Blues from the 50s/60s/70s

Im very interested in build a nice collection of blues from the 50s to 70s and found that vinil is the way to go because the great qwuality and variety. I need help with names of the best performers and great recordings of those years. Would you help me with some titles and details of what specials recordings I need to find? thanks in advance
What you are asking is that persons with decades of valuable information give that hard learned & impossible to find vinyl to you for the cost of a email.

I assure you that what you want has been purchased by english rock stars that understood what they wanted and were not afraid to PAY & pay dearly. For instance, Robert Plant probably owns more race & blues recordings than most ; he never questions cost when he aquires what he wants.

You want to be in a place where money has less value than friends. I wish you well. But, I do not accept clients.
I suggest you do research in the Library of Congress, and learn how to spell.
Jorsan, among many alternatives, here are some suggestions:

Wild Child Butler
Sho' 'Nuff (Analogue Productions APO 2015 -45)
Wild Child Butler (Analogue Productions APO 004)

Memphis Slim & Willie Dixon
The Blues Every Which Way (Verve V6-3007 SpeakersCorner)

Honeyboy Edwards
Shake 'Em On Down (Analogue Productions APO 2010)

Fleetwood Mac, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, Shakey Horton, Honey Boy Edwards, et al
Blues Jam at Chess (Blue Horizon 7-66227, Pure Pleasure)

Buddy Guy & Junior Wells
Going Back to Acoustic (Pure Pleasure PPAN001)

Little Hatch
Rock with me baby (Analogue Productions APO 2012-45)

John Lee Hooker
Boogie Chillin' (Audio Fidelity AFLP 005)
Burning Hell (Riverside RLP 008 -45 Analogue Prod)
It Serve You Right to Suffer (Impulse AS 9103)

Lightin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker
O Blues, Where Art Thou? (Audio Fidelity AFLP 001)

John Lee Hooker
Sings the Blues (ThatÂ’s my story) (Riverside OBC-538 Analogue Prod)
The Real Folk Blues (Chess AA 007 Alto Analogue)

Lightnin' Hopkins
Broken Hearted Blues (Audio Fidelity AFLP 010)
Goin' Away (Bluesville 1073 -45 Analogue Prod)
Lightnin' (Prestige Bluesville BV 1019 -45 Analogue Prod)
Lightnin' in New York (Candid 9010 Pure Pleasure)

Lightin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, et al
O Blues, Where Art Thou? (Audio Fidelity AFLP 001)

Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Terry
Last Night Blues (Prestige Bluesville BV 1029 -45 Analogue Prod)

Son House
Father of the Delta Blues (Columbia CS 9217 Pure Pleasure)

John Hurt
The Best of Mississippi John Hurt (Vanguard VSD 19/20)

Mississippi John Hurt
Today! (Vanguard VSD 79220 Pure Pleasure)

Skip James
Today! (Vanguard VSD 79219 Pure Pleasure)

Lonnie Johnson, Elmer Snowden
Blues, Ballads and Jumpin' Jazz (Analogue Productions APR 3001)

Robert Johnson
King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. I Columbia CK 65746 (CD)
King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II Columbia CK 92579 (CD)

Lenoir, JB
Alabama Blues (L&R Record LR 42.001)

Lazy Lester
Lazy Lester (Analogue Productions APO 003)

Little Walter
The Best of Little Walter (Chess LP 1428 Speakers Corner)

Robert Lucas
Usin' Man Blues (Audioquest 1001)

Taj Mahal
Recycling the Blues & other related stuff (Columbia 31605)

Leroy Jodie Pierson
Leroy Jodie Pierson (Analogue Productions APO 005)

Weepin' Willie Robinson
At Last, On Time (Analogue Productions APO 2009)

Jimmy Rogers
Blue Bird (Analogue Productions APO 2001)

Shakey Jake
Mouth Harp Blues (Prestige 1027 -45 Analogue Prod)

Memphis Slim
The Real Folk Blues (Chess LP 1510 mono)

Memphis Slim & Willie Dixon
The Blues Every Which Way (Verve V6-3007 Speakers Corner)

Muddy Waters, Otis Spahn
Fathers and Sons (Chess LPS 127)

Muddy Waters
Folk Singer (Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-201)
Sings Big Bill Broonzy (Chess LP 1444 Speakers Corner)

Doc and Merle Watson
Pickin' the Blues (Analogue Productions APF 026)

Big Joe Williams
Back to the Country (Testament 2205)

Sonny Boy Williamson
A Portrait in Blues (Storyville SLP-4016)
Keep It To Ourselves (Alligator AL 4787)
The Real Folk Blues (Chess 1503 Speakers Corner)

All on vinyl except the Robert Johnson.
Rushton, as always, has offered a fabulous start.
It's a shame the first 2 responses are so negative.

