Thursday, November 15, 2012

A night with the classics

I spent last night enjoying some of the classics.
You know, MAMIE SMITH, BESSIE SMITH, BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON, BLIND BLAKE and other artists who pioneered the first commercially successful BLUES recordings in the 1920s.
They were the artists recorded during a nearly decade-long spate after record companies realized the profit potential of selling 78 rpm platters to a previously untapped black audience.
As Bernie Haynes wrote:
"Record companies such as Vocalion, Columbia, Okeh and Paramount wanted to tap into the market and soon began to market these special labels to African-Americans who could not hear the music they loved and wanted to hear. A new genre was born. Race recordswere such a hit that other record companies entered the marketplace."
Despite the temporary setback posed by the Great Depression, black commercial music was born.
It's fun listening to these scratchy milestones from the past. I like to pretend I'm in a small room, hearing these platters for the first time myself.


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