Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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Country Blues, the essential DOUBLE CD
Drawing from the Document Catalogue, this double CD set represents some of the many wonderful Country Blues recordings, in particular with the accompaniment of guitars and harmonicas, which came from the halcyon days when Country Blues musicians could be heard playing on the streets, at parties, dances and in juke joints, or on the porches of sharecropper's shacks.



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Yonder Come The Blues

Various.
Informative booklet notes by Paul Oliver.
Detailed discography.

Paul Oliver is internationally recognised as being one of the most prolific and authoritive writers of the history and development of blues music. In the early 1970s an excellent series of paperback books were published by Studio Vista known as "Blues Paperbacks". The series covered many aspects of the music and included several biographies including a book on Charley Patton written by John Fahey, Tommy Johnson by Dave Evans and Peetie Wheetstraw by Paul Garon. The series also featured three books which looked at the development of the music; Savannah Syncopators by Paul Oliver, Blacks Whites and Blues by Tony Russell and Recording the Blues by the blues discographer Robert M.W. Dixon. To compliment his book Yonder Come the Blues, based on those three books, Paul Oliver personally invited Document to produce this CD illustrating many musical examples drawn upon in the book. Continued...




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Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey DOUBLE CD

Double CD
Various Artiists
Compiled by Bill Wyman
Informative 24 page full colour booklet by Bill Wyman & Richard Havers
Detailed discography
 
Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman asked Document Records to produce a CD which would be part of a life long ambition; to pay tribute to and share with others the music that he has loved and been influenced by, The Blues. This double CD, accompanied by a twenty-four page colour booklet, compliments the book, television documentary and DVD of the same name. It features some of the very best blues to have been recorded from the early “Classic” female blues and “Country Blues” of the nineteen-twenties through to the electric “Down Home” blues of Chicago.
 
Whether you are a collector or just inquisitive about what the blues are and the history the music, this CD is one of the finest collections of vintage blues recordings available. Continued...



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Troubled Hearted Blues - Vintage Guitar Blues (1927 - 1944)

Various Artists.
Informative 8 page, full colour booklet written by Kieth Briggs.
Detailed discography.

Twenty four tracks of some of the finest blues guitar on record. Includes superb bottleneck guitar playing by Robert Lockwood, Gabriel Brown and Bukka White, stunning finger picking by George Torey, Robert Wilkins and Blind Lemon Jefferson and much more. Features the recently found and incredibly rare copy of Blind Joe Reynolds Cold Woman Blues and Ninety Nine Blues recorded for Paramount. National Steel Guitars, Stella 12-strings and Martins, they're all here. Continued...




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Blues, Blues Christmas 1925 - 1955

Various artists
Double album with full colour 20 page booklet by Jeff Harris. 
Detailed discography
  
The idea of Christmas themed blues and gospel numbers stretches back to the very dawn of the recorded genres. “Hooray for Christmas” exclaims Bessie Smith to kick off her soon to be classic “At The Christmas Ball”, which inaugurated the Christmas blues tradition when it was recorded in November 1925 for Columbia. A year later, circa December 1926, the gospel Christmas tradition was launched when the Elkins-Payne Jubilee Singers recorded “Silent Night, Holy Night” for Paramount Records. After these recordings it was off to the races with numerous Christmas blues numbers recorded by singers of all stripes, a pace that continued as blues evolved into R&B and then rock and roll. Continued...



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Blind Lemon Jefferson Vol 1 1925 - 1926

Blind Lemon Jefferson, vocal, guitar.
 
Genres: Country Blues, Texas Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Bob Groom
Detailed discography.
 
Pianist Sammy Price is credited with bringing Jefferson to the attention of Mayo Williams of Paramount Records, who were looking for other male blues artists to follow up their initial success with Papa Charlie Jackson. Curiously, these were two old spirituals which were later issued under the pseudonym 'Deacon L. J. Bates'. Perhaps the idea was to test the market for this unusual-sounding performer, however the recordings were held back for release until the following autumn. Certainly they lack the impact of Lemon's blues performances. A more passionate version of Pure Religion was recorded by Blind Gussie Nesbit in 1930 (Columbia 14576-D) while the 1927 recording of I Want To Be Like Jesus In My Heart by Mississippi blues singer Sam Collins (Gennett 6291), with slide guitar accompaniment, offers a useful comparison with Lemon's recording. Early in 1926 Lemon was recalled to the studio to record some blues. The four sides from this session were used for his first two records. Booster Blues and Dry Southern Blues were issued around the beginning of April and sales were obviously good as Paramount quickly issued Got the Blues and Long Lonesome Blues. This second record was phenomenally successful, tapping a market thirsty for Southern-styled blues. Within a few weeks Got The Blues and Long Lonesome Blues were remade at the Marsh Laboratories and these new recordings were used for later pressings of Paramount 12354. Continued...



