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Blues Unlimited

Series produced by Steve Franz

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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: 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
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No particular theme on this one, just a grab bag full of post-war rockers and down home favorites from Lightnin' Hopkins, Dr. Ross, K.C. Douglas, J...

Bought by KMXT


  • Added: May 04, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The hit-making house band at Stax, Booker T. & the MGs (Left to Right: Booker T. Jones, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Steve Cropper, and Al Jackson, Jr.)
Join us as we enjoy some great cover versions of blues, pop, rock, folk, and R&B classics that were recorded down at the legendary Stax label in Me...

  • Added: Apr 28, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
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On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we’re hopping in our time machine, setting the dial for the Blues Revival of the 1960s and our destination to t...

  • Added: Apr 13, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
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Join us for a tribute to blues guitar legend Jody Williams. Making his debut on record at the age of 19, he became a highly influential guitarist, ...

  • Added: Apr 06, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
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On this episode of Blues Unlimited, a tribute to Antone’s night club. Founded in 1975 in Austin, Texas, it featured a who’s who of blues legends, l...

  • Added: Mar 29, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: The Rolling Stones with one of their early bluesy hits, a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Little Red Rooster"
Join us as we explore the British Blues Explosion of the late 1950s and the 1960s. From the originators — like Chris Barber and Alexis Korner — to ...

Bought by Radio New Zealand


  • Added: Mar 22, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
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In this montage of story and song, we hear Blues musicians speaking about their lives, the meaning of the Blues, growing up in hard times, and maki...

  • Added: Mar 15, 2013
  • Length: 59:00
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Join us for a special program featuring two legendary albums. The first, a "Conversation With The Blues," was recorded by Paul Oliver during the su...

Bought by WJSU


  • Added: Mar 08, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Each volume of "Genesis" was a box set containing 4 LPs and a lavishly illustrated booklet. Today, they are considered rare collectors items.
We had so much fun pulling out rare gems and classic nuggets from "Genesis," we’re doing it all over again this time around as well! Join us for mo...

  • Added: Mar 02, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Genesis Vol. 3, dedicated to British Blues expert Mike Leadbitter.
Depending upon your point of view, Genesis refers either to a book of the bible, a popular rock group, or a plot device from Star Trek. If you’re a...

  • Added: Feb 23, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Southpaw guitarist Otis Rush, who was the closing act for the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival
If you were one of the folks who attended Ann Arbor during the festival's heyday years between 1969 and 1974, then you should thank your lucky star...

  • Added: Feb 15, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: Courtesy of the Big Joe Louis collection
Chance Records was a label owned and operated by Windy City businessman Art Sheridan from 1950 to 1954. During that time they released some incredi...

Bought by WNCU


  • Added: Feb 10, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Hit maker for Stax Records, Booker T. Jones.
On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we're movin' and groovin' to the sounds of the Hammond B3 organ. Popular in Jazz, Blues, R&B, Soul, and Gospel,...

  • Added: Jan 18, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: One of the "Heroes of the Blues" featured on this episode. Illustration by R. Crumb.
In 1980, the good folks at Yazoo Records issued a box set of 36 trading cards called "The Heroes of the Blues," with drawings by legendary illustra...

  • Added: Jan 11, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
Caption: One of the "Heroes of the Blues" featured on this episode. Illustration by R. Crumb.
In 1980, the good folks at Yazoo Records issued a box set of 36 trading cards called "The Heroes of the Blues," with drawings by legendary illustra...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Jan 05, 2013
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: One of the "Heroes of the Blues" featured on this episode. Illustration by R. Crumb.
In 1980, the good folks at Yazoo Records issued a box set of 36 trading cards called "The Heroes of the Blues," with drawings by legendary illustra...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC and WNCU


  • Added: Dec 23, 2012
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2