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”).
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Recent News: Blues Records
Source: Google News
Aladdin to welcome Oregon's music starsPamplin Media Group, October 8th
You should take Rhoades' advice seriously — his own playing, as well as his 35 years of spinning blues records on such radio stations as KBOO and KMHD, have led him to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, which will induct Rhoades, as well as several others...Read more
British blues guitarist Matt Schofield plays the AcornSouth Bend Tribune, October 8th
While other young Brits were debating the relative merits of Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, Schofield enjoyed his pastoral setting while listening incessantly to his father's blues records and figuring out all the guitar licks he could. By the time the...Read more
Dress up and groove at Motown Halloween partyBristol Press, October 7th
Clemons said he started singing when his father let him listen to his Jazz and Blues records. He had performed in musical theater productions, but got his first experience singing before a large crowd after auditioning for Varlese in 2009. “Eric is a...Read more
Manzi's Bop Shop show celebrates 32 yearsHarnesslink, October 6th
MONTICELLO, NY- On Sunday, October 11, the longest running show in the Catskills, WVOS-FM's "The Bop Shop" hosted by John Manzi, will celebrate its 32nd anniversary. The four- hour radio show is heard on Sunday nights from 8pm until mid-night...Read more
Kovel: Collectible silver in good condition worth more than when melted downINFORUM, October 1st
He made many recordings for RCA and Westminster. Most old records sell for $5 or less. Rock 'n' roll, jazz, and rhythm and blues records from the 1950s and '60s sell for about $10 if in good playable condition. Records by some well-known musicians sell...Read more
Music festival tribute to Stan "The Record Man" Lewis SaturdayShreveport Times, September 24th
Change up your vinyl collection at the “Record Ruckus Vinyl Shop” located in artspace where you'll be able to buy, sale and swap for records with local record shops like Day Old Blues Records (Shreveport), Rick's Records (Shreveport), Antique Market...Read more
Photo by Mary Keating-BruttonNantucket Island Inquirer, September 24th
(Sept. 24, 2015) Ruthie Foster knows how to sing the blues. As a girl she went to church with her mother and sang in the choir, then came home and put her father's blues records on the turntable. It was a natural combination growing up in the tiny, ...Read more
Russell Morris To Headline Thredbo Blues Festival For 2016Noise11, September 20th
Morris, whose 'Sharkmouth' and Van Diemen's Land' albums sold over 100,000 copies in Australia and are the two biggest Australian selling blues records of the 21st Century, will release the third album in his trilogy 'Red Dirt, Red Heart' in October...Read more