) These
>labels introduced many of us buying records in the 60s,to the likes of
>Reverend Gary Davis,Sleepy John Estes,Mississippi Fred MacDowell(Paving the
>way for his landmark 1969 Lp "I Do Not Play No Rock and Roll",one of the
>greatest acoustic blues records ever cut !),Furry Lewis,Blind Boy Fuller,and
>Brownie McGhee, amoung others.Now,I will grant you,most of the covers of
>such songs,from the period that immediately pop into my head,are by American
>bands,from the second wave of blues-rock(1966-72),but I'm sure there were
>earlier ones.I'm not at home now,so i can't spend an hour or two poring over
>Not brushing them aside...but those were for the most part specialty
>LP labels, and I know I never saw any of them where I shopped (in the
>Eastland Mall in Bloomington, Illinois)! When I first went looking
>for "blues albums," all they had was the RJ and a couple of Sonny
>Terry/Brownie McGhee albums! (the selection of jazz reissue albums
>and "dixieland jazz" was, IIRC, even worse!). As well, remember that
>it was called the "*British* Blues Invasion," so it referred to
>British musicians...and I would guess that their blues-album selection
>of the late fifties/early sixties was, if anything, worse. Of course,
>the most interested of the US musicians could, and did, collect the
>original 78's (notably the brothers Hite)...but the only evidence I
>have that blues could be had "across the pond" is one Muddy Waters
>78 I own on the UK Vogue label (originally on Chess).
>Steven C. Barr
>(the sad part was that I was listening to WLAC, and COULD have had
>all the blues singles I wanted by mail order...and could have gone
>the 150 miles to Chicago [a trip I made often!] and heard/seen
>LIVE blues...but what did I know then?!)
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