Posted in music | tour dates on November 4, 2013

IMAGE

Paramount Records was founded on a modest proposition: produce records as cheaply as possible, recording whatever talent was available. Over its lifetime, the label would become a "race records" powerhouse, its sound and fortunes directly linked to the Great Migration.

By the time Paramount ceased operations in 1932, it had compiled a dizzying array of performers still unrivaled to this day, spanning early jazz titans (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller), blues masters (Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Skip James), American divas (Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters), gospel (Norfolk Jubilee Quartette), vaudeville (Papa Charlie Jackson), and the indefinable "other" (Geeshie Wiley, Elvie Thomas). Paramount would also directly influence the style of Robert Crumb and countless other 20th century artists and illustrators, through a series of hand-drawn ads promoting its releases in the pages of the Chicago Defender.

The sounds of legendary label Paramount (which grew out of a furniture company) are being archived in The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932, a two volume set being co-released by Jack White's Third Man Records and John Fahey's Revenant Records. Volume 1, which is out now, is a whopper of a package, containing:
800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 172 artists
* 200+ fully-restored original 1920s ads and images
* 6x 180g vinyl LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/ hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched white birch LP folio
* 250 page deluxe large-format clothbound hardcover art book
* 360 page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography
* Handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware
* First-of-its-kind music and image player app, allowing user mgmt of all tracks and ads, housed on custom-designed USB drive
At $400, this is for serious collectors but if it's out of your budget range, Third Man is also giving one away. You can check out a video "unboxing" of the set below.

Jack White will be in NYC to talk about Paramount and the new box set for an event at New York Public Library 5th Ave's Salomon Room on November 19. The program will feature a discussion with White, Revenant's Dean Blackwood, and Princeton professor and author Daphne A. Brooks, and close examinations of recordings from Paramount's catalogue by acclaimed music journalist Greil Marcus and author Scott Blackwood. Tickets go on sale today (11/4) at noon, and all attendees will get a free 78 RPM record specially pressed for the event and be entered into a raffle for the box set.

Video "unboxing" below...

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The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 1

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Comments (22)

I miss the White Stripes

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 11:23 AM

agh, why did you have to post this...

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 11:42 AM

11:42 - jjust asking that question shows how irrelevant your life truly is.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 12:02 PM

Gah, wish I could go.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 12:15 PM

this sold out in minutes

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 1:26 PM

^Try seconds

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 1:33 PM

"LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/ hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched white birch LP folio"


^ I've got to hand it to Jack & Third Man: they're a geniuses at bleeding hipsters dry.

Can't wait to pirate it. For free.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 1:41 PM

How is it that BV found out about this, and I donate to the library and got no advance notice about this event?

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 1:41 PM

^ Psssst *whispers* This is a p/a/y/o/l/a blog, brah.

http://nypost.com/2013/10/23/spinmedia-to-slash-staff-again/

^ Love of money, broheim. Love of money.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 1:56 PM

To 1:41PM - Are you on NYPL's e-mail list? That's how I found out about it...before BV posted about it.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 3:16 PM

Nothing on the secondary market... yet.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 4:25 PM

Yes, I think this sold out in under one minute

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 4:25 PM

3:16, yes I am, and no I didn't get an email about this. I get emails from them what seems like every other day, mostly about crap I don't care about. But nothing about this Paramount Records event.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 4:51 PM

wow, this was gone in a flash. Not even a presale.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 4:59 PM

@451 i got an email about it from NYPL, so not sure what happened on your end.

and $25 for a vinyl + JW talk seems like a pretty good deal.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 7:28 PM

^ "$25 for a vinyl + JW talk seems like a pretty good deal"*

*hipsterism intensifies

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 7:53 PM

A vinyl pretty much no one can play. Seriously, what percent of turntables can play a 78?

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 10:22 PM

^ XP

JW strikes again!

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2013 11:51 PM

"A vinyl pretty much no one can play. Seriously, what percent of turntables can play a 78?"

True but a vinyl that is only being pressed for this event and given out to the what? 100-200 people attending if that many.

Jack White/Third Man involved special vinyl in a small press=much money for anyone flipping.

Not saying it is right or even makes sense but any vinyl White and Third Man press up in small numbers sell for big bucks later on. As opposed to the fake scalpers that talk bullshit on here, this is actually the real deal

Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2013 3:26 AM

yeah that record will probably go for serious moolah

Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2013 10:14 AM

This is so ridiculous and stupid, why not make it affordable and without all the useless crap like cabinets and pointless colored vinyl and gold crap and make it so everyone can afford and enjoy this music? pretty stupid considering what the paramount label was, cheap affordable records for poor people. Mississippi records needs to do something like this, it would be way more affordable and about the music not all the pointless fancy stuff.

Posted by Elise | February 27, 2014 4:57 AM

I absolutely don't understand why people complain about the price. Breaking it up it's actually pretty fair. You go out to the field and recover these fragile music treasures from people's garage, and you take the worn out records to recording studios hoping to restore the sound quality as much as possible. I'd like to remind you price complaints these are 800+ tracks of PREWAR blues instead of 70s billboard top 10 or whatnots. The materials are hard to acquire at the first place okay? If you are still not satisfied with the price sir, then I suggest you going through the whole process and see how much money you actually put down to make this chest become real. I'm willing to pay about 300 for their effort. But seriously, do you want to spend 300 good bucks on a flash drive? Hell no. I'd rather add 100 bucks more for the "pointless crap" to make it look like I have purchased SOMETHING.

Posted by Hill | October 24, 2014 6:37 PM

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