Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Delmark have informed of the following award:

We also just found out that Delmark’s landmark 1958 album from Big Joe Williams, Piney Woods Blues, has been inducted into the National Blues Hall of Fame in the Classics of Blues Album recordings category! “Big Joe Williams, whose 1935 classic “Baby Please Don’t Go” is already in the Blues Hall of Fame in the singles category, had been recording singles, first on 78 rpm and then 45 rpm, for over two decades when a new label called Delmar released his first 33-1/3 rpm album in 1958. The label was launched by a young Bob Koester in St. Louis, and later changed its name to Delmark in Chicago, where Koester continues to record blues and jazz today. The Big Joe sessions are from St. Louis, featuring Williams on his nine-string guitar accompanied by J.D. Short on harmonica and guitar.

Williams was a spontaneous spirit both in the studio and on the streets. A notorious rambler, he had vanished by the time the album came out and Koester’s liner notes stated “his exact whereabouts is unknown.” It seems he was actually in California, where he cut an LP for another then-new and now-venerable label, Arhoolie, but he became a regular in the Delmark stable and at one point lived in the basement of Koester’s Jazz Record Mart in Chicago.”- committee chair Jim O’Neal (Kevin Johnson Delmark)

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