Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

"Document Specials "

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B. A. Rolfe (1926-1929)

Genres: Jazz, Dance Band, Popular
Informative booklet notes by Joe Moore
Discography

At the end of 1923, at the age of 44, Benjamin Albert Rolfe joined Vincent Lopez's Hotel Pennsylvania Orchestra, and stayed with Lopez as a star cornet player until about April 1925, when he left to join National Attractions Inc, a ballroom circuit which included the Arcadia and Clover Gardens ballrooms in New York. Within twelve months he had taken a band of his own into the Palais D'Or, a Chinese Restaurant in New York, near Broadway and 48th Street. This was a popular New York eating house, opening at noon each day, with two performances of a revue each night at 7.00pm and 11.30pm, closing at around 2.00am. By 1927 Rolfe's contract at the Palais D'Or was for $2500 per week, plus a percentage of the profits above a certain figure. Considering that the Rolfe band was playing for dancers almost as soon as the Palais D'Or opened, and continued playing right up to closing time, it can be said they earned their money each week! Continued...




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Country Music Pioneers on Edison Records Volume 2 (1923 - 1929)

Various Artists
Genres: Vintage Country, Old Timey.

Extensive booklet note by Larry Tedder.
Discography.

As with our two volume set, Jazz & Blues on Edison Records, there was such a treasure trove of Country Music Recordings left to us in the Unissued Thomas Edison Archive that one CD issue just couldn't contain it all. The recordings here cover the years 1923 through 1929, and are taken from both Diamond Disc and Lateral Cut Test Pressings. There are many original songs presented, and also some "cover" recordings of songs made famous by Jimmie Rodgers, such as Frankie Marvin performing Blue Yodel No. 1 and the vocal duo of Frank Luther and Carson Robison (under the pseudonym "The Jimson Brothers") with Waiting for a Train. This issue has been a long time in coming, and we do hope our efforts here have made it well worth the wait. Enjoy!!!




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Hawaiian Rainbow - Hawaiian Music on Edison Records (1916 - 1929)

Various artists.
Genres: Hawaiian, Hawaiian guitar, steel guitar, world music.

Informative booklet notes by Gillian Atkinson.
Discography.

Hawaiian Rainbow is the latest CD in the Document ASA (American Sound Archives) series featuring previously unissued recordings produced by the Edison Company between the years of 1914-1929. Hawaiian music had been recorded as early as the 1890s but was not especially popular or influential until 1912 when Richard Walton Tully's Play Bird of Paradise hit the Broadway stage sparking an explosion of interest. Next came the appearance of Keoki Awai's Royal Hawaiian Quartette at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. In late 1915 Victor began issuing Hawaiian discs on a monthly basis. By 1916 all companies, not least Edison, recorded Hawaiian or pseudo-Hawaiian numbers. An article titled "Hawaiian Music Universally Popular," included in the September 1916 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly, asks, "Two years ago what did the public know about Hawaiian Music, Ukuleles, Hula Hula Dances? Since then Hawaiian music and American versions of it have taken the United States by storm...




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Mr. Edison's Christmas (1906 - 1927)

Various
Genres: Christmas, Season holiday, Santa Claus, Edison Recordings, Christmas Carols, Christmas Monologues

Informative booklet notes by Larry Tedder.
Detailed discography.

Of all things Christmas, nothing is more traditional than the singing of carols and songs. Songs that capture in lyrics and in music the many traditions that we have at this joyous Season: the birth of the Christ child, the Christmas tree, the opening of gifts, sleigh rides, and holiday get-togethers with family and friends.

On October 30, 1889 banjoist Will Lyle made history by recording "Jingle Bells" – the very first Christmas record. Although no known copies of this recording survive, one of the earliest vocal examples of "Jingle Bells" does survive on an Edison brown wax cylinder entitled, "The Sleigh Ride Party". Continued...




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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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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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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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