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Paramount Records Wonder-Cabinet

burl chestnut quarter-sawn Fats Waller

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#1 macwacky

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 11:13 AM

pick up that jaw you just dropped...


 

Paramount Records Wonder-Cabinet

 

THIRD MAN + REVENANT PARTNER TO RELEASE HISTORIC TWO-VOLUME WONDER-CABINET ‘THE RISE & FALL OF PARAMOUNT RECORDS 1917-1932’


How did a Wisconsin chair company, producing records on the cheap and
run by men with little knowledge of their audience or the music
business, build one of the greatest musical rosters ever assembled under
one roof?  The answer lies in ‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records
1917-1932,’ an epic, two-volume omnibus of art, words and music housed
in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder, to be jointly
released by Jack White’s Third Man Records and John Fahey’s Revenant
Records. 


‘Volume One,’ which covers the label’s improbable rise from
1917-1927, will be released exclusively through Third Man on October 29,
and worldwide on November 19.  The project is co-produced by leading
Paramount authority Alex van der Tuuk, and ‘Volume 2’ will be released
in November 2014.


Paramount Records was founded on a modest proposition: produce
records as cheaply as possible, recording whatever talent was
available.  Over its lifetime, the label would become a “race records”
powerhouse, its sound and fortunes directly linked to the Great
Migration. 


By the time Paramount ceased operations in 1932, it had compiled a
dizzying array of performers still unrivaled to this day, spanning early
jazz titans (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats
Waller), blues masters (Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son
House, Skip James), American divas (Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Ethel
Waters), gospel (Norfolk Jubilee Quartette), vaudeville (Papa Charlie
Jackson), and the indefinable “other” (Geeshie Wiley, Elvis Thomas). 
Paramount would also directly influence the style of Robert Crumb and
countless other 20th century artists and illustrators, through a series
of hand-drawn ads promoting its releases in the pages of the Chicago
Defender.


The ‘Rise and Fall’ wonder-cabinet gives equal status to page-turning
narrative and new scholarship; original and newly created graphic art;
industrial design; and compelling analog and digital music experiences. 
‘Volume One’ contains the following: 


* 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 172 artists 


* 200+ fully-restored original 1920s ads and images


* 6x 180g vinyl LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/
hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched
white birch LP folio


* 250 page deluxe large-format clothbound hardcover art book 


* 360 page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography 


* Handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware 


* First-of-its-kind music and image player app, allowing user mgmt of all tracks and ads, housed on custom-designed USB drive

 

Paramountwideshotfull.jpg

 



#2 Kali Durga

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 11:17 AM

I'm salivating.  'twas also announced here--  http://www.rollingst...ds-set-20130924
 
 

In 1917, the Wisconsin Chair Company opened a record label called Paramount Records. Their approach to the record business was the kitchen-sink kind: In the name of selling as much as possible, while spending as little as possible, they pressed and shipped thousands of 78-RPM records from top-tier musicians, as well as anyone who threw down cash to take advantage of the label's open-door policy.

Paramount's catalog featured Louis Armstrong, Ma Rainey, Fletcher Henderson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver and Ethel Walters, to name a few – but because the label's slapdash habits left no official or complete catalog, John Fahey's Revenant Records and Jack White's Third Man Records have teamed up to release the next best thing, a massive archival release called The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27), out October 29th on Third Man, with a worldwide release set for November 19th.

The collection features 800 songs (the imminent volume two, slated for a November 2014 release, will include the same number), 200 restored original ads and images, two books – one a history of Paramount, the other a field guide to the artists and recordings – and six 180-gram vinyl LPs, all of which come in a hand-crafted oak case modeled after those that caried phonographs in the 1920s. With so much music to explore, The Rise and Fall will also include a special USB drive containing a unique music and image app with myriad indexes that will let you easily explore the humongous collection.

If that seems a bit daunting, the six vinyl LPs contain a somewhat more manageable 87 cuts. Not necessarily a best-of, the records offer a look at the label's pecuilar roster, mixing some of Paramount's big names and what Revenant co-founder Dean Blackwood described to Rolling Stone as "not even one-hit wonders, they're one or two recording wonders."

The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records was a massive undertaking put together with the help of a team of 30 to 50 people, including artists, writers (Blackwood's brother Scott wrote the label's story), historians and record collectors. It's also Revenant's first release in a decade, a project that began about two years ago when Blackwood showed White a timeline of Paramount's history he'd put together to get a better sense of the history of the label that had caught his fascination. "That was really the revelatory moment, just sort of staring at that timeline on my wall, like, 'Why hasn't this story been told?'" Blackwood says.

Though quite comprehensive, even Blackwood admits that the music collected on The Rise and Fall is most likely a fraction of Paramount's total catalog, which thanks to their poor record keeping, will most likely never be totally filled in. It's less a definitive box set, he says, and more of a mini-museum exhibit, something emphasized by the quarter-sawn oak case that houses The Rise and Fall.

"It's funny," Blackwood says. "You have people whose business it was, like the Library of Congress, to preserve these bits of, in this case, African American culture, and yet it was a commercial record company, like Paramount, who didn't give a shit about any of that! They wanted to move a record, they only cared what was selling this week, and had no idea of any kind of preservation mentality, unless it was going to be useful to them to repress a record and sell it. They ended up unintentionally being this source for the greatest archive efforts in American arts."

 

 

It's so damned pretty.  And you just know it's gonna sound damned pretty, too.



#3 jack1111

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:45 PM

Yeah looking forward to this but it fails to name what price it will be,going from the description and the Beautiful sounding package it will probably cost a fortune.



#4 mittensonfire

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:45 PM

Large faces will not hide from you.

