The dominant gene in the DNA of rock ’n’ roll comes from the blues, which is just one reason why many believe it’s the most important musical genre of the last 100 years. Everyone from Chuck Berry to The Beatles to Led Zeppelin has used the basic 12-bar blues chord progression as the underlying structure for their music. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine much of contemporary music without it.

Cognizant of this fact, the Rock and Roll Museum inducted blues legend Robert Johnson into its Hall of Fame in 1986, the institution’s very first year. The following year it added Johnson acolyte Muddy Waters to its ranks, along with bluesmen B.B. King and Big Joe Turner. In subsequent years, blues artists such as Lead Belly, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, and Willie Dixon, among others, have been inducted into the hallowed hall.

For vinyl record collectors, blues records are particularly appealing because the style spans so many years and formats. For example, collectors of antique 10-inch 78 RPM discs on Okeh and other labels look for Bessie Smith tunes such as “Safety Mama” or “Blind” Lemon Jefferson songs like “How Long, How Long.” In the 1920s, Jefferson’s music was so popular that some of his records enjoyed as many as 750,000 pressings.

The Depression knocked some of the stuffing out of the blues market, and World War II forced many labels to cease operations altogether as raw materials were husbanded for the war effort. But a parallel upheaval was happening in the blues, as artists moved from the Mississippi Delta region in the south to urban areas up north.

In Chicago, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and John Lee Hooker all made their mark, trading their acoustic Martin guitars for electric ones made by Gibson and others (B.B. King’s black ES-335, which he named Lucille, remains one of the most identifiable instruments in music).

One of Chicago’s leading blues artists was Willie Dixon. He performed extensively in the postwar era, but he also wrote a lot of tunes recorded as 45s on Chess Records, by performers from locals Waters and Wolf to England’s Rolling Stones—their 45 single of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster” was recorded in Chicago for Chess in 1965.

In fact, in the 1960s, rock bands would regularly weave blues numbers by Dixon, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Bo Diddley into their repertoires. First pressings of “East-West” by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band are prized, as are mint mono LPs of the 1966 “Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton” album—the leader of that band, John Mayall, was one of the greatest champions of the U.S. blues in England...

Then there were the Yardbirds, a blues-inspired pop outfit that launched the careers of not only Clapton (good luck finding a seven-inch single of their 1965 hit, “For Your Love”) but also Jeff Beck (the U.K. release of “Roger the Engineer” is much sought after) and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page (look for “Little Games”).

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas pays homage to international female opera singers of the LP era. Chronicling more than 800 singers, the… [read review or visit site]

317X

317X

Despite its mysterious title, 317X is plain and simple—an online gallery of vintage LPs, with a 1950s vintage fee… [read review or visit site]

Mybeatles.net

Mybeatles.net

Jesse Barron's collection of Beatles 45s, picture sleeves, magazines, books, and memorabilia. Browse singles and al… [read review or visit site]

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

This great site, from the Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors, offers detailed background information an… [read review or visit site]

The Remington Site

The Remington Site

Since 1999, the Remington Site has offered classical music collectors a glimpse into Remington Records, an independ… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

