Blues Unlimited

Series produced by Steve Franz

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Join us as we explore the wonderful world of the Blues, and it's history, heritage, and rich cultural traditions.

Blues Unlimited is an NPR-style two-hour weekly show that has been called the "best blues podcast on the internet," and has an established and loyal audience of listeners from around the globe. Hosted by "Sleepy Boy Hawkins" (the alter-ego of scholar, author, fanatic, and historian Steve Franz), each episode is typically a self-contained "evergreen" show, delving into a different topic, aspect or genre. For more details on the program, see our full profile, or email us at bluesunlimited@gmail.com


136 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Join us as we journey to the Queen City of the South, Charlotte, North Carolina, to hear some of the rich blues and heavenly gospel that was record...

  • Added: Apr 19, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Photo of Walter Horton by Sylvia Pitcher, London, 1968.
Join us as we pay tribute to one of the all time greatest harmonica players, Big Walter Horton. Making his first recordings with Sam Phillips in Me...

Bought by WJSU and KRPS


  • Added: Apr 12, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
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We’ve been digging through the archives to bring you this special "best of" encore presentation. This time around, it's a whole bunch of hot rocker...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC, WJSU, and KRPS


  • Added: Apr 04, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Napoleon Strickland playing the fife while Othar Turner dances. Near Senatobia, Mississippi, 1970. Photo by David Evans.
Join us as we aim the spotlight on the legendary field recordings of David Evans. An intrepid researcher, most of what he captured in the mid 60s a...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC, WJSU, KRPS, and Red River Radio Network


  • Added: Mar 30, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: The King of Chicago Blues Piano, Big Maceo. Photo courtesy of Blues Unlimited magazine #106, Feb/March 1974.
Join us for a tribute to keyboard legend Big Maceo Merriweather. Although his recorded legacy is not all that large, he left an indelible mark in t...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Mar 22, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: An all-time classic: Muddy Waters At Newport, from 1960.
Join us as we explore some of the very best live blues performances of all time — B.B. King at the Regal, Muddy Waters at Newport, Robert Nighthawk...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Mar 15, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
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Join us as we aim the spotlight on Bill Quinn’s legendary Gold Star record label. Founded in Houston in the late 1940s, he recorded some of the cre...

Bought by WJSU and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Mar 08, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Bobby Robinson outside of his legendary Harlem record shop, c. 1970s.
Join us as we aim the spotlight on independent record producer, Bobby Robinson. Not only could he lay claim to a legendary series of labels — such ...

Bought by KRPS, WJSU, and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Mar 01, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Photo of Johnny Woods courtesy of Center for Southern Folklore Archives. Photographer unknown.
We've taken a whole great gob of our favorite down home country blues harmonica blowers, and lined them up for one incredible episode we're calling...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Feb 22, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Stick McGhee, whose "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" was a big smash hit for Atlantic Records in 1949.
Join us as we celebrate the good times, with songs about drinking and having fun. With music on tap from Ike Turner, J.B. Lenoir, John Lee Hooker, ...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Feb 15, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Legendary axe-man Hubert Sumlin.
Join us as we take another look at some of our favorite artists — some of them synonymous with the very concept of "Postwar Electric Blues" — and f...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Feb 09, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: The Patriarch of St. Louis Blues, Henry Townsend. Photo by Wm. Stage, 1989.
Join us for part two of our look at the blues in Saint Louis from the 1920s and '30s, this time focusing on the piano players. We’ll hear from popu...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Feb 01, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
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Join us for a look at Saint Louis, where the country blues meet the city. Over the years, some critics have claimed it was the place where prewar b...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Jan 25, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Harmonica ace Snooky Pryor, in his later years
Join us as we pay tribute to one of the pioneers of postwar Chicago blues harmonica, Snooky Pryor. Making his recording debut in 1948, he cut some ...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Jan 18, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Piano legend Pinetop Perkins
Join us as we head back down to Antone’s legendary nightclub in Austin, Texas, to hear music from Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Jimmy Rogers, Memp...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Jan 11, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
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In July 1939, the engineers from Vocalion Records set up shop for two weeks in Memphis, cutting almost 170 sides by more than a dozen artists. The ...

  • Added: Jan 06, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
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It’s time for our annual Christmas Extravaganza Spectacular! With holiday favorites from Jimmy Smith, Booker T. & the MGs, Ray Charles, Jimmy McGri...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: One of the most popular gospel preachers ever, the Rev. J.M. Gates.
Join us as we take a look at some of the great gospel preachers. From vintage favorites by the Reverends J.M. Gates and A.W. Nix, to postwar classi...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Dec 07, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Photo of a Juke Joint in Central Texas by Chris Strachwitz
Join us for part two of our tribute to the Blues Classics label. Founded by Chris Strachwitz as the 'unofficial' reissue arm of Arhoolie Records, w...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Nov 30, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: One of the distinctive covers from the Blues Classics series. Cover photo of Richmond, Texas by Chris Strachwitz.
Join us as we aim the spotlight on a legendary series of albums from the Blues Classics label. Founded by Chris Strachwitz as a companion to Arhool...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Nov 23, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1