A handmade video that recreates the inner workings of the defunct Paramount Records factory (where records by artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Louis Armstrong and Charley Patton were pressed in the 1920s and '30s.) The video is made entirely from paper atop a plywood set.
Sound: Charley Patton, "High Water Everywhere, Part 1," 1930
Made by @kellianderson and @danielsdunnam in collaboration with @thirdmanrecords and Revenant Records
Background about the paper animation process here: kellianderson.com/blog/2014/11/whererecordscomefrom/
More information about Paramount Vol. 2 here: thirdmanstore.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-paramount-records-volume-2
The Unlikely History of Paramount Records
How a furniture company became the most important chronicler of early American Jazz and Blues:
Paramount Records was formed in 1917 by a Wisconsin furniture company that knew nothing of the record business. Its mission was modest: produce records as cheaply as possible with whatever talent was available. This was not a winning formula, and by the end of 1921 Paramount was on the threshold of bankruptcy.
In 1922, Paramount’s white owners embarked on a radical new business plan: selling the music of black artists to black audiences (a market that became known as “Race Records”). This move, paired with equal parts dumb luck, chicanery, and a willingness to try anything, paid dramatic dividends. By the time it ceased operations in 1932, it had compiled a dizzying roster of performers—spanning early jazz titans (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, Coleman Hawkins), vaudevillian songsters (Papa Charlie Jackson, The Hokum Boys), the first solo guitar bluesmen (Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake), theater blues divas (Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters), gospel (Norfolk Jubilee Quartette, Famous Blue Jay Singers of Birmingham), masters of Mississippi blues (Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James, Tommy Johnson), America’s greatest string bands (Mississippi Sheiks), and the indefinable “other” (Geeshie Wiley, Elvie Thomas, Lottie Kimbrough, William & Versey Smith).
Read on…: thirdmanstore.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-paramount-records-volume-2