Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

"Document 32-20 Series "

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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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Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps & Blues - Vintage Mandolin Music (1927-1946)

Various Artists.
Informative 12 page, colour illustrated booklet by Richard Cherry.
Detailed discography.

Keith Briggs of Blues & Rhythm Magazine writes; "These days the mandolin is almost exclusively identified with Bluegrass music but for decades it had maintained a regular showing in mainstream old time music, ragtime and blues (both urban and rural). This is illustrated to the dates appended to the title of this CD which refer at one end to Dallas Rag and Carbolic Rag, various display pieces, one each from the black and white traditions, and at the other Lint Head Stomp, a track often considered to be proto-Bluegrass. The mixture is maintained throughout but is weighted in favor of black artists. Care has also been taken to present the mandolin in a supporting role or as a part of an ensemble.

The secret weapon for many a string band was and still is the mandolin. This compilation brings together some wonderful blues, jazz, bluegrass and country performances, built around this small but potent instrument. 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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Rude Dudes - Part 2 Of Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey

Double CD.
Various Artists.
Informative, 12 page, full colour illustrated, booklet notes by Neil Slaven & Bill Wyman.
Detailed Discography.

Banana In Your Fruit Basket, If It Don't Fit Don't Force It and He's Just My Size? Well, no prizes for guessing what they're all about. But what is a Southern Can, who is the Boy in the Boat and why a Man O' War? This excellent double CD, with twelve page full colour booklet, is packed with some of the most intriguing and often humorous Hokum, Blues, Jazz and Boogie-Woogie pieces based on the subject of sex. Outrageous double entendres and curious metaphors are abound. If Bananas, Lollypops, Fish and Jelly be the food of love, then play on! Continued...




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Robert Nighthawk - 'Prowling with the Nighthawk' (1937 - 1952)

Informative 12 page booklet notes by Jeff Harris.
Detailed discography.

Robert "Nighthawk" Lee McCoy, vocal, guitar.

Includes contributions by;
Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson, harmonica.
Big Joe Williams, guitar.
Walter Davis, piano.
Speckled Red, piano.
Willie Dixon, bass.
Ernest Lane, piano.
Pinetop Perkins, piano.
Ransom Knowling, bass.
And others

Genres; Chicago blues, blues slide guitar, blues piano.
Informative booklet notes by Jeff Harris.
Detailed discography.

Robert Nighthawk was one of the blues premier slide guitarists playing with a subtle elegance and a fluid, crystal clear style that was instantly recognizable. Nighthawk influenced a generation of artists including Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Earl Hooker and Elmore James.

Robert Nighthawk was born Robert Lee McCollum in Helena, Arkansas on November 30th, 1909 and raised in a farming community. Nighthawk came from a musical family as he relates in a 1964 interview:

"Well, all my people played music. Mother and Dad and sister and brother and all. My brother played guitar. My brother helped me in all kinds of ways. (My family)...mostly played dances, parties, picnics and all that."

In many ways Nighthawk went onto become the archetype of the classic bluesman, spending his entire adult life rambling all over the South with frequent trips to the North playing a never ending string of one-nighters punctuated by sporadic recording dates. Nighthawks recording dates brought him only limited success but he remained popular in the South his entire life. It seems that every blues musician of consequence who emerged from the Delta from the 30's through to the 60's recalls running across Nighthawk. Continued...




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Johnny Shines - Live In Europe 1975

Johnny Shines, vocal, guitar.
 
Genres: Mississippi country blues, bottleneck-slide guitar.
Informative 12 page, illustrated, booklet notes by Bob Groom.

The snow is falling, the temperature is only just above zero, and a native of the American Deep South is a long, long way from home. Johnny Shines was, in the 1970`s, resident in Holt, Alabama, not far from the city of Tuscaloosa, but often away on tour in the United States and overseas. He was now experiencing the "fairyland" of an Austrian Winter (February 1975), the farthest point east of a European tour, with a series of great performances at the `Jazzland` club in Vienna. Continued...




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David Honeyboy Edwards - Blues Blues (1975)

David "Honeyboy" Edwards, vocal, guitar, harmonica.
Genres: Mississippi country blues, Country blues guitar. Blues Harmonica.
 
Although Honey Boy remained in the background, as the blues of the rural Southern States experienced its mixed fortunes of popularity, from the heydays of the nineteen twenties and thirties to its obscurity of the fifties, through to the revivals of the sixties and eighties when it found its permanent place in global music, he remained throughout an active performer and true to his cause.
 
Made during his 1975 trip to Europe, these recordings are among the very best that he made. He was in his prime, playing guitar, harmonica and singing with great strength and verve.



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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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Broadcasting The Blues - Compiled and edited by Paul Oliver

3CD Set 
Various Artists
Informative, 20 page, booklet written by Paul Oliver
Detailed discography

Broadcasting The Blues compliments the book of the same name published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, (isbn 0415971764). Using studio and field recordings made during the era, including some rare and wonderful interviews made in the field of the artists by Paul, this three CD compilation entwines references to many of Paul's broadcasts whilst at the same time commenting on the history of recorded blues during the era of racial segregation in America. The result is a fascinating documentation on a pioneer of blues writing and broadcasting which inspired countless writers, musicians and music fans. Continued...




