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The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932, Volume 1 (6 LP 180g) Box set, Import

3.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Box set, Import, November 19, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Grammy Award Winner, 2015 - Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

Paramount Records was formed in 1917 with little fanfare and few prospects. Its founders ran a Wisconsin furniture company, knew nothing of the music business, and wanted only to produce records as cheaply as they could with whatever talent was readily available to them. By 1922, and on the verge of bankruptcy, its white owners embarked on a radical new business plan: selling the music of black artists to black audiences. This move, paired with equal parts dumb luck, opportunism, chicanery and a willingness to try anything, paid dramatic dividends.

By 1927, Paramount was the most important label in the so-called Race Records field, selling hundreds of thousands of records. And by the time it ceased operations in 1932, it had amassed a dizzying roster of performers still unrivaled to this day, spanning early jazz titans (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton), vaudeville songsters (Papa Charlie Jackson), the first solo guitar bluesmen (Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake), theater blues divas (Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters), gospel (Norfolk Jubilee Quartette), masters of Mississippi blues (Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James) and the indefinable other (Geeshie Wiley, Elvie Thomas).

The Rise & Fall of Paramount, Volume One takes the form of a curated exhibit of words, images and music with Paramount at its fulcrum, all housed in a lush handcrafted cabinet that harkens back to the wunderkammern, precursors to the modern museum. Crafted as an object to keep and cherish for a lifetime, its form is designed to reveal evidence of the hand at work, to bring out the tactile richness of hand-sculpted woods and metals, and to meld the rough-hewn with the earliest burblings of American modernism in the 1920s. Its multi-format narrative tells the curious tale of the only pre-War record label to capture what America truly sounded like in the 1920s, in all its multitudes.

Each amazing handcrafted set contains:
-800 newly-remastered digital tracks on a forged metal USB drive shaped like a Victrola stylus
-200+ fully-restored original ads and images
-6 x 180g LPs w/ hand-engraved metal leaf center labels on burled chestnut vinyl
-Deluxe large-format hardcover art book: 250 pages, narrative with full-color plates
-Encyclopedia-style reference manual: 360 pages, field guide to artists & repertoire
-Handcrafted elements: rich woods, lush upholstery, and custom-forged metal hardware
-Track & Image App: First-of-its-kind music and image player app, allows user management of 800 tracks and 200+ original ads, housed on custom-made USB

"What is best about America is in this box." - Jack White

"One of the damnedest musical objets d'art ever seen." - Nashville Scene

"Unprecedented." - Rolling Stone

"Wondrous. These recordings are no less than a blueprint of what has become American music. At once, it is a history lesson, a dance hall, a bandstand, and a smoky blues parlor, all tucked neatly into one sturdy box. This is the Cabinet of Wonder, indeed." - Pitchfork

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sign Of Judgment (Sister Cunningham and T.C.I. Sacred Singers)
  2. Dry Bone Shuffle (Blind Blake)
  3. My Man Rocks Me (Jimmy O'Bryants Famous Original Washboard Band)
  4. Sweet Georgia Brown (Danny Small and Ukulele Mays)
  5. St Louis Blues (Handy's Memphis Blues Band)
  6. Pistol Blues (Bo Weavil Jackson)
  7. Old Joe Clark (Harkreader and Moore)
  8. Coffee Pot Blues (Papa Charlie Jackson)
  9. Old Steady Roll (Jones' Paramount Charleston Four)
  10. Wait Till I Put On My Robe (Famous Jubilee Singers)
  11. Messin Around (Jimmy Blythe and His Ragamuffins)
  12. Madison Street Rag (Banjo Joe)
  13. Mama Can't Lose (Lottie Beaman)
  14. Barnum's Steam Calliope (Sunset Four)

Disc: 2

  1. Skoodlum Blues (O'Bryant's Washboard Band)
  2. Jelly Roll's First Cousin (Norfolk Jazz Quartette)
  3. Come On Home (Alberta Hunter)
  4. Drunk Man's Blues (Lone Star Fiddlers)
  5. Rainy Nights (The Washingtonians)
  6. How Long Daddy, How Long (Ida Cox)
  7. Mr. Jelly Lord (Jelly Roll Morton's Steamboat Four)
  8. Anna Mina Forty And St. Louis Shorty (Viola Bartlette)
  9. Coffin Blues (Ida Cox)
  10. Pump Tillie (Blythe's Sinful Five)
  11. You Shall (Beale Street Sheiks)
  12. Well Of Salvation (C.H. Gatewood)
  13. Goose Grease (John Williams' Synco Jazzers)
  14. Brown Baby ( Ethel Waters and The Jazz Masters)

