Full Moon Mix: Shellac Blues

The ghostly hiss on this mix tells that these songs have travelled a long way. In fact, they go back almost a hundred years. With this compilation we take a closer look at the very beginning of recording history. All of these tracks were produced in the late 1920s, when shellac served as a medium to spread the emerging sounds of blues and jazz.

On our journey into the golden age of the blues we meet the ghosts of Clara Smith, billed as The Queen of the Moaners, Bessie Smith, known The Emperess of the Blues, and Jimmie Rodgers aka The Yodelling Brakeman. We listen to the soulful laments of the immortal blind bluesmen: Blind Willie McTell, Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Blind Willie Johnson. And of course there’s the obstetricians of jazz: King Oliver and The Duke.


1. Clara Smith – Ease It (Columbia, 1926)

2. Duke Ellington and His Orchestra – The Mooche (Okeh, 1929)

3. Hokum Boys – Gamblers Blues (Paramount, 1929)

4. Kelly Harrell – The Cuckoo She’s A Fine Bird (Victor, 1926)

5. Blind Willie McTell – Stole Rider Blues (Victor, 1927)

6. Blind Blake – Georgia Bound (Paramount, 1929)

7. Blind Lemon Jefferson – See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (Paramount, 1928)

8. Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was The Night (Columbia, 1928)

9. Mississippi John Hurt – Stack O’Lee Blues (Okeh, 1929)

10. Lillian Glinn – Shake It Down (Columbia, 1928)

11. King Oliver and His Orchestra – West End Blues (Columbia, 1928)

12. Edith Johnson – Nickel’s Worth of Liver Blues (Paramount, 1929)

13. Bessie Smith – Take It Right Back (Columbia, 1929)

14. Ike Rodgers – Screenin’ The Blues (Paramount, 1929)

15. Memphis Jug Band – Memphis Yo Yo Blues (Victor, 1929)

16. Jimmie Rodgers – Never No Mo’ Blues (Victor, 1929)