The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 119

The Conqueror label

Today's show features a record label that wasn't a record company. The Conqueror label was the store brand of Sears Roebuck & Co., a chain of department stores that we still know today as Sears. In the first half of the 20th century it was Sears' policy to sell store brands for low prices and this record label was part of that policy. The disks were custom pressed for Sears Roebuck but the masters were taken from the CBS label and its subsidiaries, such as Vocalion, OKeh and Columbia.

Now these record label names do explain for the availability of Rhythm & blues to whoever at Sears Roebuck was in charge of the selection, but it doesn't tell why this selection of blues, so remote from the general audience's taste and even knowlegds of existence, was taken and mixed in a catalog with the popular tunes of the day and some hillbilly records.

I'll play from the last year that the Conqueror label existed, that is 1941 and '42 and that brings us some really interesting material for the blues fan.



  1. Memphis Minnie - Pig Meat On The Line (Conqueror 9935)
  2. Blind Boy Fuller - Bus Rider Blues (9757)
  3. Big Bill Broonzy - Merry-Go-Round Blues (9609)
  4. The Yas Yas Girl (Merline Johnson) - Got The Blues For My Baby (9950)
  5. Roosevelt Sykes - Keep Your Hands Off Her (9943)
  6. Brownie McGhee - Key To My Door (9938)
  7. Curtis Jones- Moonlight Lover Blues (9768)
  8. Memphis Minnie - Ma Rainey (9763)
  9. Brownie McGhee - Million Lonesome Women (9939)
  10. Big Bill Broonzy- I Wonder What's Wrong With Me (9759)
  11. Peetie Wheatstraw- Hi-De-Ho Woman Blues (9767)
  12. Brownie McGhee - Step It Up And Go No. 2 (9940)
  13. Yas Yas Girl (Merline Johnson) - Milk Man Blues (9950)
  14. Blind Boy Fuller - You Got To Have Your Dollar (9758)
  15. Roosevelt Sykes - Pay Day Blues (9941)
  16. Big Bill Broonzy - Midnight Steppers (9762)
  17. Blind Boy Fuller - Bye Bye Baby Blues (9758)
  18. Memphis Minnie - Down By the Riverside (9936)


  • Wild Bill Moore Sextette - Bongo Bounce
The following music served as background music during the spoken parts:
  • Kirk Kirkland - The Saxaphone Rag
  • Cab Calloway - Chattanooga Choo Choo (9914)
  • Cab Calloway - Take The A Train (9914)
  • Count Basie - Beau Brummel (9746)