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]



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]

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    

Bo Diddley Rhythm And Blues Original Uk Tri Centre London 45 EpBlind Willie Johnson Columbia 14504 Gospel Blues 78 Rpm Record V+Jaybird Coleman Columbia 14534 Blues 78 Rpm Record E+Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe Vocalion 1631 Blues 78 Rpm Record N- File CopyLightnin’ Hopkins -1955-herald-12” - Mono-33rpm - Lp - “lightnin’ And The Blues”78 Rpm Ramblin Thomas Paramount 12609 E-/v+ No Job Blues -rarePre-war Blues Beale Street Sheiks "jazzin The Blues" Paramount 12591 78 RpmGeorgia Tom Dorsey Gennett 6919 Blues 78 Rpm Record V/v+Howlin' Wolf Lp Chess 1469 Orig Dg Black/silver Label Rare Blues "rocking Chair"78 Rpm -- Lewis Black, Columbia 14429, Ee+ BluesLightnin' Hopkins, Goin' Away, Prestige Bluesville 1074, Nm In Orig. Shrink78 Rpm -- Frankie Half Pint Jaxon, Vocalion 1285 (file Copy), E+ Jazz / BluesScarce! Orig Mobile Fidelity = Led Zeppelin Ii ~ Hard Heavy Blues Psych Page78 Rpm – Mislabeled Blind Willie MctellLightnin' Hopkins, Smokes Like Lightnin', Orig. Prestige Bluesville 1070, ShrinkDoug Quattlebaum, Softee Man Blues, Orig. Prestige Bluesville 1065Mega Rare Press Kit '69 Led Zeppelin 1 ~ Hard Heavy Blues Psych Page Yardbirds Pre-war Blues Papa Charlie Jackson "the Faking Blues" Paramount 12281 78 RpmScrapper Blackwell, Mr. Scrapper's Blues, Prestige Bluesville 1047 Orig, NmChristine Perfect ~ 1970 Smokey Sultry Blues Boom Chicken Shack Fleetwood Mac !G.gryce W/r.williams The Rat Race Blues New Jazz 8262 Us 1st Purple Dg Rvg M-/mHowlin’ Wolf Moanin’ In The Moonlight Lp Chess 1964 Uk 1st!Lightnin' Hopkins, Lightnin' & Co., Orig. Prestige Bluesville 1061 Orig. ShrinkPete Franklin, Guitar Pete's Blues, Orig. Prestige Bluesville 1068Washington Phillips, Pre-war Blues "denomination Blues" Columbia Race 14333-dRockabilly-ronnie Self-pretty Bad Blues/three Hearts Later-hear BothPrewar Blues 78 Broadway 5108 Jazzlips Williams (charlie Spand, Pm 13005)Shirley Griffith, Saturday Blues, Prestige Bluesville 1087, Nm* Albert King Lp "born Under A Bad Sign" Stax Blues Soul R&b Original S723#melvyn Price- Rhythm And Blues Meldor Private Label In Top Condition Hear#78 Rpm -- Harum Scarums / George Ramsey & Laura Rucker, Crown 3224, E- Blues78 Rpm Jelly Roll Morton Puritan 11251 E- Muddy Water Blues - Fletcher HendersonLightnin' Hopkins, Blues In My Bottle, Prestige Bluesville 1045 Orig.Tampa Red, Don't Tampa With The Blues, Prestige Bluesville 1030 Orig, Nm78 Rpm -- Brother Son Bonds, Decca 7024, Ee+ Blues / Gospel / JugPre-war Blues Luella Miller "rattle Snake Groan" Vocalion 1081 78 Rpm E+!!78 Rpm -- Lucy Smith Jubilee Singers, Vocalion 1222, E+ Blues / Gospel Moody Blues Every Good Boy Deserves Favour Lp Sealed Mobile Fidelity Mfsl 1-232J.t. Adams & Shirley Griffith, Indiana Ave. Blues, Prestige Bluesville 1077Willie Dixon, Willie's Blues, Prestige Bluesville 1003 Orig, NmDizzy Reece Blues In Trinity Orig Blue Note 4006 Ear Rvg 47 West 63rd St Dg Lp'68 Orig Chicken Shack ~ Ok Ken ~ Hard Uk Blues Boom Fleetwood Mac Killing FloorAlec Seward, Creepin' Blues, Prestige Bluesville 1076Guitar Crusher Rare Uk 1969 Demo / Promo / Blues / Soul / Blue Horizon / Ex+ !!Crossover Soul 45 - Kool Blues - I'm Gonna Keep On Loving You - Capsoul Vg++ Mp3The Little Boy Blues The Great Train Robbery Original Us Garage Punk 45 On RonkoHorace Silver Blowin The Blues Away Lp Blue Note 4017 Mono W 63rd Rvg Ear Dg Nm-1968 Orig ~ Fleetwood Mac ~ English Rose ~ Uk Blues Boom! Hard Peter Green Gem!The Best Of Little Walter Lp Chess 1428 Orig Dg Mono Black/silver Blues VgRare 1936 Georgia Blues 78 Smith & Harper On Perfect 6-10-61 Listen!!Muddy Waters The Real Folk Blues Lp 1965 Chess 1st Press!! Gold Label!!!!Blackfeather-boppin' The Blues-orig Australia Vinyl Lp 1972 John Robinson Duck1969 Orig Fleetwood Mac ~ Then Play On Hard Green BluesI'm John Lee Hooker~vee Jay 1007 Rainbow Label~deep Groove-unplayedLou Donaldson Blues Walk Lp On Blue Note 63rd Dg MonoGroundhogs - Split (liberty Uk Original Lp 1971) A-1u/ B-1u Prog Blues. Near ExBakerloo - Bakerloo Lp Harvest 1969 Rare Blues Rock Prog Classic 1st PressThe Mobile Revelers Van Dyke 5112 Gospel Blues 78 Rpm Record E-Lonnie Johnson, Blues & Ballads, Prestige Bluesville 1011 Orig, NmSidney Maiden, Trouble An' Blues, Prestige Bluesville 1035, Nm

Recent News: Blues Records

Source: Google News

Aladdin to welcome Oregon's music stars
Pamplin 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 Acorn
South 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 party
Bristol 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 years
Harnesslink, 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 down
INFORUM, 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 Saturday
Shreveport 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-Brutton
Nantucket 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 2016
Noise11, 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