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Volume One (1917-27) chronicled Paramount's improbable rise from also-ran to jazz-blues juggernaut, launching the recording careers of giants like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Alberta Hunter, Blind Blake, Ethel Waters, Ma Rainey, Papa Charlie Jackson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Fats Waller.
But just as it seemed Paramount might be losing steam, it began a second act that threatened to dwarf its first. This astonishing second act is the subject of The Rise & Fall of Paramount, Volume Two (1928-32), the final chapter in our commemoration of America's greatest record label.
In its final 5 year push from 1928-32, Paramount embarked on a furious run for the ages, birthing the entire genre of Mississippi Delta blues recordings and issuing some of the most coveted records in the history of wax - a staggering playlist including Skip James, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Willie Brown, King Solomon Hill, Tampa Red, Lottie Kimbrough, Rube Lacy, Meade Lux Lewis, Buddy Boy Hawkins, Jaydee Short, George "Bullet" Williams, Cow Cow Davenport, Clifford Gibson, Ishman Bracey, Louise Johnson, Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, The Mississippi Sheiks. and hundreds of other artists.
Paramount simply killed. But more than that, it changed how this country thought of itself. It was the first enterprise of any kind to capture what America really sounded like in the 1920s and '30s - on its street corners, at its fish fries and country suppers, in its nightclubs and dance halls and showtents. In the process, it was profit-minded Paramount - not a preservationist body like the Library of Congress - that inadvertently created the most significant repository of this young nation's greatest art form.
Six LPs, 800 digital tracks, two definitive large-format books. All housed in a polished aluminum case evoking the era's high art deco stylings and America's own Machine Age take on modernist design.
A joint release by Third Man and Revenant, co-produced by leading Paramount scholar Alex van der Tuuk, with all Paramount masters issued under license agreement with GHB Jazz Foundation. The Rise & Fall of Paramount, Volume Two (1928-32) is available for pre-order beginning TODAY. Learn more about the set, and pre-order your copy HERE.
And, if you're in the New Haven area, make sure to spend your evening tonight with Jack White, Greil Marcus, Dean and Scott Blackwood, Adia Victoria, and Daphne Brooks, exploring the history of Paramount Records. 7pm at the Battell Chapel at Yale University.
Jack is set to embark on his November UK and European tour beginning next week on November 7th in Istanbul. Although it is impossible to replace Ikey, the incredibly talented Dean Fertita (The Dead Weather, Queens of the Stone Age) will be joining the band to play piano and keyboard for all of Jack's currently announced tour dates.
Jack is also pleased to announce that Lucius will be joining him on the bill as support for his November shows starting with Vienna on November 11th. Umut Adan will be supporting Jack in Istanbul. For a complete list of tour dates and tickets, visit the tour page.
The GHB Jazz Foundation, Third Man Records, and Revenant Records are proud to announce their new licensing arrangement regarding master recordings originally released on the Paramount Records label, one of the most important record labels in American history.
Paramount, which in the 1920s and 30s released 78 rpm records featuring iconic American artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jelly Roll Morton, Charley Patton, Ma Rainey and King Oliver, has seen its astonishing recorded legacy highlighted in a number of recent projects, including Third Man-Revenant’s “The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records” Volumes One and Two, and Third Man’s LP-only releases of Charley Patton’s and the Mississippi Sheiks’ early recordings.
The new licensing arrangement, which does not include sales in CD format or digital downloads (rights to which are retained by the GHB foundation), ensures that Paramount’s rich musical legacy can continue to be shared with new generations of listeners.
Founded in 1987 by George H. Buck Jr. (1928-2013), the GHB Jazz Foundation aims to celebrate and preserve these authentic styles of American music.
This past weekend, friends, family and colleagues of Ikey Owens gathered at Third Man Records to celebrate a life well lived. We toasted to Ikey with his cocktail-of-choice (fernet and ginger ale) and swapped stories about Ikey's talent, sense of humor, and misadventures from the road, all while listening to Ikey absolutely destroy the ivories in his recordings with the Mars Volta and the Free Moral Agents. It was hard not to smile being so surrounded by Ikey's musical genius and photos of him enjoying his every moment. We are all so grateful that we were able to make cameos in such a beautiful man's life, and will always cherish the memory of Ikey Owens.
The Ikey Owens Memorial Wall in Long Beach:
A few photos from Ikey's repass at Third Man:
Olivia Jean, one of the recently announced Scion Collaboration artists, will be putting together a show/pop-up shop called “Bathtub Love Killings” at the Scion AV Installation in Los Angeles that will go up on November 15, 2014. Olivia will kick things off with a live performance at the opening reception, which is a free event. The opening reception will take place at the Scion AV Installation space in Los Angeles on 11/15 starting at 7pm. The Scion AV Installation is located at 7667 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046. Just RSVP to attend! The show and pop-up shop will run from 11/15 to 12/6.