A leading blues harmonica player of the pre-war era, William McKinley “Jazz” Gillum arrived in Chicago in 1923 where he played with Big Bill Broonzy and became a popular studio musician. During the 1930s and 1940s, he played on dozens of recordings, including “I’m That Man Down in the Mine” and “Swingtime.” Born in Indianola, Mississippi, Gillum was the first to record the eight-bar blues classic, “Key to the Highway.” Released in 2000, The Bluebird Recordings, 1934-1938 captures his peak years with tracks including “Just Like Jessie James” and “Reefer Head Woman.”
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Volume 1 portrays 35 outstanding musical legends that have shaped and continue to inspire America’s rich jazz tradition.
Volume 2 portrays 35 outstanding musical Blues legends that have helped begin most other forms of music.