Jack White's Blues Explosion

The rocker reissues classic Paramount recordings

In 1922, Port Washington, Wis., was hardly a hotbed of the blues. Yet that was the year the so-situated Wisconsin Chair Co. made a canny decision that came to have a defining impact on the history of the blues and jazz. A decade earlier, the furniture maker had set out to goose sales of its phonograph cabinets by manufacturing its own records. When its Paramount label failed to produce any hits, the imprint changed course and began marketing "race records." For the next 10 years, Paramount would preserve the electrifying performances of an amazing array of blues and jazz legends, including...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!