Look in the Blues section of your local record stores. If there is an Everyday Music store in your hood start souring it.
In addition to Rushton's list, try
Bobby Blue Bland
T Bone Walker
Albert King, BB,
Elmore James
Buddy Guy

You might try finding fellow audiophiles in your area to listen to there Lps.

Good luck and have fun!
Crem1 I understand, is impossible to ask for some references with "just" an email right?
Chashmal, english is not my first lenguage and I do what I can, sorry.
Thanks Rushton for the long list and the time you spend typing. I have some of the LPs that you listed and will keep an eye on the rest.
What you are asking is that persons with decades of valuable information give that hard learned & impossible to find vinyl to you for the cost of a email.
Crem1, what exactly do think the Audiogon forums are for?
If I were to pick one to start with, I would go for Muddy Waters 'Folk Singer.'
It was released a couple of years ago.
Thanks for the support, honestly dont understand why those first two answers , is easiest just not to post.
I was just asking for some advice thats all, I do not have the intention or the money to steel those "marvellous treasures" to the gods of music like Robert Plant (by the way I love Led Zep and have all their recordings).All that I want to add to my collection some blues LPs from great artist and if its possible with nice recordings. Hope this time Crem1 could understand and post some advice and Chasmal....sorry for my terrible english ... again.
jo ann kelly, the groundhogs, the blues band, michael bloomfield, paul butterfield, savoy brown, chicken shack.
Here is a link to a great site which includes the more obscure blues artists and labels. This will not include the classic artists such as Muddy Waters or John Lee Hooker but certainly has a load of great labels and artists to check out. I highly recommend this site to all Agon blues fans!
Howlin Wolf was overlooked here.Also get the 1st 4 Taj Mahal lp's.Start with above and have fun.JD
Here's a good read regarding your interest in Blues.
Google....APO records Its all coming together.

As for Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin, it sure took them along time to acknowledge and pay any sort of royalties to the Blues artist they wiped their feet off on.
Jimmy Reed is one of my all time favorites.
Some of his vinyl has been re-issued.
I suggest Ebay if you don't have a local store.
It will not be hard to build a decent collection.

Crem 1 and Chashmal are both jerks, their posts have no value.

I'm sorry you received these first two responses to your post and I understand your feelings. From other posts I've seen from Crem1, I suspect his intent was humor and not to be unkind. And that's the challenge for us all in these forums: making sure our intent is clear when only our words can appear. It's good to see that you've received some additional suggestions that may help you move along in your explorations of Blues!

...honestly dont understand why those first two answers , is easiest just not to post.
I just started buying lp's at local stores, on ebay and when i travel. I asked a friend and he gave me some labels to look for. I do a lot of reserach on the web. The fun is in the hunt and the research.


If I were to pick one to start with, I would go for Muddy Waters 'Folk Singer.'
I agree, and the Chess records version has amazing sonics, better than most MFSL records I have (from other artists).

Sadly, a lot of great early performer's recordings are not exactly hi fidelity, such as Blind Willie Johnson. These are still worth having and great listening though.
Jorsan here are a few i love to listen to on vinyl.
Any of Bobby Blue Blands lps.
The Blues Brothers Soundtrack is a pure pleasure of sound and blues
Any of Clarence Gatemouth Browns lps.
Canned Heat plays the blues just fine.
Theres a issue of lps called Chicago The Blues Today a variety of Bands and singers good blues music.
Eric Claptons Blues World, Me and Mr. Johnson, Riding with the king.
Any James Cotton lp very good blues music.
Jimi Hendrix Blues on MFSL
Any of the Kings Albert, BB, Freddy,
You already know this Led Zepplen 1 2 3
John Mayhall plays the blues for sure any of them
Delbert Mcclinton does the blues
Early Fleetwood Mac is pure blues
Good luck and enjoy Dem Blues
I really appreciate this post. I'm in the same boat, starting to collect blues. It has been much harder going, finding good sounding blues recordings as opposed to finding good sounding jazz, which seems to be far easier. I was lucky enough to find a best of Lightnin' Hopkins with very nice sound. Also, Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall. Also, an Etta James Tell Mama original pressing sounds good, although more like soul than blues, perhaps. I've bought about 15 other blues LPs from my local stores and they are just terrible as far as sound quality goes, and not cheap. Crem1...I don't think the community on Audiogon is large enough to pump up market prices for such LPs, if that is what you are worried about. However, I would add that Crem1 has contributed exceptionally helpful posts in general, especially regarding steam cleaning - Mark
I want to give a second (strong) vote for Howlin' Wolf, especially his early recordings. you might find 70's compilations on vinyl (Chess esp.) for not too much $.

