Paramount Records launched a “race record” series in 1922 – music by and for African-Americans. “Race music” is pretty much what we called rock and roll before white artists started recording the songs of, and in the style of, “race music” and we starting calling it rock and roll.
Paramount’s advertisements are wonderful, and more than a little evocative of R. Crumb’s drawings of blues and jazz musicians.
Over the years, Gabby had picked up about 20 ads, which he sent my friend. That is how he does things – build a collection, enjoy it, kiss it goodbye. Here they are:
My friend was impressed, but who wouldn’t be? Amazing drawings. He had an interesting question, though. “Paramount says it was the popular race record. Who was the unpopular race record? Sucks to be them, no?”
Yes. Overall, what about the ads?