Digging up a rich musical history with the Paramount Music Festival

Dave Hoekstra takes a look at the classic blues label Paramount Records, headquartered in Port Washington, Wisconsin in 1917 to the early ’30’s.  He talks with Kris Raymond, director of the Paramount Music Association, about the history of the label, home to vital recordings from artists like Son House and Ma Rainey and the festival itself, which  features over 25 performances over three days from the likes of Billy Branch, ‘Chief’ Eddy Clearwater and more.

Award-winning blues artist Cathy Grier plays some songs from the Paramount imprint, and we also talk with music historian Gayle Dean Wardlow, who provides some context for the label’s place in pre-World War II blues history.