With the four-disc series When the Sun Goes Down, RCA surveys the massively influential Bluebird/Victor catalog of early blues.

With the four-disc series When the Sun Goes Down, RCA surveys the massively influential Bluebird/Victor catalog of early blues. Walk Right In (bluesy folk/pop), First Time I Met the Blues (pre-war blues), That's Chicago's South Side (urban blues), and That's All Right (postwar blues hinting at rock) are blessed by phenomenal remastering and ace liner notes by Colin Escott, plus evocative photos and cover art. First Time I Met the Blues kicks off with Vaudevillian Victoria Spivey's "Telephoning the Blues." Country pioneer Jimmie Rodgers teams with Louis Armstrong's indigo horn for "Blue Yodel #9." The title track has roots in Little Brother Montgomery's 1936 rendition, recorded in a New Orleans hotel room. Then there are Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues" (a later staple for the Allman Brothers) and Sleepy John Estes' "The Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair" (covered by Led Zeppelin live). The series' subtitle is no idle boast: White and black, male and female, these artists indeed wrote "The Secret History of Rock'n'Roll."—BB