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Blind Lemon Jefferson Vol 2 1927

Blind Lemon Jefferson, vocal, guitar.
With contributions by: George Perkins, piano.
 
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Texas Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Bob Groom.
Detailed discography.
 
1927 was the peak year of the decade for record sales (before radio and, later, the Depression began to seriously affect the record industry), with well over 100 million discs sold in America, "race records" accounting for at least 5 million of these and Blind Lemon Jefferson being one of the hottest properties in that field, having had a string of successful Paramount record releases in 1926. In March, 1927 Lemon was lured away from Paramount by Polk C. Brockman of OKeh Records. Jefferson recorded eight titles for them, including a remake of his Black Snake Moan hit. This was released together with a new song, Match Box Blues, and the record was an instant hit. The following month Lemon was in Chicago to remake Easy Rider Blues and Match Box Blues for Paramount. The resulting record must have been a phenomenal success as he remade Match Box Blues again a few weeks later, which suggests that the earlier master was wearing out, perhaps implying six-figures sales. Continued...



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Blind Lemon Jefferson Vol 3 1928

Blind Lemon Jefferson, vocal, guitar.

 

Genres: Texas Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar

Informative booklet notes by Bob Groom.

Detailed discography.

 

From this CD's notes:

Considering that he was the most popular male blues recording artist of the 1920s, we know surprisingly little about Blind Lemon Jefferson. Between 1925 and 1929 he made at least 100 recordings, including alternative versions of some songs. Had 43 records issued, all but one on the Paramount label. He died in Chicago, in mysterious circumstances, towards the end of December, 1929. He Inspired a generation of male bluesmen but had few imitators, due to the complexity of his guitar playing and the distinctiveness of his high, clear voice.  Continued...




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Blind Lemon Jefferson Vol 4 (1929)

Blind Lemon Jefferson, vocal, guitar.
 
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Texas Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Bob Groom.
Detailed discography.
 
Lemon started 1929 with a very strong pair of recordings: Eagle Eyed Mama repeats the title phrase in every verse, reinforcing the imagery like a pop song, while Dynamite Blues offers a violent solution to his woman trouble ("blow her up late at night"!) in a cathartic fantasy. Peach Orchard Mama, the first of a block of seven masters made at his next session and the only one to feature a short guitar solo, was probably Jefferson's last major hit. It was re-recorded in the summer, along with its 'B' aide Big Night Blues, but not released until September. Big Joe Williams successfully revived Peach Orchard Mama in 1941(Bluebird B-8774). The session ended with That Black Snake Moan No. 2, a comparatively lifeless reworking of his massive 1926/7 hit and the fourth time he had utilized the theme on record. Two notable titles sandwiched between the extremes were Oil Well Blues (complete with spoken introduction), its imagery most appropriate to a Texas-born blues singer, and Tin Cup Blues which evokes the hard time when Jefferson entertained on street corners for small change in his home state before he became a star recording artist.



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Too Late Too Late Blues 1926 - 1944
DOCD-5150 Too Late Too Late Blues 1926 - 1944 Alternative takes and rare, late, discoveries. Various. The first Document CD appeared in 1990 with DOCD-5001 “Tommy Johnson”. Three years and 150 releases later the first volume of the “Too Late, Too Late” albums appeared. The unprecedented unleashing of such a fast growing bulk of blues and gospel recordings in such a “completist” fashion inspired both fans of the music and collectors alike. Once that the great river of releases had been flowing for a while collectors began to think again about what might be hidden in the corners of their collections or had until then been regarded of no real significance. In addition there were recent and continue to be, rare finds. A Big Bill Broonzy 78 had just recently been found, having been picked up in a lot that was saved from the street where it had been left for disposal. Then there was the box of Paramount tests that had been found several years ago which were made available. Collectors also began to revisit their records with more attention being paid to the recordings themselves and on many occasions found that takes that appeared on their records were not the takes that had thus far been re-issued.



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