Joe Bussard: King of The 78's

A few years back, my dvr automatically recorded a documentary using search criteria that had been previously input. I woke up the next day to find "Deperate Man Blues" sitting at the top of the queue. Pressing play, the image of an old red OKeh started spinning on a turntable. The music began and I was glued to the tv for the next hour.

The subject of the doc could have very well been the amazing collection of some of the rarest wax discs in the world but in fact the subject was not the collection but rather the collector...Joe Bussard. His enthusiasm and absolute joy when talking about or even moreso, playing his records, shines through in this film.

Too Pooped To Pop

A while back, I got a call from my mom who was visiting her sister and brother-in-law. Their water heater had busted and the resulting flood almost got to my uncle's collection of rock & roll / rhythm & blues 78 rpm records. My uncle being an avid jukebox collector, had amassed quite a stack of wax throughout the years and this 'near disaster' had apparently spurred him on to consider selling his collection.

Mom was calling to ask what it would take to sell these records. I, being a collector of 78's, shuddered at the thought of parting with a single platter, even if they weren't mine. After calming down, I said that since I had been buying them for years on eBay, that I should be able to figure out how to reverse the transaction.

That summer, we visited "back home," where the records were located. Visiting my uncle almost nightly for a week, we sorted, indexed, estimated, cleaned and boxed multiple stacks of Atlantic, Federal, King, DeLuxe, Chess, Checker, Keen, Josie, Coral, Cadence and many other labels, getting them ready for my return trip home.

Robert Johnson Centennial: Another Set Of (Almost) 78's

Limited to 1000 sets...Robert Johnson's The Complete Original Masters: The Centennial Edition is now available. The set contains ten 10" vinyl 45 rpm records recreating the original ten 78 rpm records released by Johnson. 

Click here for more information.  

They’ve Got Those Old, Hard-to-Find Blues (NY Times 7/8/09)

This is one of my favorite articles that I have run across on the net. It let me know that there are others out there with the same passion for wax that I have...albeit my collection is on a MUCH smaller scale as the subjects being interviewed.

It also provided a face or two to people that I have had dealings with in the past on eBay...either as a buyer or a seller.

Brand New 78s??

Browsing the web, I recently came across a site for Rivermont Records. They still make 78 rpm records! They have 2 sets of limited edition 78's available.

One set contains two 78's consisting of the brilliant cornetist, Bix Beiderbecke's 4 piano solos...3 of which Bix never put down on shellac. Pianist Bryan Wright records Candlelights, Flashes, In The Dark & the  masterpiece...originally recorded by Bix in 1927 on Okeh 40916...In A Mist. Click here to read more about the set and to hear samples of each track.

The other 78 available is by Andy Schumm & His Flatland Gang. The tracks are Down In The Gallion & The Swing. Down In The Gallion was originally recorded by John Williams' Synco Jazzers in 1927. That original line up featured a young pianist named Mary Lou Burleigh who would later marry the band leader and become arguably the most prominent female figure in jazz history, Mary Lou Williams. The Swing was originally recorded in 1924 by Johnny De Droit & His New Orleans Orchestra. Click here to read more about Andy Schumm & His Flatland Gang and to hear samples of each track.


On August 29, 2011, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, the last surviving link to the Great Delta Blues musicians of the 1920's & 30's, passed away at the age of 96. He was with the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson the night Johnson was poisoned back in 1938.

If you happen to have the Documentary Channel (267 on DirecTv and 197 on Dish)...the doc Honeyboy & The History Of The Blues will be airing on September 22. Set your DVR.

Speaking of Robert Johnson, just found out that Hugh Laurie...aka Dr. Gregory House...has released a cd of New Orleans Blues titled "Let Them Talk" and one of the tracks is Johnson's "They're Red Hot"

Also, click here to receive a free download of Laurie's "Guess I'm A Fool."

CD will be available September 6.