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Library Of Congress Acquires House Of Blues Radio Collection

The collection features interviews and stories of blues legends past and present, including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, and John Lee Hooker, among many others.

By: Jun. 27, 2024
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Library Of Congress Acquires House Of Blues Radio Collection  ImageThe Library of Congress has acquired the House of Blues Radio Hour spanning 20 years' worth of programs that promoted the blues, introduced new audiences to the popular music genre and showcased emerging talent. Hosted by celebrity actor-musician Dan Aykroyd, the series was a soulful journey through a cornerstone of American music, offering poignant interviews and stories of blues legends past and present, including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, and John Lee Hooker, among many others.

The collection, now housed in the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, consists of all the programs in the series, as well as the unedited interviews and performances that were excerpted for them. The shows raised the profile of this vital musical style that gained popularity beyond its American roots and influenced music worldwide.

"Everyone involved in the House of Blues/Bluesmobile Radio Hour is grateful and excited that the United States Library of Congress is taking our 20 years' worth of shows with their performances and interviews into the Library's permanent collection,” said Aykroyd, who hosted the series in character as Elwood Blues.

“This archive is one of the most comprehensive ever and provides researchers with an invaluable resource. Also, it validates the original 'mission' of the Blues Brothers to celebrate and venerate African American Blues artists and their music by actively contributing to the vital initiative of cultural preservation," Aykroyd added.

Produced by Ben Manilla Productions, Inc., the House of Blues Radio Hour was launched in 1993 and expanded to a two-hour length starting in 2009, changing its name to “Elwood's BluesMobile” three years later. The collection includes a separate series of short daily programs on artists and topics in blues produced and hosted by Aykroyd, and later by his daughter, Danielle, under the name “CC Rider”; early interviews in digital audio tape; daily interview logs; awards; and ephemera relating to the long running program.

“In addition to the considerable merit and enduring enjoyability of the programs, this collection will be a dynamic and vital resource for researchers and historians, and it is a compliment to the Library of Congress's longstanding interest in and efforts on behalf of the Blues,” said Matt Barton, recorded sound curator at the Library.

Among the blues artists featured in the radio shows are Gaye Adegbalola, Billy Boy Arnold, William Bell, Chuck Berry, Elvin Bishop, Don Flemons, the Holmes Brothers, Bobby Rush, Johnny Otis, and many more. There are also artists in other styles deeply influenced by blues artists, including Joan Baez, James Brown, Gato Barbieri, Johnny Pacheco, Tom Waits, and Renee Fleming, among others. The programs also interviewed blues historians, writers, and producers, including Al Bell, Bruce Iglauer, Chris Strachwitz, Anthony Heilbut, Dick Waterman, and authors Scott Bomar, R.J. Smith, Ed Ward and Holly George-Warren.

The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Library Of Congress Acquires House Of Blues Radio Collection  Image



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