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    

Rare Rockabilly 45 Steve Carl The Jags 'curfew' '18 Year Old Blues' Meteor Hear78 Rpm Record Black Blues Paramount 12679 Blind Lemon Jefferson Lockstep BluesLittle Walter - My Babe/blue Midnight - Original London Pressing!Robert Johnson, Vocalion 03445, E- / V+ American Blues Is Here Lp Private Tx 60s Psych Monster Orig Karma Zz Top Rare! Blues Jug Band 78, Memphis Jug Band On Victor 23251, Vg+Muddy Waters - At Newport 1960 Uk Lp Orig Pye Jazz Rare244. Henry Townsend - Henry's Sorry Blues & Long Ago Blues - Columbia 14529-dJack White Fly Farm Blues Glow In The Dark London Halloween 2009Robert Johnson - 1936 - 1937 Classic Jazz Masters Lp Nr MintEels Electro Shock Blues Original Release Double 10" Lp. Blue Vinyl. Sealed!!Rare Obscure 50s 60s 45 Rpm Lot Of 57 Records Promos/soul/blues Sleeved & ListedBlues 78 Furry Lewis Vocalion "everybody's Blues / Rock Island Blues" RareLightnin Hopkins Lp Blues In My Bottle Prestige Bluesville Bv 1045 Lightning ExBlues Gospel 78 Columbia 14582-d Blind Willie Johnson "soul Of A Man" Rare Soul/funk 45 Willie West Fairchild/i Sleep With The Blues Josie Dj OrigRare Obscure 50s 60s 45 Rpm Lot Of 87 Records Promos/soul/blues Sleeved & ListedBilly Thorpe The Aztecs Rare More Arse Than Class Australian Vinyl Lp Blues Prog242. Ma Rainey - Rough And Tumble Blues & Memphis Bound Blues - Paramount 1231110 Blues Lp Lot# 1 W John Lee Hooker, Lightnin Hopkins, Slim Harpo, B.b. King78 Rpm Record Jazz Classics Blind Willie Johnson Dark Was The Night 512 FaultLot Of 500+ Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&b 45s. Great For Jukebox! (16)Rare 78 Black Boy Shine Robert Johnson Vocalion 03551 V++ W/original SleeveGeorgie Fame : Rhythm & Blues At The Flamingo : 7" Ep (1964)Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orch, Boot It, Everyday Blues, Victor 38144 78 Rpm+++ Led Zeppelin - S/t - Rare Picture Disc - Psych Blues MintMuddy Waters I'm Your Hoochie Cooche [sic] Coochie Man Chess 1560Charlie Mingus Blues & Roots Og Uk Mono London Lp Ltzk15194 Aml1586 1/1 MintEntombed Wolverine Blues Original 1993 Mosh 82 Ex++/nr Mint Deicide DeathLot Of 500+ Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&b 45s. Great For Jukebox! (17)[j.greenlee] Eddie Banks (josie Dj 804) Sugar Diabetes/rock A Bye Blues (vg+)Lot Of 70 Records Old Vinyl Lp Albums Classic Rock Beatles Moody Blues Cash10 Blues Lp Lot# 2 W John Lee Hooker, Ma Rainey, Muddy Waters, B.b. King243. Pine Top Smith - Pine Top Blues & Pine Top Boogie Woogie - Vocalion 1245Lightnin' Hopkins & Blues Holy Grail Rare Orig '57 Herald Mono Lp Black Lbl NiceOliver Nelson Blues & Abstract Truth Impulse Original Mono Lp Sonny Boy Williamson €+++ Led Zeppelin - 2 - Rare Picture Disc - Psych Blues Mint10 Blues Lp Lot# 3 W B.b. King, Mississippi John Hurt, Dr. Ross, Lazy Lester+++ Led Zeppelin - 3 Iii - Rare Picture Disc - Psych Blues MintRare 78 Okeh 4918 King Oliver Jazz Band Dipper Mouth Blues Louis Armstrong Riverside 12-248 Mono Dg Ernie Henry Quartet 7 Standards & A Blues Rare GreatMuddy Waters Mannish Boy Chess 1602Autographed Blues Brothers Briefcase Full Of Blues Lp Signed By John Belushi245. Bessie Smith - Do Your Duty & I'm Down In The Dumps - Okeh 8945Rare 1950's Blues 78 Charley Booker On Rhythm & Blues 7003 "no Ridin Blues"Rare 78 Okeh 4906 King Oliver Jazz Band "sobbin Blues" Louis Armstrong Horace Silver Blowin' The Blues Away Lp Blue Note 4017 W. 63rd Nyc Dg "ear" RvgBlues 78, Trixie Smith On Black Swan 14132, VgRare 1965 Paul Butterfield Blues Band-1st Press Elektra Ekl-294 Mono LpMuddy Waters Lp "at Newport" Original Chess Black Label Mono Vg Dg +++ Ufo - 1 - Rare Debut Psych Metal Acid Blues (beacon) 1st Pressing"charles Sheffield" R&b Blues 45 "it;s Your Voodoo Working" Excello 45-2200Muddy Waters - Folk Singer Uk Lp Nr MintJohn Lee Hooker~s/t '63 Blues Lp On Galaxy 201 Ex Lp Muddy Waters Heavy Vinyl Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation Retaliation (aka To Mum...) Original Uk Lp Prog BluesThe Little Boy Blues In The Woodland Of Weir Lp Orig Fontana Garage Fuzz PsychBlues Rockabilly - John Greer - Come Back Maybelline --hear Both- 1955 GrooveBlues 78, Sippie Wallace On Okeh 8190, Vg To Vg+Hear! Rockabilly Promo 45 John Lee Hooker - She's Mine / A New Leaf On Vee & Jay

