We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Blues Unlimited

Series produced by Steve Franz

Series image

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

Blues Unlimited is an NPR-style two-hour weekly show that has been called the "best blues radio show in the United States," 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 installment is a self-contained evergreen show, delving into a different genre, topic, or aspect of the blues. For more details on the program, see our full profile, or email us at bluesunlimited@gmail.com


209 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Little Walter, the King of Chicago Blues Harmonica
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we aim the spotlight on some of the great harp players that worked and recorded in the Windy City. From John Le...

Bought by KHNS, KHNS, and KTRL


  • Added: Nov 27, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we're having the Blues for Christmas! Come and celebrate with us as we journey through eight decades worth of H...

Bought by RadioFreePalmer, WNMU-FM, KSRQ, KHNS, WNCU and more


  • Added: Nov 23, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: The man behind the controls, Sam Phillips
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, a tribute to Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Although Sam cut a lot of great Blues in the early years of his opera...

Bought by KHNS


  • Added: Nov 12, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Napoleon Strickland on fife, Jimmie Buford on bass drum, R.L. Boyce on snare drum, and Othar Turner dancing , Credit: David Evans
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, join us as we explore the outer reaches of the Blues Universe. From fife and drum band music out of Georgia and...

Bought by KHNS, KHNS, and KTRL


  • Added: Oct 29, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
We pick up where we left off last time, with a look at some of the great Mississippi Blues Masters who worked and recorded during the 1930s and the...

Bought by KHNS, KHNS, and KTRL


  • Added: Oct 14, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
In this episode of Blues Unlimited, we take a look at a Who's Who of early Blues masters that lived and worked in the great state of Mississippi. A...

Bought by KTRL


  • Added: Sep 30, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The distinctive cover art for "Rural Blues, Vol. 1"
The Imperial Record label, founded in 1948 in Los Angeles, is well known as the home of Fats Domino and other great New Orleans artists, as well as...

Bought by KHNS


  • Added: Sep 13, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Jimmy Liggins
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, it's two whole hours of smokin' Blues and red hot R&B from the 1940s. We'll hear from Roy Milton, Jimmy Liggins...

Bought by KHNS and KTRL


  • Added: Aug 28, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we're "recycling the blues" by taking a look at a handful of world-famous, iconic blues songs and tracing their...

Bought by KHNS, WSLR, KHNS, and KTRL


  • Added: Aug 15, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Map of Shreveport, c. 1920.
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we aim the spotlight on Shreveport, Louisiana. Home to a thriving music scene, the "Louisiana Hayride" (a rival...

Bought by KHNS, WSLR, KTRL, and KHNS


  • Added: Aug 06, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: The distinctive cover of Arhoolie LP 1018, "Bad Luck N' Trouble"
Recently, Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records marked their 50th anniversary. We'll celebrate by playing selections from three classic LPs from th...

Bought by KHNS and KHNS


  • Added: Jul 24, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Lightnin' Hopkins, one of the featured storytellers in this episode of Blues Unlimited.
Who doesn't love a good story? In this episode of Blues Unlimited, it's all about Blues singers and songs that weave tall tales, spin entertaining ...

Bought by KHNS and KTRL


  • Added: Jul 10, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Perennial favorites Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Photographer unknown.
With its own unique sound and feel, we aim the spotlight on Down Home Blues from the East Coast, from the mid 1940s to the early 1960s, on this epi...

Bought by KHNS, WPSU, KTRL, KTRL, and KHNS


  • Added: Jun 30, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Chuck Berry, live on stage
In this episode of Blues Unlimited we finish up our tribute to the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals by focusing on some of the great and rare Blues,...

Bought by KHNS and KTRL


  • Added: Jun 21, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: The Rev. Gary Davis
In this episode of Blues Unlimited we wrap up our celebration of the Newport Folk Festivals of the 1960s, which brought a veritable who's who of Bl...

Bought by KHNS and KVNF


  • Added: Jun 15, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Sleepy John Estes
In this episode of Blues Unlimited we continue our celebration of the Newport Folk Festival, which brought a veritable who's who of Blues legends t...

Bought by Rhythm & News Service and KTRL


  • Added: Jun 08, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Mississippi John Hurt, on stage at Newport
In this episode of Blues Unlimited, we celebrate the Newport Folk Festival, which brought a veritable who's who of Blues legends to the stage in Ne...

Bought by KHNS, Rhythm & News Service, and KTRL


  • Added: May 31, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: J.B. Lenoir, one of the featured performers on this episode of Blues Unlimited.
In this episode of Blues Unlimited, we take a look at Blues and politics, examining such topics as war, the Great Depression, politicians, economic...

Bought by KHNS, KTRL, Spokane Public Radio, and KHNS


  • Added: May 25, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Harmonica giant Little Walter Jacobs
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we aim the spotlight on the art and artistry of the Blues instrumental. Great rockin' performances from T-Bone ...

Bought by KHNS and KHNS


  • Added: May 16, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: T-Bone Walker, dazzling the crowd with some of his patented pyrotechnics.
Texas has a long and rich history when it comes to Blues Guitar, and here we aim the spotlight on some of the primary movers and shakers to come ou...

Bought by KHNS, KTRL, Spokane Public Radio, and WUCF


  • Added: Apr 17, 2011
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 4