I'd also add Lowell Fulsom to the list - hot stuff!
Try "Blind Pig records", "Fat Possum records", or "alligator records". just google any of those and check out their websites.
Excellent post. I too love blues and am always looking for new finds. Rushton offered a very comprehensive list, some really great lp's. I also am a Muddy fan, Lost Tapes is another good one. Another vote for "Blind Pigs records ( Tommy Castro "Painkiller" is a great album from them.

Crem1- If you can't be helpful why bother responding, keep your condescending posts to the psychofants on your steaming thread, and please don't email me with your foolish threats again.
Now I have a lot of homework!!!(lol).
Is good to know that this thread will be helpfull for others also.
Thanks to all.

Start with Leadbelly, end with Fred McDowell, put early B. B. King and (early) Johnny Winter in between, and, you're done! Simple!
For my part, it would be helpful if those posting would suggest some LPs that are great for both LP sound quality and music. It seems to me that if the sound quality is lackluster on so many of these blues LPs, and they are also so rare/expensive, it would make more sense, when building a blues collection, to focus more towards CDs or PC-based digital, and go with vinyl just in the rare instances when a good LP of the material is available, such as Lighnin Hopkins Goin Away, for example.
Mm2550, for me Lps sounds way much better than CDs, is fascinating how each LP sounds different from the other, more obvious when they were recorded in the 60s or 70s, they have a lot more presence and realism than CDs, but thats only my opinion of course.
Until now I have my music collection (about 1,000 CDs) stored in my computer under FLAC format and I played with a very good sound system. About a month ago I decided to return to vinil (Im getting older), found a very good turtable with a great cartridge, an almost new collection of records of the 70s and ... here I am, enjoying a lot rediscovering the analog sound !!!
A couple of very good sounding lp's that I have picked up over the past several months starting with the great old recording from Muddy Waters- The London Muddy Waters Sessions- an absolute must have for any Muddy fan and Blues fan in general. the recording is well above average considering the venue and time. For a really nice lp from Muddy pick up "The Lost Tapes" on Blind Pig records. While on Blind Pig another exceptional recording try Buddy Guy and Junior Wells "Drinkin TNT and Smokin Dynamite" a very good album. And, as I mentioned before Tommy Castro "Painkiller" is one of my favorites.
I just ask : Locate pristine vinyl (generaly 78s) by Southern Region to fulfill what was requested.

Not CD's but REAL vinyl 1950s ( Very , Very Rare to Impossible) , 1960s (Rare to Difficult) & 1970s (available but hard to find). Stop barking and go to work locating vinyl, real race/blues vinyl. You will find that the Southern Huricanes since '03 have made locating first pressings of race/blues records almost impossible because most of the truly great Southern Collections have been destroyed by water.

Should you be asking what blues are available on CD ,THAN, that's a different quest. CD's centered on (1950-60s) can CERTIANLY be found and what may still be found on vinyl (late-1960-70s) then you have a chance.

I personally collect music from a 80sq. mile area in State of LA. Most of those towns were under water and music from the initial printings is rising in value 10 to 1,000 X .

For now, CD's are the way to go, unless you demand the 78s from the 1950-60s. And should you be that person you need don't need us but rather an advisor who can LOCATE and recommend what's available and at what cost.