Recent News: Blues Records

Source: Google News

Band of the week: Jamie Bosanko
Cumbria Live, July 24th

I picked up my skills from: Playing along to old blues records as a kid, then it's just listening and learning from others, getting in a band, bouncing off your mates and all that good stuff. I have my best ideas when: Driving! It's funny but I think...Read more

Rick Estrin Brings the Nightcats to Redwood City
Silicon Valley's Metro, July 24th

Growing up in San Francisco with a “beatnik” for a sister, it didn't take long for Rick Estrin to be introduced to the blues. “When I was 11 years old she started showing me some of her blues records,” Estrin recalls. “I was instantly fascinated...Read more

Zak Resnick, Teal Wicks and More Star in PIECE OF MY HEART, Opening ...
Broadway World, July 21st

He produced historic rhythm and blues records such as "Cry To Me" for Solomon Burke, "Under the Boardwalk" for The Drifters and "Twist and Shout" for the Isley Brothers. Berns' original compositions, songs such as "Twist and Shout," "Cry Baby," "Hang...Read more

From Milwaukee to Chicago, Liz Mandeville traveled a long blues road
MLive.com, July 15th

Mandeville, who also writes for blues publications, and spins blues records on WNUR-FM, could be seen as a blues scholar as well as singer/guitarist. She managed to get some important names on her latest album, "Clarksdale" (Blue Kitty Music, 2012), ...Read more

Collectors hunt rare records in 'Do Not Sell at Any Price'
Hanford Sentinel, July 14th

“There's music all over the world that's equally rare,” says Ward, while acknowledging that blues records nonetheless represent “a very interesting piece of Americana.” However, he adds, “That same thing exists in many other places. It's just, does it...Read more

Book Review: 'Do Not Sell at Any Price' by Amanda Petrusich & 'Pioneers of the ...
Wall Street Journal, July 11th

Not when there are still 78s that have not been located, such as Willie Brown's "Kicking in My Sleep Blues" on the hallowed Paramount label, for many the holy grail of lost Delta-blues records. One collector tells Ms. Petrusich of recurring nightmares...Read more

World of collectors of rare 78 rpm records
The Korea Herald, July 10th

“There's music all over the world that's equally rare,” says Ward, while acknowledging that blues records nonetheless represent “a very interesting piece of Americana.” However, he adds, “That same thing exists in many other places. It's just, does it...Read more

'Do Not Sell at Any Price's' hunters stalk rare 78 rpm records
Los Angeles Times, July 3rd

"There's music all over the world that's equally rare," says Ward, while acknowledging that blues records nonetheless represent "a very interesting piece of Americana." However, he adds, "That same thing exists in many other places. It's just, does it...Read more