Streams

A Label Paramount To Early Blues And Jazz

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

There's nothing a certain type of record collector likes better than finding a stack of 78s on the Paramount label. Between 1917 and 1932, the label, which was one of several run by a furniture company in Grafton, Wisc., released thousands of records, but its real accomplishment was recording some of the greatest early blues and jazz performers.

Jack White's Third Man Records has joined with the reissue label Revenant to release the first of two packages documenting the label, with 800 songs from the label's first ten years on a USB drive packed with several books and packages of graphics, in a hand-made, velvet-upholstered oak box. Fresh Air critic Ed Ward has the story.

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"If you want to understand a political conflict, it helps to understand the culture in which that conflict is taking place," says host Terry Gross. Fresh Air is one of the most popular programs on public radio, breaking the "talk show" mold, and Gross is known for her fearless and insightful interviews with prominent figures in American arts, politics, and popular culture. "When there is a crisis in a foreign country, we sometimes call up that country's leading novelist or filmmaker to get the cultural perspective." Fresh Air features daily reports and reviews from critics and commentators on music, books, movies, and other cultural phenomena that invade the national psyche.

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