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    

Charlie Patton Vocalion 02651 Blues 78 Rpm Record E Charley PattonVocalion 04002 Robert Johnson Stop Breaking Down/honeymoon E Copy! 78 Rpm 1937 78 Rpm Cannon's Jug Stompers, Victor 38629, V Blues Fleetwood Mac English Rose Lp Epic Peter Green Blues Rock Vg++ OriginalDoctor Ross / Cat Squirrel Blues Rockabilly Original 45Muddy Waters Chess Box 6xlp Chess Blues Classics Vg++ Very Nice W BookBlues, Luke Jordon, Cocaine Blues, Victor 78 RpmKing Solomon Hill As Down South Boys Varsity 6010 Blues 78 Rpm E-78 Rpm Rare Blues - Leola Wilson W/ Blind Blake Paramount 12392 E Crossover Soul 45 - Kool Blues - Keep On Loving You - Capsoul - Vg++ Mp3Mint! 1973 Nude Gimmix Cage Cover Mama Lion ~ Hard Blues Rock Fem Joplin =orig Jack Southern/ Darlene R&b Blues Rocke Rockabilly Original 45Kokomo Arnold Decca 7083 Blues 78 Rpm ESalloom Sinclair S/t Lp Cadet Concept 60s Psych Vg+ Blues Rock White Stripes 2nd 7" Lafayette Blues Vinyl By Italy Records Jack White Third ManJazz -the Blues And The Abstract Truth-oliver Nelson- Impulse -a 5 Mono78 Rpm Georgia Browns (curley Weaver, Fred Mcmullen), Melotone 12720, V Blues Rare The Who Picture Sleeve & 45 7" Young Man Blues Decca 32737 Promo 1970Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orch, Goofy Dust, Tulsa Blues Okeh 8184 78 Rpm78 Rpm Bo Carter, Bluebird 5997, V Blues Robert Lee Mccoy (robert Nighthawk) Bluebird 7416 Blues 78 Rpm E/e-Quatermass Self-titled Hard Blues Rock Prog PsychLittle Walter - The Best Of Little Walter - Chess Lp-1428 Deep Groove Mary Johnson Roosevelt Sykes Champion 50062 Blues 78 Rpm Ee-John Mayall W/ Eric Clapton Blues Breakers Decca Lp Nm Mfsl AutographedMemphis Minnie Vocalion 03398 Blues 78 Rpm V/v+Dolly Cooper / My Man Blues Rocker Jiver Rockabilly Original 4578 Rpm Rare Blues - Bessie Mae Smith Paramount 12922 V+ St Louis DaddyJohn Mayall The Blues Alone London Lp Vg++ Mfsl #136 Autographed Henry Townsend Bluebird 7453 Blues 78 Rpm V+ Plays StrongCarson Orig Oz Lp Blown Nm ’72 Blues Prog Harvest Shvl608 Broderick SmithMartha Velez Fiends & Angels 1969 Psych Blues Rock Eric Clapton Paul KossoffLot Of 500+ Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&b 45s. Great For Jukebox! (90)Magic Sam - 21 Days In Jail -promo Orig Cobra 45 # 5029 - Chicago Blues- Vg Mp3Nina Simone Pastel Blues Philips Phs 600-187 Orig 1965 Dg Soul Jazz Ex Scarce 1968 Orig Fuzz Psych = The Little Boy Blues ~ Woodland Of Blues Psych !Rudy Greene / Juicy Fruit Blues Rocker Rockabilly R&b Original 45Days Of Future Passed Moody Blues Original Master Recording Mfsl 1-042 Mobile12 Blues Lp Lot# 1 W Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Son House, B.b. KingRoyal Blood Out Of The Black Vinyl 7" Debut Rare Rock Blues Monster Mint 500onlyOasis - Precreation Blues 12" Lp Album Vinyl Record Rare Imlp9278Country Negro Jam Session Butch Cage 12" 33rpm Lp Rare Arhoolie Blues Folk Ex !Shadows Of Knight**light Bulb Blues**garage**dancer**listen To It"peg Leg" Howell And His Gang "new Jelly Roll Blues" 1927 Columbia 14210 Rare 78John Lee Hooker It Serve You Right To Suffer Impulse Lp Vg++ WaxRosa Henderson / Viola Mccoy - Rare Edison Diamond Disc Race / Blues #51478V/a ~ "ball & Chain" (arhoolie) Us 1968 ~ Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin' Hopkins +78 Rpm Trixie Smith & Fletcher Hendersons Orch, Paramount 12336, E Jazz / BluesLightnin' Hopkins W/sonny Terry-last Night Blues-rare Original Dg Lp-rvg-vg+hear2 Early Bob Dylan Bootleg Albums-john Birch Society Blues-rare Cover & StealinMiller Anderson Bright City Psych Blues RockStevie Ray Vaughan Double Trouble In Step Orig 12" 33rpm Lp Epic Blues Rock Nm!Scarce "ffss" Decca Uk = Savoy Brown ~ A Step Further ~ Hard Fuzzed Blues YoudenCharley Patton Founder Of The Delta Blues 12" 33rpm Gf 2lp Rare Yazoo Blues Nm !Oscar Brown Jr Humdrum Blues New Breed R&b Popcorn Northern Soul Swedish Ep 45Moody Blues Lot Of 26 Lps Mfsl Seventh Sojourn 2 Sealed Promo Nights Deramic SsJimmy Wisner Trio "blues For Harvey" Rare 50's Jazz Album Felsted Autographed!!! Savoy Brown Blues Band Shake Down Uk Press Stereo Unboxed Decca ! John Lee Hooker ~ Roll N' Roll ~ Modern 78 Rpm # 767 ~ Dj Copy Mint -Mississippi Fred Mcdowell–delta Blues 1964 Arhoolie Records ‎–f 1021 Shrink Wrap

