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For more scholarly research provided by some of the finest in their field including Alex van der Tuuk, visit our "Artist in the Spotlight" page, our "Library" page, and "Document Library" page.

If you have more/updated historical information to add, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 



Traveling to Grafton soon? ParamountsHome is pleased to announce the collaboration of an exciting Paramount Historical Walking Tour with the Village of Grafton Historic Preservation Comission. Please pick up a self guided Paramount Walking Tour booklet at the Grafton Library, Chamber of Commerce, Paramount Restaurant, or by contacting This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This walking tour is about 1/2 mile long and describes the area during the Paramount era. ParamountsHome is also pleased to team up with North Shore Academy of the Arts to offer guided tours for school groups.


 

The remaining foundation of the Recording Studio

 

Brand New Article 10/11/2009

Click Here to read article

The article has been written by German author Karl Gert zur Heide, who has written many articles since the 1960s and has done extensive research into Little Brother Montgomery, which resulted in his book "Deep South Piano". ParamountsHome has permission of both the author and Doctor Jazz Magazine, which is  the oldest Dutch jazz publication and has been able to keep the high standard of publication on early jazz alive for nearly 35 years.


NEW ARTICLE by Alex van der Tuuk

read the article here www.vjm.biz/new_page_18.htm

ALETHA DICKERSON: PARAMOUNT'S RELUCTANT RECORDING MANAGER Compiled by Alex van der Tuuk

 

ParamountsHome was honored to have provided playwright Kevin Ramsey historical information for his musical. The musical opened January 12, 2008 and closed March 9, 2008. Read Angela Mack's interview of Kevin Ramsey here and published in the Milwaukee Rep Prologue:

Click here to read the interview

 



In the age where 78 rpm records were the mass entertainment of American culture, the Paramount recordings etched their way into American history. From 1917 to 1932 The New York Recording Laboratories, Inc. produced 78 rpm records on a series of records. Paramount records are considered their most important one as far as African American recordings are concerned. Other labels they produced were Famous, Puritan and Broadway. Offices were held in Port Washington and all of the records were pressed in Grafton, WI and then distributed throughout the nation. These records were listened to in homes throughout the nation and inspired future musicians such as Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, B.B. King, Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin' Wolf, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton.

The Paramount label is unique in that it contained many of the early blues, jazz, spirituals, gospel, and early country music that went on to inspire many of the genres that we enjoy today. Some of the great artists who recorded for the New York Recording Laboratories were Charley Patton, Skip James, Son House, Blind Blake, Thomas A. Dorsey, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Alberta Hunter, Ida Cox, Louis Armstrong, Lawrence Welk, King Oliver, and Fletcher Henderson just to name a few.

One fourth of the nation's "race records" were pressed in Grafton, WI. Over 1600 songs were recorded in Grafton between 1929 and 1932. Over 60 African Americans recorded their blues, spirituals, and even sermons in a "make-shift" studio of an old chair factory, opposite of the pressing plant.

ParamountsHome was created in Jan. 2005 with the intentional mission of bringing this obscure history to the homes of people around the world and to link people together. We are basically an on-line library. Be sure to bookmark us as a "Favorite" and keep coming back!

If you think you can help us with personal stories or have memorabilia, records or related material to the New York Recording Laboratories, The Wisconsin Chair Company and United Phonographs Corporation, please contact us, so we can piece together its history.

WISCONSIN CHAIR COMPANY,
the parent company of the
New York Recording Laboratories
originated in Port Washington, WI

For oral histories and articles recently added, click here

For Wisconsin Chair Company photos, click here:
 Grafton, Wisconsin Pressing Plant and Studios

The New York Recording Laboratories was a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Chair Company. Many records were mass produced at this pressing plant WI including the Paramount, Broadway, Puritan, and Famous labels. From 1929 until 1932, a recording studio was housed in Grafton, WI on this site which recorded some of the best prewar blues in American history.


For oral histories and articles recently added, click here

For Pressing Plant and Studio photos, click here:

Paramount Walk of Fame photos courtesy of Michael Hawkeye Herman www.hawkeyeherman.com Walk of Fame committee chairperson is Angela Mack and committee advisor is Alex van der Tuuk. Please email us if you are interested in being on the committee to choose the 2008 inductees. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Visit or Photo Gallery for more photos by Michael Hawkeye Herman


"Lost Musical Treasure" : PBS HISTORY DETECTIVES





PBS History Detectives, the nationally broadcasted show, filmed in Grafton WI and aired a show about Paramount on September 4th, 2006.



You can read the PDF transcript of the show at the bottom of this page

Watch the series on:
History Detectives: Lost Musical Treasure Part I
http://youtube.com/watch?v=GKQbZV4lQk4

History Detectives: Lost Musical Treasure Part II
http://youtube.com/watch?v=UMUlJoITAFU





ParamountsHome was awarded the annual Wisconsin Historical Society Website Award for 2006.

Click here to read a news article relating to the award. (Note: Adobe Reader is needed)

You can read here a description of the award direct from the Wisconsin Historical Society website.

 

 

Author of "Paramount's Rise and Fall" has written another book and is seeking a publisher for "OUT OF ANONYMITY: WISCONSIN ARTISTS RECORDING IN GRAFTON". The book is a result of much research and contains many rare photos and new information. Please email Alex for details. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


   
   
   
 

 

 
 
 
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