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This Week in Blues History - July 1-7
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July 01, 2018 08:22 AM PDT
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“This Week in Blues History” aims the spotlight on important recordings, artists, and events from the golden era of the blues. This time, we profile Muddy Waters, who made an historic appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, this week in 1960.

"This Week in Blues History" is ONLY available as a download to our bandcamp subscribers! More info -- including how to get instant access to more than 120 episodes of Blues Unlimited -- is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Chess Records: The Early Years (Hour 2)
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June 26, 2018 08:06 AM PDT
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Please support the people who support Blues Unlimited! This week’s episode comes to you, in part, by Dick Waterman Photography: http://dickwaterman.photoshelter.com

Join us as we aim the spotlight on one of the most famous independent record labels of all time — Chess Records. Officially founded in 1950, we take a concentrated look at the first two years of operations — ending up at the midway point of 1951. Classic Chicago Blues from Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Johnny Shines, Robert Nighthawk, Baby Face Leroy Foster, and lots more.

Pictured: Early publicity shot of Muddy Waters. Images courtesy of the Red Saunders Research Foundation.

This episode is available commercial free and in its original full-fidelity high quality audio exclusively to our subscribers at Bandcamp. Your annual subscription of $27 a year will go directly to support this radio show, and you’ll gain INSTANT DOWNLOAD ACCESS to this and more than 120 other episodes from our extensive archive as well. More info is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Chess Records: The Early Years (Hour 1)
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June 26, 2018 07:55 AM PDT
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Join us as we aim the spotlight on one of the most famous independent record labels of all time — Chess Records. Officially founded in 1950, we take a concentrated look at the first two years of operations — ending up at the midway point of 1951. Classic Chicago Blues from Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Johnny Shines, Robert Nighthawk, Baby Face Leroy Foster, and lots more.

Pictured: Early publicity shot of Muddy Waters. Images courtesy of the Red Saunders Research Foundation.

This episode is available commercial free and in its original full-fidelity high quality audio exclusively to our subscribers at Bandcamp. Your annual subscription of $27 a year will go directly to support this radio show, and you’ll gain INSTANT DOWNLOAD ACCESS to this and more than 120 other episodes from our extensive archive as well. More info is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week in Blues History - June 24-30
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June 24, 2018 06:32 AM PDT
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“This Week in Blues History” aims the spotlight on important recordings, artists, and events from the golden era of the blues. This time, we profile Saunders King and Elder Utah Smith — two early pioneers of the electric guitar.

"This Week in Blues History" is ONLY available as a download to our bandcamp subscribers! More info -- including how to get instant access to more than 120 episodes of Blues Unlimited -- is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Rare Blues & Heavenly Gospel from Charlotte, North Carolina (Hour 2)
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June 19, 2018 09:33 AM PDT
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Please support the people who support Blues Unlimited! This week’s episode comes to you, in part, by Dick Waterman Photography: http://dickwaterman.photoshelter.com

Join us as we journey to the Queen City of the South, Charlotte, North Carolina, to hear some of the rich blues and heavenly gospel that was recorded there primarily during the late 1920s and ’30s. We’ll hear some pretty rare 78s, and some amazing quartet singing. It’s blues and gospel from Charlotte, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

This episode is available commercial free and in its original full-fidelity high quality audio exclusively to our subscribers at Bandcamp. Your annual subscription of $27 a year will go directly to support this radio show, and you’ll gain INSTANT DOWNLOAD ACCESS to this and more than 120 other episodes from our extensive archive as well. More info is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

Rare Blues & Heavenly Gospel from Charlotte, North Carolina (Hour 1)
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June 19, 2018 09:26 AM PDT
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Join us as we journey to the Queen City of the South, Charlotte, North Carolina, to hear some of the rich blues and heavenly gospel that was recorded there primarily during the late 1920s and ’30s. We’ll hear some pretty rare 78s, and some amazing quartet singing. It’s blues and gospel from Charlotte, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

This episode is available commercial free and in its original full-fidelity high quality audio exclusively to our subscribers at Bandcamp. Your annual subscription of $27 a year will go directly to support this radio show, and you’ll gain INSTANT DOWNLOAD ACCESS to this and more than 120 other episodes -- including a BRAND NEW installment from our mini-series on Elmore James (not yet released to the public) -- from our extensive archive. More info is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week in Blues History - June 17-23
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June 17, 2018 03:51 AM PDT
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“This Week in Blues History” aims the spotlight on important recordings, artists, and events from the golden era of the blues. This time, we profile Wynonie Harris, who hit the top of the Billboard Rhythm & Blues charts, this week in 1948.

