Columbia/Legacy will release a two-CD blues anthology on June 3 as a prelude to Martin Scorsese's seven-part PBS series on the genre.

Columbia/Legacy will release a two-CD blues anthology on June 3 as a prelude to Martin Scorsese's seven-part PBS series on the genre. Titled "The Story of the Blues," the 42-song set compiles cuts from the Sony vaults, stretching as far back as 1927 and as recent as 1998. Selections from Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Bessie Smith stand alongside tracks from Bob Dylan, Santana, and Keb' Mo'.

"The Story of the Blues" was originally released as a double-LP in 1969 and was compiled by British writer Paul Oliver, who authored a book of the same name. The majority of the tracks were analog transfers of 78 rpm records from the catalogs of Columbia, OKeh, Vocalion, and ARC. The expanded edition, with updated annotation from Oliver, was produced by Jerry Rappaport, who has worked on titles from Jimmy Cliff and Junior Wells, among others.

The set is divided into five parts: the origin of the blues, blues and entertainment, the '30s urban and rural blues, WWII blues, and blues rock. "The Story of the Blues" attempts to trace the lineage from Blind Willie McTell to the Memphis Jug Band to Memphis Minnie to Janis Joplin and beyond. It's the first major release from Columbia/Legacy that will hype Scorsese's fall series.

As previously reported Scorsese will produce a seven-part series titled "The Blues" to air this fall on PBS. Individual segments will be directed by Scorsese, Charles Burnett, Clint Eastwood, Mike Figgis, Marc Levin, Richard Pearce, and Wim Wenders. Sony Music and Universal Music Enterprises will collaborate to produce a CD box set, a DVD set, a "best of" CD, and seven individual soundtrack CDs with each segment director selecting their own track list. HarperCollins will publish a companion book to the series.

Here is the track list for "The Story of the Blues:"

Disc One:
"Yarum Praise Song," Fra-Fra Tribesman
"Stack O'Lee Blues," Mississippi John Hurt
"Travelin' Blues," Blind Willie McTell
"Stone Pony Blues," Charley Patton
"Black Snack Moan," Blind Lemon Jefferson
"Pig Meat Papa," Lead Belly
"Broken Yo-Yo," Texas Alexander
"Broke & Hungry Blues," Peg Leg Howell
"It Won't Be Long Now," Barbecue Bob and Laughing Charley
"Georgia Crawl," Henry Williams
"Dangerous Woman," Mississippi Jook Band
"Gator Wobblie," Memphis Jug Band
"In the House Blues," Bessie Smith
"Shake it Down," Lillian Glinn
"Pratt City Blues," Bertha "Chippie" Hill
"What it Takes To Bring You Back," Butterbeans and Susie
"Midnight Hour Blues," Leroy Carr and Scrapper
"East St. Louis Blues," Faber Smith and Jimmy Yancey
"Good Whiskey Blues," Peetie Wheatstraw
"W.P.A. Blues," Casey Bill Weldon
"Sorry Feeling Blues," Bo Carter
"Little Queen of Spades," Robert Johnson
"Farm Blues," Bukka White
"Me & My Chauffeur Blues," Memphis Minnie

Disc Two:
"I Want Some of Your Pie," Blind Boy Fuller
"Million Lonesome Women," Brownie McGhee
"Wild Cow Moan," Big Joe Williams
"All By Myself," Big Bill Broonzy
"Roll 'em Pete," Joe Turner
"Bald Headed Woman," Lightnin' Hopkins
"You Shook Me," Willie Dixon
"Manish Boy," Muddy Waters
"She Caught the Katy (And Left Me a Mule To Ride)," Taj Mahal
"I Ain't Superstitious," Jeff Beck Group
"Killing Floor," the Electric Flag
"One Good Man," Janis Joplin
"Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen," Santana
"Highway 61 Revisited," Johnny Winter
"Texas Flood," Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble
"Soon As I Get Paid," Keb' Mo'
"Cry Awhile," Bob Dylan
"Ride On," Little Axe

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print