'60 Rockabilly Dorsey/johnny Burnette Blues Stay Away From Me Coral M- Dj Hear!Parish Hall - S/t Same - Original 1970 Fantasy Wlp Promo Lp - Rare Blues Psych78 Rpm Memphis Minnie, Vocalion 1556, E BluesBlues 78, Mississippi John Hurt On Okeh 8560, Vg To Vg+Pre War 78 Whistler & His Jug Band Okeh 8816 Pig Meat Blues Jug Band Nice ???? Pre-war Blues 78 Arthur Pettis Revenue Men, Quarrellin' Mama E ShapeJohnny Cash Sun Record 78 Speed #232 Folsom Prison Blues Carl Perkins Blue SuedeJohn Mayall Blues Breakers Eric Clapton! Beano Uk Decca Mono Lp 1st Pr 1a/1a!1955 Sun Records-45rpm- Elvis Presley-milkcow Blues Boogie You're A HeartbreakerLot Of 66 Vintage Jazz, Blues, Funk, Soul, R&b, Disco Vinyl Lp RecordsGus Cannon & His Jug Stompers Prison Wall Blues/wolf River Blues Victor 23272 V78 Rpm Bo Carter Bluebird B-7927 Shake 'em On Down And Who's Been Here? BluesBlues Pills Debut Vinyl Lp Nuclear Blast Records, Heavy Stoner Psych Rock 1960'sMod Popcorn R&b 45 John Lee Hooker You Gotta Shake It Up & Go Hear Rare GalaxyLot Of 500+ Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&b 45s. Great For Jukebox! (80)Robert Johnson - King Of The Delta Blues Singers Original 6 Eye Rare Promo Lp Columbia 14194 Peg Leg Howell Coal Man Blues/tishamingo Blues 78 Rpm Vg+/vgBlues 78 Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell I Keep The Blues Vocalion 1709Junior Wells - Hoodoo Man Blues - Delmark 60s Blues Mono Lp Lot Of 500+ Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&b 45s. Great For Jukebox! (79)Junior Wells ~ "it's My Life Baby" (vanguard) Uk - 1966 - Original!Ivan Neville-dance Your Blues Away-cookie Records-modern Soul-disco-rare-nolaZydeco Blues 78 Clifton Chenier Checker 939Northern Soul 45 Bobby Bland Shoes/a Touch Of The Blues Hear DukeSavoy Brown - Blue Matter - Rare Original 1969 Uk Decca Stereo Lp - Psych BluesOliver Nelson Blues & The Abstract Truth 2lp 45 Rpm Analogue Productions As-5The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Russell Simins/ Judah Bauer- Color Vinyl-lpAshkan~in From The Cold~rare Psych Blues Rock~original Sire LpRockin Devils 9 Track Red Vinyl Ep *i Got Them Blues*Savoy Brown Raw Sienna Lp Decca Skl5043 (1970) Ex- P-1w/p-1w England Blues PsychBo Diddley - Have Guitar Will Travel Lp - Chess Vg++ ShrinkHowlin' Wolf - The Howlin' Wolf Album Lp - Cadet Concept Vg+12 Blues Lp Lot Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, B B King*black Sabbath* 1st Album - 1970 Uk Vertigo Lp Classic 1960's Blues RockDouglas Fir - Hard Heartsingin' Blues Rock Psych White Label Rare Dj PromoJohn Coltrane Plays The Blues Atlantic 1382 Mono 1st Pressing O/p Label Ex Great'55 Chicago Harp Blues/instro Little Willie Foster Falling Rain Blues Hear Both!Grateful Dead Blues For Allah With Original LyricsLot Of 9 Vinyl Records Led Zeppelin / Moody Blues / Paul Mccartney / StyxUltra Rare Blues 45 Brownie Mcghee Mean Old Frisco/lover On Jackson Red WaxThe Jon Spencer Blues Explosion- Orange Lp Matador Vinyl Original PressLightnin' Hopkins Autobiography In Blues Lp Tradition Stereo Near Mint VinylJanis Joplin I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! 1969 Uk Cbs - Near MintLot Of 500+ Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&b 45s. Great For Jukebox! (81)Analogue Productions Apj-026 Doc & Merle Watson Pickin The Blues Test Press Lp Joe Carter & His Chicago Broomdusters Mean & Evil Blues Orig.1976 Barrelhouse LpZydeco Blues 78 Clifton Chenier Argo 5262Blind Boy Fuller "meat Shakin' Woman" '34 Vocalion Recs Rare Blues 78 Rpm HearLightnin’ Hopkins Mojo Hand Plp-6001 Lp Ba5610Mind Garage Rca Psych Blues Xian Original Vg+ Vinyl RareRobert Johnson - King Of The Delta Blues Singers - Columbia-lp/vinyl/recordLightnin' Hopkins - Walkin' This Road By Myself - Bluesville - Sealed Reissue-lpMccoy Tyner Nights Of Ballads & Blues Impulse 12" Vinyl Jazz Album No ReservePhil Jones & The Unknown Blues If I Had A Ticket Rare!! Oz Aust Festival Fk-1721Moody Blues-days Of Future Past-original Master Record-mfsl 1-042 Deram-insertsLot 2 Lps Guitar Blues Big Bill Broonzy Hound Dog Taylor Legends Good ConditionAlbert King Born Under A Bad Sigh P-11261 Obi Lp Ba5611Scarce Blues Picture Label Effie Smith Miltone 218Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightnin' Original Uk Pye Int. Single Rockabilly Teen- Bob Ehret- Goodbye Mr. Blues -hear Both -1958 Hamilton

Recent News: Blues Records

Source: Google News

Aussie ditches the 9-5 to travel the world with $7
NEWS.com.au, August 2nd

From a young age growing up in the Brisbane suburbs it was an escape — from playing guitar in the kitchen late at night to putting on old Blues records that I had bought with my last change. “And then there came that time I guess happens to most of us...Read more

Appleton's blues band The Black Circles to play with their heroes The Hoax
Warrington Guardian, July 31st

"We're quite new to the blues scene so it's been good to pick his brains about what happens behind the scenes." Sam started learning the guitar when he was just seven and it was all thanks to his dad Graham. "He would always listen to old blues records...Read more

Ghost Woman Blues
Livemint, July 29th

Wiley's masterpiece is “Last Kind Words Blues”, which is also one of the rarest blues records with only three known existing copies. The power of the song comes from the aura of gloom and doom that hangs over it. Indeed, there are fewer blues songs...Read more

Disney worker on unpaid leave after rape arrest
Orlando Sentinel, July 24th

It was the second time he had been arrested after leaving House of Blues, records show. On Sept. 19, 2012, Herrera and a friend were stopped for speeding and a broken tag light at 2:23 a.m. on Buenaventura Boulevard. An Osceola deputy noticed Herrera ...Read more

Steve Earle and his life passion for blues
Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, July 24th

Rolling Stone called it “less a soul-searcher than a sturdy vehicle, built to chug through hard times,” while Vintage Guitar remarked, “In a time when far too many modern 'blues' records feel antiseptic and slick, Earle and band superbly integrate new...Read more

Here Are Five Influential Personalities Who Took LSD
RYOT, July 22nd

In his first trip, Hendrix listened to Keith Richards' personal collection of blues records. The experience had a profound impact on him and went on to greatly influence his music and style of dressing. Subsequently, Hendrix performed a great number of...Read more

Robert Broadbent, Force Behind Rock Hall of Fame, Dies at 94
New York Times, July 15th

Mr. Freed used Moondog's 1949 composition “Moondog's Symphony” as his theme music (and for a time appropriated the composer's professional name as his own) and began playing rhythm and blues records on WJW radio at midnight. Mr. Freed ...Read more

Exclusive: Dan Aykroyd Launches Blues Brothers Records: 'I Want to Find the ...
Billboard, March 16th

Jack White and Aerosmith have done blues records. After I saw Miley Cyrus on Saturday Night Live, I could hear her doing Lightnin' Hopkins with that growling voice. By working with a first-class producer in Don and using BluesMobile to help sell, there...Read more