Above is a photo of the great Skip James taken in 1932. You can find this and other great pics at the Paramount Records website. Of course the record company is long gone, but the website tells the history of this Wisconsin based company, and keeps alive the stories of the great Jazz, and Blues recordings made there. I am certainly planing on my next trip to Wisconsin to see if there is anything left up in Grafton Wisconsin where some of these great blues hits were manufactured on 78s.
The website has not only photos and stories, but also sound and film files including Lomax's Land Where the Blues Began. I have always loved that film and book. I know that a few blues scholars have tried to shoot holes in Lomax's work for years, but I feel a lot of it stands up well. I will talk in detail about Lomax in a future post. However, this story is about the people who put together the paramount website. Alex Van Der Tuuk, (author of Paramounts Rise and Fall)and Pat and Angela Mack. It is obvious that this site is a labor of love built by people who love not only the blues, but jazz as well. If you get a chance spend a few hours perusing their website. you will be glad that you did.