WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

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JF10R3
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WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by JF10R3 »

I'm looking for any Ma Rainey 78 rpm Paramount records

need4art
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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by need4art »

You must have seen the Ma Rainey play reboot that appeared on Netflix. But be ready to dig deep in your pocket. I picked up 4 of her records in a mass purchase of records 4 or 5 years ago even before I really knew who she was. I listened to them and decided to keep them. That was at the time dumb luck.

There are a number of them for sale on ebay, and the lowest price is $250-and up to $800. Don't know if that is due to the movie or not.

Perhaps this is not the time to go looking for them...
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JerryVan
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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by JerryVan »

Record condition is very poor, but what a cool label! (On eBay right now, along with another copy at 4X the price.)
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Curt A
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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by Curt A »

Most of the desirable Paramount records look like they were played and played and played, with a rusty nail... :?
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
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JerryVan
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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by JerryVan »

Curt A wrote:Most of the desirable Paramount records look like they were played and played and played, with a rusty nail... :?
Music bought, and listened to, by "poor folks", who had little money for needles and less still for record cabinets. They may also have had very few records and played those few endlessly. Those records may have been the only entertainment they had available. I try to imagine those folks when I see a very used-up record like this. The record tells a story well beyond the recording itself. How shocked they would be today, that there are some who would pay hundreds of dollars for their well worn discs.

Victor VII
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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by Victor VII »

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom on Netflix is excellent and is recommended viewing for sure. That said, it did not go very deep into her music or her repertoire. Much more focused on the experience for black recording artists in the late '20's and related issues of racial injustice. A more extensive musical overview was provided by the HBO film "Bessie" from 2015. Queen Latifah did a fantastic portrayal of Bessie Smith, who was mentored by Ma Rainey. She went on to be a somewhat more successful performer who was able to break through other critical barriers including being able to record on mainstream record label (Columbia). These two films complement each other. I know "Bessie" is available on DVD. Not sure where you can find it to stream on line...

edisonplayer
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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by edisonplayer »

Speaking of steel needles,my late friend Jerry Donnell told me that someone told him to put the used needles into a door jam and that would resharpen them.It may have been the case with folks who couldn't afford new needles,like those who bought Ma Rainey's Paramounts edisonplayer.

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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by edisonplayer »

I have one original Paramount 78 by Ma.One side is Moonshine Blues,and the reverse is Southern Blues.Ma is accompanied by Lovie Austin's Blues Serenaders.The record is made of reddish brown shellac.I got it on EBAY several years ago.I also have an LP reissue on Biograph and a CD of Ma Rainey's work.edisonplayer

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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by Inigo »

As read dat, I rushed to Netflix and watched Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.... Nice well done documentary-film. The scenes in the studio have one upright Victrola (xvi or similar), I've also spotted a credenza, and they seem to have also a tabletop or a horn gramophone without the horn in the studio engineers cabin; you can spot its exhibition soundbox on the gooseneck turned upside down.
But they're using acetates... back in 1927? And using a weight controlled motor?
Inigo

Paul77
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Re: WANTED: Ma Rainey Paramount records

Post by Paul77 »

Acetates(lacquer-costed aluminum or other metal-based) in 1927-no, no and no. Softish wax masters.

Weight - driven turntables definately. Used in smaller studios and for territory, field-regional recording sessions.

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