Edited by mittensonfire, 06 August 2014 - 11:48 AM.


#5 Kali Durga

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:47 PM

800 songs!!!  How long would it take to listen to 800 songs?  I can't wrap my brain around that.


Edited by Kali Durga, 24 September 2013 - 12:47 PM.


#6 Kali Durga

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 01:08 PM

More details--  http://www.nashville...e-coming-nov-19
 
 

Wondering what to get that heard-it-all music lover, jazz aficionado or fanatical record collector this holiday season? Whoever described the project unveiled last Friday at Third Man Records as "Elvis Costello's Christmas present" was not at all off the mark.

For the better part of the year, there'd been whispers that Revenant Records, the superlative boutique label founded by the late John Fahey and former Nashville attorney Dean Blackwood, was working on a collection devoted to Paramount Records. The record-label subsidiary of the Wisconsin Chair Company, home to artists such as Ma Rainey, Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson and King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band (featuring Louis Armstrong), Paramount recorded blues, jazz and gospel greats along with a number of long-forgotten regional and novelty artists starting in 1917, until it shuttered during the Great Depression.

Previously, Revenant issued stellar artisanal packages devoted to Captain Beefheart, Charley Patton and Albert Ayler — the last item consisting of a carved plastic "spirit box" filled with nine CDs, reproduced memorabilia, even a pressed forget-me-not. So meeting that standard seemed like a tall order — until visitors stepped inside the Third Man offices, outfitted with staffers in vintage garb and period oddities such as a working camera obscura.

The occasion is The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1932), the first half of a staggering label retrospective that's frankly one of the damnedest musical objets d'art I've ever seen. A fusion of archaic recordings, hand-hewn craft and spanking new digital technology — embodied by a mock-up of a metal Victrola needle that houses a flash drive and endlessly searchable discography database — it offers some 800 remastered digital tracks, a 250-page book of label reprints, a 360-page "field guide" to the songs and artists and six vinyl LPs emblazoned with hand-engraved center labels. If those contents were simply dumped in a Hefty bag and handed over to the consumer, they'd still be a treasure.

But the box, including the graphic elements designed by local Isle of Printing printmaster Bryce McCloud — how to describe this thing? First, in honor of Paramount's furniture-company origins, it comes housed in a polished wooden box shaped like a Victrola case. According to Third Man operative Ben Swank, the attention to detail was so thorough that Third Man founder Jack White (a man who knows his way around furniture and upholstery) specified the use of quarter sawn oak as well as the sage velvet inner lining. Second, McCloud's own meticulous detailing extends to a book cover made of laser-etched birch. Birch. Third, each component fits like a puzzle piece into its own neatly appointed slot, in tribute to the personal museums known as wunderkammern ("cabinets of wonder") popular in 16th century Europe.

Visiting writers in town for the Americana Music Festival geeked out unabashedly over the gorgeous packaging, the digital whizbangery and the vibrant, timeless music issuing a joyous clatter over the speakers. The official release date is Nov. 19, and to answer the question on everyone's mind: It's set to retail at Third Man for $400 — although we desperately wanted to believe White when he leaned over to Blackwood at the announcement party, gestured to the box and said, in his best Ronco pitchman voice, "This is retailing for $19.95, right? That's what I'm telling everyone."



#7 macwacky

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:16 PM

i don't even thing $19.95 will come close to covering the shipping alone



#8 jack1111

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:18 PM

i don't even thing $19.95 will come close to covering the shipping alone

 No dont think so,think it will be way above that something like double that.,possibly more.



#9 Action Boy!

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:22 PM

....



#10 Kali Durga

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:26 PM

....

 

C'mon, man, spill it. Tell us what you think.



#11 Action Boy!

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:33 PM

its just ridiculously gratuitous....in the best way possible.  the only flaw is that it doesnt come with the necessary jag rag.



#12 Kali Durga

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:47 PM

What, you can't afford a box of Kleenex to go along with it?  I think I've even seen sage colored boxes in the grocery store.



#13 mittensonfire

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:10 PM

There is no place for it!

Edited by mittensonfire, 06 August 2014 - 11:47 AM.


#14 ridetheblinds

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:34 PM

Wow, this is amazing. I have drooled over Revenant's Charlie Patton box for several years and never pulled the trigger. But this...jag rag is right.



#15 Maschine Man

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:38 AM

I find when people try to replicate a style of furniture (or in this case, box) the same care and detail is not quite given. I wonder what the quality of these will be like? 

 

 

It's a collectors item that was made to be a collectors item. I find that sad in a way. I just want a USB (or even just make it an APP sold on the iTunes) with all my music on and a simple package for the records. 



#16 Jettkoral

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:42 AM

Nice! Can't wait until this drops. Hope there's a more affordable edition with just the vinyl, USB and a small book!



#17 ymagirl

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 09:38 AM

no no Third Man, you got me once this year. I shall fall for your handsomely packaged, outrageously expensive releases no more!



#18 macwacky

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 10:37 AM

^ you were Gatsbied?

 

I really want to thank Third Man (and i'm saying this without any sarcasm) for pricing this where i don't even have to think about whether to get it or not. I'm very happy for those who are getting it, it looks great!



#19 ymagirl

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:21 AM

^ you were Gatsbied?

 

ha! yes, that's a perfect way to describe it! and I shall display it forever more as a testament to my folly, a Third Man Fan's 'fools gold' if you will.



#20 kts1997

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:33 AM

Man, look at that. But don't touch it!!!!

I'm gonna buy a lottery ticket...

 

 

Seriously Tim, this ones gonna carry a pretty hefty price tag for sure.

 

But oh how I want one. And just think, we will be able to get it off of Ebay for just a kidney






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