Blues & Gospel Records, 1890-1943
Since its first edition in 1964, Dixon and Godrich's Blues and Gospel Records has been dubbed "the bible" for collectors of pre-war African American music. It provides an exhaustive listing of all recordings made up to the end of 1943 in a distinctively African American style, excluding those customarily classed as jazz (which are the subject of separate discographies).
The book covers recordings made for the commercial market (whether issued at the time or not) and also recordings made for the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song and similar bodies--about 20,000 titles in all, by more than 3,000 artists.
For each recording session, full details are given of:
· artist credit
· place and date of recording
· issuing company and catalogue numbers
· matrix numbers
· alternative takes
There are also short accounts of the major "race labels" that recorded blues and gospel material, and a complete list of field trips to the south by travelling recording units.
Howard Rye has joined the original compilers for this thoroughly revised, enlarged, and reset fourth edition. The scope has been widened by the addition of about 150 new artists in addition to newly discovered recordings by other artists. The compilation now includes recordings by groups such as the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the Pace Jubilee Singers, and the Tuskegee Institute Singers, who, although they employed African American materials and musical devices, were designed to appeal to a predominantly white audience. Early cylinder recordings of gospel music from the 1890s are included for the first time.
Previous editions of this work are applauded for their completeness, accuracy, and reliability. This has now been enhanced by the addition of new information from record labels and from record company files, and by listening to a wide selection of titles, and detailed cross checking.
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