The Furniture Company That Sang The Blues
Paramount Records, founded in 1917 by a furniture company in Wisconsin, found itself in a curious position by the mid-1920s: it was the leading blues label in America, and selling lots of records. J. Mayo "Ink" Williams, the first black record executive in America, had used his street smarts to attract a number of artists, and his best-seller was Blind Lemon Jefferson. Then, suddenly, Williams quit in 1927. But Paramount's greatest moments were yet to come. Third Man and Revenant Records have been documenting this label with huge collections of music and graphics, and their second and last set was released late in 2014, with six LPs and a USB drive featuring 800 classic recordings. Fresh Air music historian Ed Ward has the story today.
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