Lastly, a Tip: For genuine early blues try Smithsonian Records that sell records (re-recorded) from the Libary of Congress Collection, one of the most significant collections of race/blues records in the world , next to Claptian & Plant to mention a few. In the USA on FIOS the Smithsonian Channel will be showing a history of race/blues music starting 11/18/08 that most probably will be sold on DVD & CD. All the best.

PS As a fellow who grew up in a Southern City , I recall we kids throwing tin cans in a alley at night ... oh how the junk yard dogs barked. Some of you got to lighten-up.
Thanks again to all for your great help. Time for me to enjoy the blues!
You like guitar? JOHNNY WINTER. Get everything you can. He plays blues from 50's 60's 70's 80's 90's and beyond. Copies Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Dylan and does the songs better than the originals. Just do it.
Jorsan : My effort has been to refocus your efforts to CD's rather than the attempt to locate the initial pressings , mostly 78s. Should I have been mistaken & you have the unlimited funds needed to support a quest for the initial pressings , I suggest reviewing "GoldMine" to locate a retailer with whom you may culitvate a relationship sourcing excellent vinyl. Several alledge such ties in "GoldMine", I believe you could locate someone to assist you . All the best. Junk Yard Alley Crem1.
I prefer acoustic blues myself. You can still get a lot of great samplers on Yazoo, flyright, krazykat and document labels as well as others. While there is a great deal of excellent postwar blues, I think blues from the late 20's and early thirties is a much like the jazz scene in the late 50's where there was just a huge amount of talent all at once. Some of the people who are third tier in1929 would be top of heap in a different era.
yes POlk432, I love guitar and thanks for the recomendation, I will some of his LPs for shure!

Crem1, no, I dont have the intention to spend lots of money in originals and/or very difficult to find presings, thats not the idea and I dont undertsand why you assume that, I was only asking for some names and recordings that people consider must be part of a nice collection of blues, I thought that I can do it all with LPs but because your last post, I must assume that for early recordings will be easier to go with CDs, and maybe LPs just for late 60's and 70's (found -and start to buy- in Ebay several of the artists/recordings that people gave me here for rasonable prices); thats the kind of advice that I was looking for ,nothing else, and looks like everybody understands exactly my question. Thanks for your last reply.

Mothra, must be interesting to explore that also, would you give me some names that you consider I can find in CDs? thanks in advance
Buy any blues LPs on the Arhoolie label you come across. Arhoolie was started in 1960 by a blues enthusiast named Chris Strachwitz, who still runs the label. Strachwitz has exceptional taste and, as far as I can tell, has never put out a bad record. I've long used one Arhoolie LP, the wonderfully - titled Country Negro Jam Session, as a reference record. It's extraordinary late 1950s field recordings of Louisiana blues musicians. The music is raw and haunting and the recordings are sometimes astounding. You can hear birds in the trees in the distance (if your system is good enough the birds will sound as if they're coming from outside your room) and floorboards creaking under the musicians. There's also a jaw - dropping recording of a music therapy session at a state mental hospital that is unlike anything you've ever heard. The LP has been reissued on CD with additional tracks.

Thanks Robdoorack for that information, Im sure will be usefull for all.
I was the first to respond , I focused on your request for 1950s Blues vinyl(really hard rubber & commonly also includes records referred to as race recordings). I believe I subsequently outlined the difficulity score in locating and the reason(s). I believe what you now settle upon are recordings of a latter era , blues players but not always the inventors of the musical language we refer to as the "blues". And I provided a tip or two on locating "real" blues for a fraction of the cost. I took you to literally : If that happened , no harm intend. Another, Tip : Whenever, vacation in New Orleans . Go to the French Quarter , several great "blues-type" record stores, on high ground, unaffected by water. Now I gotta go back to cleaning some tin cans.

Thnaks Crem1 for the imput.
I've been buying quite a lot of blues of late. You have to get some Muddy Waters, it is just sublime. I have been picking up a few of the "Real Folk Blues" and "More Real Folk Blues" albums and they have been very good. Johnny Winter is fabulous as someone above said. John Lee Hooker's Burning Hell is amazing, a 45rpm double lp with fantastic sound, just John and his guitar.

What I am looking for at the moment is some Blind Willie Johnson - anyone have any ideas what, if anything, has been reissued on vinyl over the years?
You are right Jorsan. I misjudged, and I apologize. And your english is fine.

I strongly urge you to divide your search into 2 aspects: pre-war (before 1944) and post-war (after 1944).

