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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


206 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: One of the most consistent hit-makers of the 1950s, Fats Domino
Join us for more smash hits of the early 1950s, this time from the years 1953 through 1955. Using our top secret formula, we've come up with a list...

  • Added: Oct 28, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: One of the top #1 hits from one of the top labels of the early 1950s
Join us as we count down the number one smash hits of the early 1950s! Using our top secret formula, we've made a list of the biggest R&B records t...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Oct 21, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Listening to the Blues Unlimited Halloween Special is what all the really cool kids are doing this month!
We're having the Blues for Halloween! Join us for two spooky hours of fun, with tales about black cat bones, haunted houses, voodoo spells, and lon...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Oct 14, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: King of Chicago Blues, Muddy Waters
We continue exploring slide guitar in the Windy City, this time from the early 1950s. We’ll hear from the old masters, Tampa Red, Muddy Waters, and...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Oct 06, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Tampa Red in a 1940s publicity shot. Courtesy Bill Greensmith Collection.
We’re headed up to the great city of Chicago, to hear from some of the titans of the slide guitar. The late 1940s were dominated by Tampa Red, Mudd...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Sep 22, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Bo Diddley with a '57 Chevy. Painting by Chris Osborne.
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we pay tribute to the automobile. Revered in story and song, it’s always been a favorite topic of blues artists...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Sep 15, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Photo of Pete "Guitar" Lewis courtey of Ace Records/Johnny Otis Collection
If you were going to make a list of all the West Coast guitar players, the name of Pete Lewis might very well be at the top. Joining up with Johnny...

Bought by WJSU and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Sep 07, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
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Join us as we feature some exciting Down Home Blues from Philadelphia's Gotham label, with music from Baby Boy Warren, Wright Holmes, Dan Pickett, ...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Sep 01, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Hound Dog Taylor, 1973, Ann Arbor
Join us as we head down to the 1973 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival. We’ll hear from a number of legends, such as Roosevelt Sykes, Houston Stackh...

  • Added: Aug 26, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: 1940s RCA Victor publicity shot for Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup.
On this episode, we aim the spotlight on Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. Known for being an imaginative songwriter, he was a highly influential musician o...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Aug 18, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
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Join us as we aim the spotlight on a mid-1930s enigma, piano legend Black Bob. Recording with dozens of musicians, he mysteriously appeared on the ...

  • Added: Aug 11, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Early Publicity Shot of Mississippi Blues Legend Big Joe Williams
Join us as we aim the spotlight on some of the spectacular Down Home Blues that were recorded during the year 1941. From the Library of Congress fi...

Bought by WJSU


  • Added: Aug 04, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
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On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we're cranking up our time machine, and setting the dial for San Antonio in the late 1920s and 1930s. One of th...

  • Added: Jul 28, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Brother Jack McDuff at the keyboards.
Join us as we celebrate — once again — some extended jams and hot instrumentals from the Hammond B3. We'll be movin' and groovin' to the fleet-fing...

  • Added: Jul 22, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Aleck "Rice" Miller, better known as Sonny Boy Williamson, who helped get Trumpet Records off the ground., Credit: Courtesy of Bill Greensmith/Blues Unlimited Magazine
We aim the spotlight on one of the most beloved record labels of all time, Trumpet Records, of Jackson, Mississippi. Spearheaded by entrepreneur Li...

Bought by WJSU and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Jul 13, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
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Join us as we explore two rare and long out-of-print LPs from the 1960s. "Living Legends" was recorded live at the Cafe Au-Go-Go in New York City, ...

  • Added: Jul 07, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Illustration by R. Crumb.
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, it's time for our annual Gospel show! Special guest host Brother Hawkins takes over the reigns for two hours of...

  • Added: Jun 15, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
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Blues Unlimited celebrates its 100th episode in style, with a special "Best Of" retrospective, spotlighting a few of our favorite moments from the ...

  • Added: Jun 06, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Recorded in 1954, but issued in 1959, this was probably the last single to feature the guitar work of Lee Cooper.
On this episode, we pay tribute to Blues guitar mystery man Lee Cooper. Bursting on the Chicago scene in 1953, his distinctive session work graced ...

  • Added: Jun 02, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
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On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we're enjoying some of our favorite, rare, and overlooked harmonica jams from the Windy City, courtesy of Littl...

  • Added: May 27, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59