Recent News: Blues Records

Source: Google News

Kevin Gordon: Long Gone Time
PopMatters, September 1st

Keep it real / Keep it free”. Later in “Goodnight Brownie Ford”, he repeats the conversation almost word for word. On Long Gone Time it is obvious that Gordon has followed this advice as he has constructed one of the best country blues records of...Read more

A Knight to remember in Cyprus Avenue as Van Morrison turns 70
Belfast Telegraph, August 31st

His mother Violet was a keen singer, while his father George worked at the Harland and Wolff shipyard, and collected jazz and blues records in his spare time. He sampled early success with the group, Them, before going on to gain global recognition...Read more

From Hyndford Street to Cyprus Avenue: Van Morrison's Belfast
Irish Times, August 29th

His father, George, was an electrician at the nearby Harland and Wolff shipyard; more significantly, George was also a keen collector of jazz and blues records, which he bought from a man called Solly Lipsitz, who owned Atlantic Records on High Street...Read more

The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Indian Jewelry, New Orleans ...
Houston Press, August 28th

The 29-year-old singer and songwriter is equally perfect — she grew up bouncing up and down the West Coast in her father's band while soaking in both her brother's rap and dad's blues records. That's certainly the tone of her 2012 debut, Til the...Read more

Forgotten Heroes: Denny Walley
Premier Guitar, August 18th

Back in New York—smitten with the blues and desperate for friends—he set up his speakers facing the street, cranked old blues records, and prayed for a kindred spirit. He was in luck. Another blues fan lived across the street. Walley fell in with the...Read more

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Aug. 13, 2015
WAMU 88.5, August 13th

The front man of headlining band Jonny Grave & The Tombstones grew up in Washington. As a teenager, he taught himself how to play slide guitar by listening to blues records. Arlington-based group Derek Evry & His Band of Misanthropes will also perform, ...Read more

Music Journalist Chronicles The 'Wild Obsessive Hunt' For Rare 78 RPM Records
WUNC, August 11th

And I think, in part, it's that a lot of the music that's been canonized - particularly the blues records that have been canonized by collectors - you know, they were made by outlier artists, so these weren't popular records, even in their moment of...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