American Music

American Music (U.S.A.) / 1942

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Design: The design features coarse letterpress typography, both symmetrical and asymmetrical, which makes good use of available space.

History: William Russell, who founded this short-lived label in 1944, was one of a small core group of American jazz and blues aficionados who in the 1930s began to research the origins of jazz and blues music, collecting rare 'folk' recordings of black artists who they considered to have generated these distinct art forms, and who (ideally) had been untainted by commercial trends in (white) popular music.

Label scan courtesy of collector Dave Dixon of Canada, who writes: "This yellow label was William Russell's main label, and was not a bootleg reissue, as was the later green-label version (above right). It started with an historic series of recordings by Bunk Johnson and other New Orleans musicians."

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