THE OKEH BLUES STORY is a wonderful collection of 50 original blues recordings.
The music over these 2 Cds really does speak for itself.These sets really are a steal at this price.
The simple reason that these sets are as cheap as chips is that the tracks are public domain.
That means the rights to the music has gone and any old Dick or Harry can release them.
The bad news for the previous rights holders means good news for us, the buyers for if the price is too high we will not buy.
So the sets are at a more than reasonable price.
Next year the law changes to fall in line with the Americans and the 50 year rule will be finished.
Now these sets really are a mixed bag.
Some tracks and artists you will know- others not.
But that is the real joy- you just might discover some tracks you have never heard and enjoy if not then the FF feature is just for you.
However if you are like me and of a certain age you want to read which artists and tracks are featured but Amazon have scrunched up all the tracks making it hard to read so I've spaced them out so you can read them more easily.
This revised list should help?
1. Crazy Blues - Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds
2. Black Snake Moan - Blind Lemon Jefferson
3. Blowin' The Blues - Sonny Terry
4. Wrong Woman Blues - Lonnie Johnson
5. 44. Blues - Roosevlet Sykes
6. Scarey Day Blues - Georgia Bill (Blind Willie Mctell)
7. Warehouse Man Blues - Champion jack Dupree
8. T.B. Blues - Victoria Spivey
9. Guitar Rag - Sylvester Weaver
10. Penetrating Blues - Martha Copeland
11. Texas alexander - Levee Camp Moan Blues - Texas Alexander
12. Sorrow Valley Blues - Irene Scruggs
13. Rolled From Side To Side Blues - Little Hat Jones
14. Irresistible Blues - Eva Taylor
15. Low Moaning Blues - Snitcher Roberts
16. Every Womans Blues - Rosa Henderson
17. Stand Up Suitcase Blues - Uncle Bud Walker
18. Your Jelly Roll Is Good - Alberta Hunter
19. That Lonesome Train Took My Baby Away - Charlie McCoy w/ Bo Carter
20. Walkin' Talkin' Blues - Sippie Wallace
21. Miss Ora Lee Blues - Peter Chatman & His Washboard Band
22. Muddy Water Blues - Papa Freddie
23. Something Going On Wrong - Peter Cleighton
24. Roll & Tumble Blues - Hambone Willie Newbern
25. Sitting On Top Of The World - Mississippi Sheiks
1. Stack O Lee Blues - Mississippi John Hurt
2. When I Been Drinking Big Bill Broonzy
3. Double Trouble - Brownie McGhee
4. Pratt City Blues - Berth Chippie HIll
5. You Scolded Me And Drove Me From Your Door - Mississippi Bracey
6. When You Are Gone - Blind Boy Fuller
7. Me & My Chauffer - Memphis Minnie
8. St. Louis Blues - W. C Handy
9. Giving It Away - Birmingham Jug Band
10. Cow Cow Blues - Dora Carr
11. Lonesome Woman Blues - Rosetta Crawford
12. Panama Limited Blues - Esther Bigeou
13. A Woman Get's Tired Of One Man All The Time - Stovepipe & David Crockett
14. Blue Blood Blues - Blind Willie Dunn's Gin Bottle Four
15. Mean Low Blues - Blues Birdhead
16. Achin' Hearted Blues - Sara martin
17. Tickle Britches - Ed Macon & Tampa Joe
18. Worried Blues - Gladys Bentley
19. Bo Carter - Ants In My Pants
20. Evil Mama Blues - Ada Brown
21. Hard Scufflin' Blues - Little Buddy Doyle & Big Walter Horton
22. Fattenning Frogs For Snakes - Carrie Edwards
23. Canned Heat Blues - Sloppy Henry
24. If I Let You Get Away With It Once You'll Do It All The Time - Margaret Johnson
25. Parchman Farm Blues - Bukka White
26. South Cave Blues - Blind Lemon Chicken
I've sometimes wondered where the blues-rock band Canned Heat got their excellent name, and it seems they took it from an old blues number, sung on this wonderful compilation by one Sloppy Henry. The brief notes, by the ubiquitous Michael Heatley, tell us nothing about this man, or his rather unfortunate nickname, nor do they go into much detail about any of the singers and musicians on these two well-filled discs. And this is one compilation I would love to have had more details about, from the various obscure female singers featured to such mists-of-time figures as Texas Alexander, the Birmingham Jug Band, Shithcher Roberts, and the splendidly named Blues Birdhead.
One big plus of this welcome selection frrom OKeH is the preponderance of woman blues singers, only a handful of whom I'd heard of, such as Sippie Wallace, Alberta Hunter, Victoria Spivey, and of course Memphis Minnie. Others include Mary Copeland, Rosa Henderson, Irene Scruggs, Bertha Chippie Hill, Dora Carr, Esther Bigeou, Rosetta Crawford, Sara Martin, Gladys Bentley, Ada Brown, Carrie Edwards, Margaret Johnson, and the marvellous Mississippi Bracey, whose You Scolded Me and Drove Me From Your Door is worth a few minutes of anybody's time.
There are also some big names here, for example Blind Lemon Jefferson, Roosevelt Sykes, the great Blind Willie McTell, Champion Jack Dupree, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (on separate tracks), Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, Lonnie Johnson, and even jazz veteran W.C. Handy. The excellent Mississippi Sheiks close CD1 with Sitting On Top of the World in fine fashion.
There are one or two tracks that don't hold the interest, but on the whole this is a superb collection of fifty mostly very old (20s/30s) blues numbers from the OKeH vaults.
The pity is there is so little documentation. Would very brief biographies of the artists have been too much to ask? There are a few photos, of eleven of the fifty featured blues men & women. Nice packaging, and a fine thing to own and listen to, but a little more about the less Wiki-friendly singers and musicians would have made this a five-star triumph.
A lot of great blues, though!
Despite quibbles, warmly recommended.