America’s rural South has changed profoundly since it served as the birthplace of blues, and in the intervening years, many of the traditional forms so vital to American musical history have disappeared. It’s lucky then, that the record industry (not to mention some intrepid folklorists) got there before everything changed. This program celebrates the deep and essential sounds they captured on tape, vinyl, acetate, Edison cylinder, and piano roll. You’ll hear historic early recordings by black American performers from 1893 forward. The show also includes the first hit blues record, Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues,” along with a sampling of Alan Lomax field recordings from the 1930s.