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New Revised & Expanded Edition

Paramount’s Rise and Fall

The Roots and History
of Paramount Records

By Alex van der Tuuk

"Invaluable... It's exciting to have this essential book available again"
  — Samuel Charters, author of
The Country Blues

"An absorbing account" — Paul Oliver, author of Blues Fell this Morning

"A superbly written and beautifully produced book" — Mark Berresford, Vintage Jazz Mart

"Paramount collectors will want to buy this new version, while fans who missed out
on the first edition should take their opportunities to buy this one"
Ed Komara, ARSC Journal

282 pages, 150 illustrations

6" x 9" quality softcover

ISBN # 978-0-9852004-2-8

How did a chair manufacturer come to dominate the new "race record" field in the 1920s? The fascinating story unfolds in this newly revised and expanded edition of Alex van der Tuuk's classic Paramount history. You find two new sections, many additional photos, and substantial updates to the original text — all in an affordable, high-quality paperback edition.

Paramount introduced Ma Rainey, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, Skip James, and other blues greats to the world — but there's much more to the story than its legendary jazz and blues records. Alex van der Tuuk reveals the full history of the people and companies behind the label in a landmark work that blends musical, business, and local history in a unique way.

Even if you're fortunate enough to own a first edition (already a collectors' item!), we think you'll enjoy this new expanded version just as much. And if you missed the original, here's an opportunity to get acquainted with one of the landmark works in recorded-sound history.


  • Forewords by Samuel Charters, Bob Koester, Gayle Dean Wardlow, and Janet L. Erickson
  • Preface and Acknowledgements
  • Grafton Revisited
    (NEW - An illustrated history of the Paramount studio and pressing-plant site)
  • Chapter 1: The Wisconsin Chair Company
  • Chapter 2: Another Sideline — Phonographs and Records
  • Chapter 3: Jazz, Blues and Vaudeville
  • Chapter 4: "Agents Wanted": Selling a Record
  • Chapter 5: "Special Agent Blues"
  • Chapter 6: The Grafton Recordings
  • Chapter 7: Rebuilding a Company
  • Chapter 8: Paramount's Swan Song
    (NEW - A detailed account of post-NYRL attempts to revive Paramount, including an examination of current ownership of the Paramount recordings and trademarks)
  • Selected References
  • Title and Subject Indexes

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