Disc: 3

  1. Dying Blues (Leola B. Wilson)
  2. Charleston Mad (Lovie Austin and Her Blues Serenaders)
  3. Certainly Lord (Pace Jubilee Singers)
  4. 216 Blues (216 Blues)
  5. Chicago Buzz (Junie Cobb's Home Town Band)
  6. Mamlish Blues (Ed Bell)
  7. I'm Glad Im Married (North Carolina Ramblers and Roy Harvey)
  8. Steady Roll(Jelly Roll Morton's Stomp Kings)
  9. Nelson Blues (Nelson's Paramount Serenaders)
  10. Track Linin (T.C.I. Section Crew)
  11. Bessemer Bound Blues (Ma Rainey)
  12. Everybody Help The Boys Come Home (William and Versey Smith)
  13. Crazy Quilt (Dixon's Jazz Maniacs)
  14. Shaggy Dog Blues (Buddy Boy Hawkins )
  15. My Man Rocks Me With One Steady Roll (Trixie Smith)
  16. Jazzbo Jenkins (Ollie Powers)

Disc: 4

  1. Sleep Baby Sleep (J. Churchill)
  2. Salty Dog (Freddie Keppard's Jazz Cardinals)
  3. Memory Of Departed Friends (Rev. James Beard)
  4. House Rent Stomp (Big Bill and Thomps)
  5. West Indies Blues (Ukulele "Bob" Williams)
  6. Nobody Knows (Sodarisa Miller)
  7. Steppin' On The Blues (Lovie Austin and Her Blues Serenaders)
  8. Walk Right In Belmont (Watts and Wilson)
  9. When I Was A Moaner (Norfolk Jubilee Quartette)
  10. Steady Roll (Wilson's T.O.B.A. Band)
  11. Satan At Church (Rev. W.M. Clark and Sisters)
  12. Pacific Coast Blues (Ethel Waters' Jazz Masters)
  13. Look Out Papa Don't Tear Your Pants (Papa Charlie Jackson)
  14. Baby Can't You Understand (Marion Harrison)
  15. Seek And Ye Shall Find (Wood's Famous Blind Jubilee Singers)

Disc: 5

  1. Will My Mother Know Me There (Blind Connie Rosemond)
  2. Hot Hot Hottentot (Jimmy O'Bryant's Washboard Band)
  3. Ain't It A Shame (Four Harmony Kings)
  4. The Wicked Fives' Blues (Lena Wilson)
  5. Armour Ave. Struggle (James Blythe)
  6. Houston Bound (Elzadie Robinson)
  7. Coo Coo Stomp (D.C. Nelson's Serenaders)
  8. You Can't Keep No Brown (Bo Weavil Jackson)
  9. Stomp Time Blues (Jasper Taylor and His State Street Boys)
  10. I've Got A Hiding Place (Rev. T.T. Rose and Gospel Singers)
  11. Cacklin Hen (Osey Helton)
  12. Fade Away Blues (Perry Bradford's Jazz Phools)
  13. Mama's Angel Child (Sweet Papa Stovepipe)
  14. Black Man Blues (Edmonia Henderson)

Disc: 6

  1. Hen House Blues (Jack Penewell)
  2. Mojo Strut (Pickett - Parham Apollo Syncopators)
  3. Sympathetic Christ (Rev. M.L. Gipson and Sanctified Congregation)
  4. That Da Da Strain (Ethel Waters and Her Jazz Masters)
  5. Wartime Blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson)
  6. There'll Come A Day (Dixie - Land Thumpers)
  7. On Calvary (Wiseman Sextette with Orchestra)
  8. St. Louis Blues (Chicago De Lux Orchestra)
  9. On This Rock I Will Build My Church (Son of Thunder, Johnnie Blakey)
  10. Don't Pan Me (Alberta Hunter)
  11. Play That Thing (Ollie Powers' Orchestra)
  12. I Want Jesus To Talk With Me (Homer Quincy Smith)
  13. Peepin' Blues (Lovie Austin and Her Blues Serenaders)
  14. Cecilia (Danny Small and Ukulele Mays)


Product details

  • Vinyl (November 19, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Third Man Records
  • ASIN: B00FKMSN7A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,775 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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