The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 74
Decca 7000 (race) series - 1938
A few weeks ago I did a show on the first four years of the Decca 7000 series. This was the "Race" series - the then usual denominator for African-American music.
This time I do some recordings of 1938 and a bit of '39. And that includes some great blues but also the very first single of the sensation of the Decca label - Louis Jordan. It was a novelty song that he may well have performed for the Elks' club where he had a daily stint.
Not all artists gained so much fame as he did. Some became well-appreciated bluesmen after the revival of interest for pre-war music and the blues in particular, but by then either had died or had disappeared off the radar, and of some we don't know anything but their time when they were professional musicians. And then some of the obscurest artists come by, like a female duo that does a blues in the then-so-popular close harmony girl group style, to be forgotten shortly after their records failed to sell.
A special note on the music that serves as the background for my talking. I always include them in the playlist, but I seldomly talk about them in the show. The background music in this show also comes from Decca records, but they were in the main series. The line between the race and the main series wasn't strictly racial - black artists that were thought marketable to the greater audience got their records in that main series. They include the swing orchestras that the background music of today comes from, but also a vocal group like the Ink Spots.