"This Week in Blues History" is ONLY available as a download to our bandcamp subscribers! More info -- including how to get instant access to more than 120 episodes of Blues Unlimited -- is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Bluebird Blues (Hour 2)
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June 12, 2018 10:19 AM PDT
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The Bluebird record label, a subsidiary of RCA Victor, ran from January 1933 to the spring of 1946, and featured literally thousands of classic blues performances -- in addition to offerings in the country, pop, jazz, and hillbilly genres. Tampa Red, Washboard Sam, Big Joe Williams, Walter Davis, Bill "Jazz" Gillum, John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Robert Nighthawk (known in the pre-war years as Robert Lee McCoy), Casey Bill Weldon, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup and Big Maceo Merriweather are just a few of the Blues legends who recorded for Bluebird during the label's heyday.

Originally started in response to the "3 records for a dollar" campaign that a competing label had begun offering (the American Record Corporation), it made good economic sense, during the harsh years of the Depression, to have a label that was more affordable than the regular 79 cents that a brand new 78 rpm record would set you back in those days. And when every penny counted, 35 cents was an amount, perhaps, that was much more affordable -- and expendable -- for the record buying public.

Supplying Bluebird with talent, at least in Chicago anyway, was a man by the name of Lester Melrose. He and his older brother ran a music store and publishing company in Chicago, and in 1925 Lester quit to become a freelance A&R man, talent scout, and record producer all in one. During the 1930s and 1940s, he supplied talent to both RCA Victor as well as Columbia and OKeh -- if you were a Blues musician in Chicago who wanted to get on record during that time, Melrose was the man you had to see.

Unfortunately, Melrose took economic advantage of the situation more than most people had realized. Although he always paid the musicians for their session time in the recording studio, when he retired, Melrose had somehow "accumulated" the copyrights to over 3,000 songs -- most of them blues. No one suffered greater under this de facto "arrangement," perhaps, than did bluesman Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup -- especially after a young Elvis Presley got a hold of one of his songs and made it a hit.

In the spring of 1946, the Bluebird line was scrapped, and a few Blues musicians -- not all of the pre-war artists made the cut, mind you -- were transferred over to parent company RCA Victor.

Three years later, RCA pioneered the 45rpm record. The very first issue in the Blues series (handsomely pressed in orange vinyl) was a record, appropriately enough, by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup.

But as they say.... that's a story for another day.

Pictured: A Casey Bill Weldon release showing the distinctive graphics of the Bluebird line.

This episode is available commercial free and in its original full-fidelity high quality audio exclusively to our subscribers at Bandcamp. Your annual subscription of $27 a year will go directly to support this radio show, and you’ll gain INSTANT DOWNLOAD ACCESS to this and more than 120 other episodes from our extensive archive as well. More info is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

Bluebird Blues (Hour 1)
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June 12, 2018 10:08 AM PDT
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Please support the people who support Blues Unlimited! This week’s episode comes to you, in part, by Dick Waterman Photography: http://dickwaterman.photoshelter.com

Join us for a look at the Bluebird label. Launched as a budget imprint during the height of the Great Depression, it quickly became home to blues icons like Tampa Red, Sonny Boy Williamson, Washboard Sam, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, and more. Blues from RCA Victor's legendary Bluebird label, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: A Casey Bill Weldon release showing the distinctive graphics of the Bluebird line.

This episode is available commercial free and in its original full-fidelity high quality audio exclusively to our subscribers at Bandcamp. Your annual subscription of $27 a year will go directly to support this radio show, and you’ll gain INSTANT DOWNLOAD ACCESS to this and more than 120 other episodes from our extensive archive as well. More info is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week in Blues History - June 10-16
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June 10, 2018 05:09 AM PDT
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"This Week in Blues History" aims the spotlight on important recordings, artists, and events from the golden era of the blues. This time, we profile Mississippi blues legend Charley Patton, who made his debut for Paramount Records, this week in 1929.

"This Week in Blues History" is ONLY available as a download to our bandcamp subscribers! More info -- including how to get instant access to more than 120 episodes of Blues Unlimited -- is at http://bluesunlimited.bandcamp.com/subscribe

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