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2013 - Specific Time TBA
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Rice University


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Friday, June 8, 2012
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Facilitating Freedom: Women, Gender, and Black Town Movement in the United States
Texas Christian University

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Trumpet Records: Diamonds on Farish Street



Journal of Southern History, Vol. 74, No. 2 "Trumpet Records: Diamonds on Farish Street" by Mare W. Ryan, pp. 538

Trumpet Records: Diamonds on Farish Street by Mare W. Ryan is as good as it gets for an audiophile.  This work tells the unlikely story of Trumpet Records primarily through the life of Lillian McMurry, who at twenty-eight and from a white, middle-class background, founded the label that would be dedicated primarily to marketing African American artists in the Deep South.  McMurry developed the idea after discovering an unsold cache of “race records” while working in her husband’s furniture store in Jackson, Mississippi and realizing she could sell them. (pp. 3) Among Trumpet’s claims to fame was the first commercial recording of Elmo James’s popular “Dust My Broom” and early recording sessions with Sonny Boy Williamson and his then sideman B.B. King.  The company rose to great heights, recording such notable artists as The Famous Blue Jay Singers, Cliff Give, and The Gospelaires. 

Within the books main pages are numbers of photos of artists, old records, venues, advertisements, and even business cards.  The wealth of information thus allows the book to fit well within a certain niche audience interested in researching southern music of the period.  As interesting as the biography of a woman and her business is, Trumpet Records also contains a tremendously valuable resource within its Appendix.  Detailed lists are provided of all Trumpet and Globe sessionographies, all singles printed by the companies, all chart appearances, reviews of releases, and even a Trumpet re-issue listing.  For fans of southern music, Trumpet Records is an absolute must-read.

Reprinted courtesy The Journal of Southern History

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