KNON 89.3 FM


The 2007 Texas Blues Radio design was inspired by the label of a 1927 Paramount 78 RPM Blues record.  It was submitted by KNON's Monday Blues host JMAC.

Paramount was founded in 1917 by a Grafton, Wisconsin furniture company which made cabinets for Edison phonographs.  In the early 20th Century records were often included with new phonographs.  Recorded music was new and phonograph records were scarce in some parts of America.  Several of the best known labels were established by companies that manufactured phonographs to provide buyers with records to play.  A few of those labels are still around today.

The earliest Paramount releases included Vaudeville, Jazz, and early Country music as well as Blues.  After Blind Lemon Jefferson's huge hits in 1926 and 1927 Paramount released primarily Blues recordings.  But competition from budget labels, the advent of radio, and the Great Depression took their toll and the original Paramount record company went out of business in 1935.  Paramount is gone* but thousands of 78's survive as a chronicle of Blues history.


Besides Jefferson, well known Paramount Blues artists include Papa Charlie Jackson, Son House, Charlie Patton, Skip James, Charlie Spand, Big Bill Broonzy, Bumble Bee Slim, Little Brother Montgomery, Rube Lacey, Henry Townsend, Buddy Boy Hawkins, the Hokum Boys, and Blind Blake.

Seventy years after the label went out of business the Blues artists that recorded on Paramount are still being heard and enjoyed.  Original Paramount 78's are sought by collectors and the rarest are worth a small fortune.  Contemporary labels such as Yazoo, Document, Wolf, JSP, and others reissue Paramount Blues recordings on CD today.

Blind Lemon Jefferson Paramount 78

Many thanks to everyone that submitted designs for the 2007 T-Shirt Contest!


* The current Paramount label was formed in a 1954 merger of Paramount Film Studios and ABC Records and has no connection with the 1917-1935 Paramount label.


KNON's Texas Blues Radio  Last Update: Wednesday December 28, 2011