When listening to oldies on the radio, do you ever wonder where the sounds come from? Where these aftertastes of happiness, dismay or low-down loneliness originate? If you do, you can find answers in a historic record set, the Cabinet-of-Wonder; The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932, Volume 1 of 2. Through the partnership of Jack White’s Third Man Records and John Fahey’s Revenant Records, this volume helps to reintroduce America’s finest music from the Jazz, Blues, Vaudeville and Gospel realms of the 20th century.
Artists in the set include Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Son House, Skip James, Ma Rainey, Papa Charlie Jackson, Elvie Thomas, Norfolk Jubilee Quartet and many more. This range gives the listening audience an opportunity to gain true perspectives of the 20th century narrative. According to Third Man Records, “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.”
Given this information, we find that we are not just submerging ourselves in a bare bones oasis of groundbreaking material from Grafton, Wisconsin, but learning about America and its people through their music.
With its scholarly backing, graphic art and artistic dynasty, this set is a one of a kind musical experience. So if you do not want to just learn about one of America’s early music scenes, 1920s promotional advertisements or Paramount Records as a whole, take it in as a fine piece of American history everyone should know and respect. There are many secrets hidden in the grooves of the shellac, so let their whispering words tell you a story and enjoy.