Blues in the Mississippi Night

(
Rounder
2003
)

In 1947 Alan Lomax recorded bluesmen Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim, and Sonny Boy Williamson on a Presto disc recording machine at Decca Studios in New York City after they had given concert at Town Hall. In a session of candid oral history and song, the three artists explain the origin and nature of the blues. The interviews were issued in a fictionalized form in Common Ground (1948) under the title “I Got the Blues,” but they were deemed so controversial that their album release was delayed for ten years. When United Artists finally issued them on LP as Blues In the Mississippi Night in 1959, Lomax used pseudonyms to protect the artists and their families. (United Artists, 1959; reissued by Rykodisc, 1990 and Rounder, 2003.)