Thu 7 Feb 2008
One of two missing Blind Blake 78's (Paramount 13123) has been discovered. "Night And Day Blues" b/w "Sun To Sun" was discovered in 2007 when it was retrieved from an old steamer trunk in a trailer park in Raleigh, NC, and acquired by Old Hat Records. As Drew Kent wrote in the notes to Blind Blake: All The Published Sides: "In either May or October 1931, Paramount cut four Blake sides which have vanished: Dissatisfied Blues/Miss Emma Liza and Night And Day Blues/Sun To Sun. Any record collector sharp eyed enough to uncover these is guranteed fame, but probably not fortune."
Some have commented that Blake's considerable talents went in decline by 1930. There may be some truth to this although "Righteous Blues" cut circa December, 1930 finds Blake in peak form. Thankfully Old Hat has provided sound samples of the newly discovered sides and they find Blake in fine form. Both are straight ahead mid-tempo blues numbers with "Night And Day Blues" finding Blake in particularly good voice and laying down a fine solo. After this session Blake simply vanished without a trace. Several years ago I talked with blues researcher Gayle Dean Wardlow who hinted that he had solved the mystery of Blake's disappearance – of course he didn't tell me! Perhaps one day all will be revealed.
There have been some great blues discoveries in recent years including a lost Blind Willie McTell record issued this year plus records by Son House, Blind Joe Reynolds and King Solomon Hill. There are still records to be found, most famously a pair of lost Willie Brown 78's.
The Blake records were acquired by Old Hat along with records by Charley Jordan, Buddy Moss, Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, Bessie Jackson, Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell, Casey Bill, Georgia Tom, and the duo of Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sarah, to name just a few. I'm happy to hear Old Hat now owns the records as the company has issued some terrific collections featuring great sound and incredibly researched booklets. Make sure to visit the Old Hat Website for more details.
An ad for the missing Blake record "Miss Emma Liza."
Image from the 2006 Classic Blues Artwork Calendar.