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Mighty Day - 25 Gospel Greats (1928 - 1958)

Various Artists
Genres: Gospel
16 Page colour, illustrated booklet by Gillian George.
Detailed discography.
Includes "Mighty Day" by The Bessemer Sunset Four, featured in the film "Fun With Dick and Jane"
 
The Document catalogue can truly boast that it covers the birth and ensuing development of recorded gospel music. It is a fascinating musical journey. Yet despite the music's unwavering popularity for the last hundred years, it has not spawned the same magnitude of analytical literature, articles and papers, so beloved of the Blues and Jazz fans, that one can turn to for musical guidance in discussing its development as a definative musical genre. So, perhaps it is true to say that the Document Catalogue spans the earliest recorded religious black music with a formal feel of "Spirituals" to the later urban religious recordings that we would now call "Gospel". Continued...



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Boogie Woogie Pioneers - Compiled and Edited by John Mayall

Various Artists.
Informative booklet notes written by John Mayall.
Detailed discography.

Legendary British bluesman John Mayall shares his favourite piano tracks for your listening pleasure. Intimate sleeve notes written by John with reminiscences of great Blues figures. 22 hot tracks from 1928-1960.

Barrelhouse piano combined various different proportions of blues, ragtime and dance rhythms in the hands of technically unorthodox players. Jelly Roll Morton spoke of "specialists —each with a tiny repertoire nobody else could play". Bang on! Continued...




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James Booker - Manchester '77

Informative booklet notes by Gary Atkinson.

Norman Darwen of Blues Matters magazine review:

New Orleans may be full of eccentrics but James Booker was one of the more eccentric of them! If Professor Longhair's vocals could seem a little wayward, Booker's are completely off the beaten track, always in tune but only because it followed his piano playing, which pursued a similarly untrammelled path. He had enjoyed a big hit in 1960 with his organ instrumental 'Gonzo' and had gone on to play with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Maria Muldaur and Ringo Starr. Continued...




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Reverend Gary Davis - Manchester Free Trade Hall 1964

Informative booklet notes by Bob Groom.
Detailed discography.

On May 8, 1964 the Rev, on tour with something called the Blues and Gospel Caravan, was recorded in live performance with his Gibson guitar at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England. In 2008 Document released a compact disc containing all of the music known to have been taped during that set. Continued...




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Blues Blues Christmas Volume 2 - (1926-1958)

Double CD 
Various artists
Informative, full colour, 24 page booklet written 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. For some reason there are far fewer gospel Christmas songs although there were plenty of Christmas sermons in the 1920s and 1930s when recorded sermons rivalled blues in popularity among black audiences. Continued...




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Bankers Blues - A Study In The Effects Of Fiscal Mischief

Various
Booklet notes by Gillian Atkinson
Detailed discography.
 
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."
 
Thomas Jefferson - The Debate Over The Re-charter Of The Bank Bill (1809)
 
Continued...



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Barrelhouse Blues - Compiled and Edited by Paul Oliver

Barrelhouse Blues - Location Recordings & The Early Traditions In The Blues

 

Triple CD with 68 newly re-mastered tracks.

informative 12 page booklet written by Paul Oliver.

Detailed discography.

 

The beginnings of the blues are uncertain, shaded by myth and legend. To some this American musical idiom now seems to have emerged fully formed from the genius of a few pioneering innovators in the Mississippi Delta. But the truth is that without the quick and wise intervention of record companies during the 1920s throughout the South, the earliest iterations of the blues would be lost to us. Fired by the runaway success of the first blues records, emissaries from Okeh and Columbia Records lugged primitive recording equipment into makeshift studios in cities like Dallas, Atlanta and New Orleans. To preserve the music they brought in street singers, medicine show performers, pianists from the juke joints and barrelhouses. The music that circulated through the Southern work camps, prison farms and vaudeville shows would have vanished if it hadn’t been captured on location by these performers and their recorders. Continued...




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Blues Blues Christmas Vol. 3: 1927 - 1962

Various artists
Genres: Blues, Country, Gospel, Do-wop, Rockabilly
20 page colour booklet with informative notes written by Jeff Harris.
Detailed discography.

From the album's booklet notes.
You hold in your hands the third volume of Blues, Blues Christmas, our most wide-ranging collection yet, jumping genres from blues, gospel, jazz, rock, doo-wop and country spanning the 1920's through the 1960's, many songs which have not been anthologized before. Now that you have all three volumes, you do of course?, you have hours and hours of music for that next Christmas party, enough music until the eggnog runs out!

Hooray for Christmas!
Christmas comes but once a year, and to me it brings good cheer,
And to everyone, who likes wine and beer
Happy New Year is after that, happy I'll be that is a fact
That is why I like to hear, folks I say that Christmas is here

Continued...




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