The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27)

Released: 2013
Grammy Award Winner, 2015 – Best Special or Limited Edition Package Design
Grammy Award Nominee, 2015 – Best Liner Notes

Contents: Presented in a wunderkammer format:  Two lavish, large-format books (one hardcover art & narrative, one softcover “field manual” reference guide); 800 digital tracks and 200 images managed via a custom-designed app on a forged metal USB drive; a laser-etched white birch LP folio containing 6 deluxe 180g vinyl records with gold leaf labels; housed in a vintage velvet-upholstered, quarter-sawn oak cabinet.

To purchase:

Unboxing Video for the Volume One Wonder-cabinet

How did a chair company in Wisconsin – producing records on the cheap and run by men with little clue about the music business or their own audience – assemble the greatest roster of performers ever housed under one roof and an archive that can stand with any in American arts and letters? The curious tale can now be told!

Hear the earliest recordings of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Ma Rainey, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Johnny Dodds, Jimmy Blythe, Jaybird Coleman, Blind Blake, Ethel Waters, Alberta Hunter, Papa Charlie Jackson, Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver, Buddy Boy Hawkins, Norfolk Jazz/Jubilee Quartet, Fats Waller, Coleman Hawkins, Bo Weavil Jackson, Jimmy O’Bryant, Lovie Austin and 150 more Paramount artists. Each artist profiled in their own encyclopedia-style biographical entry and sessionography. The label’s own curious tale told in a compelling book-length narrative by award-winning writer Scott Blackwood. Featuring hundreds of Paramount’s highly influential hand-illustrated ads and ephemera from the 1920s.

The first installment in a two-volume omnibus of words, images and music, housed in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder.

More details on The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27)
Read the NY Times piece on this set


“Spectacular” – NY Times

“An unprecedented anthology” – Rolling Stone

“It’s a history lesson, a dance hall, a bandstand, and a smoky blues parlor, all tucked neatly into one sturdy box. This is the Cabinet of Wonder, indeed” – Pitchfork / Best New Reissue / 9.2 out of 10

“Its existence makes a difference in the life of American pop” – NPR

“It’s an impressive object…with the heft of a hellhound.  Few box sets bring the musical past to life in such a surprising and revealing way” – LA Times

“Breathtaking…perhaps one of the most beautiful packaged music collections ever” – Boing Boing

“A treasure you’ll want to pass on to the grandkids” – Southern Living

“An American treasure chest” – Texas Monthly

“The most perfectly realized attempt to combine music and documentation I’ve ever seen” – Fretboard Journal

“Staggering. One of the damnedest musical objets d’art I’ve ever seen” – Nashville Scene

“What’s best about America is in this box” – Jack White