I think that electric 'urban' blues became a caricature of itself after the early '60s. So for post-war I recommend 1944-1965. Maybe begin within these time frames.

Check out all the artists on Chess records. For pre-war check out the Yazoo catalouge, for starters. Here is a partial list of my favorites from both periods: Sonnyboy Williamson, Howlin Wolf, Otis Rush, Elmore James, Robert Wilkins, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Charley Patton, Sam Collins, John Hurt, Skip name but a few.
I know that the sound is more 'crude' in an audiophile sense, but I think that material from after the mid-sixties is much inferior in an artistic sense, with a few exceptions. Also it would be a shame to overlook the jewels of the pre-war period, which I strongly suggest. It might be quite challenging to an audiophile to digest something like Charley Patton, for example, due to the sound quality. However you will be greatly rewarded. No question about it. In fact, if you buy and do not like Charley Patton on purely musical grounds, I will refund your purchase (maybe). Just kidding, but try it.
Chashmal, thanks for your post and your comments. I think your offers us a valuable information and you can be sure that will follow your advice. I never thought that I could find this amount of great and valuable information just for posting a simple question. Now Im more interested than ever in the "blues" world.
To be more involved in this field, what about a recomendation of a good reading? will be fabulous to have one or two books about the history and evolution of the blues in the US, and maybe another one or two titles about the explosion of the blues in the UK in the 60's.
Thanks again to all, Im learning every day.
For historical background, check out the work of Samuel Charters. Here is a partial bibliography.
1959 - The Country Blues. New York: Rinehart. Reprinted by Da Capo Press, with a new introduction by the author, in 1975.
1963 - The Poetry of the Blues. With photos by Ann Charters. New York: Oak Publications.
1963 - Jazz New Orleans (1885-1963): An Index to the Negro Musicians of New Orleans. New York: Oak Publications
1967 - The Bluesmen. New York: Oak Publications
1975 - The Legacy of the Blues: A Glimpse Into the Art and the Lives of Twelve Great Bluesmen: An Informal Study. London: Calder & Boyars.
1977 - Sweet As the Showers of Rain. New York: Oak Publications
1981 - The Roots of the Blues: An African Search. Boston: M. Boyars.
1984 - Jelly Roll Morton's Last Night at the Jungle Inn: An Imaginary Memoir. New York: M. Boyars.
1986 - Louisiana Black: A Novel. New York: M. Boyars.
1991 - The Blues Makers. (Incorporates The Bluesmen and Sweet As the Showers of Rain) Da Capo.
1999 - The Day is So Long and the Wages So Small: Music on a Summer Island. New York: Marion Boyars.
2004 - Walking a Blues Road: A Selection of Blues Writing, 1956-2004. New York: Marion Boyars.
2006 - New Orleans: Playing a Jazz Chorus. Marion Boyars.
Wow!! I will need 5 lifes to read all that !!!!
Thanks for the list Chashmal! - I there is one thing I enjoy as much as music it's a good book. I am a blues fanatic and never really read anything about the subject. I am sure I will enjoy the titles you offered.

I am always surprised at what a resource this site is for things non-music.

Thanks All
Now we have a very usefull information for us and others with same interest in blues.
Several lps (and some CDs) are arriving to my home this days so, ... time to relax, open a nice bottle of wine, and let the blues masters play and sing.... cool!!!
This is great, thanks to all. Jorge
Audiogon at its best!
I saw Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown at the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, MD yesterday.

What a treat and what a fabulous venue! This was the second concert I have caught there recently, The Church being the other. We were one table back, dead center, about 5 yards from the band, right in the sweet spot. The sound was tuned in PERFECTLY!!

I've been a casual Savoy Brown fan for over 30 years since te cover of their album "Looking In" caught my eye one day in a record store (when is the last time the cover of a CD caught anyone's eye?).

This gig was fabulous, a four piece group, essentially a power trio plus the current vocalist and his near flawless vocals who also adds sax on occasion. All these guys were spot on and listening to Simmonds carve out riffs on his instruments was an absolute treat! An unexpected plus was that the band was having fun and so was the crowd.

Wasn't sure what to expect from an aging BRitish Blues and rock icon wo has been around over 45 years, but it was quite a fun night for any affectionado of blues/rock/boogie! Highly recommended!