On the October 4th edition of Two For the Blues hosted by Art Schuna, John Tefteller was the special guest. John is a major collector of pre-war blues records and specializes in the Paramount record label that was based in Grafton, WI. The Paramount label produced an incredible number of recordings by artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, Son House, Blind Blake and Tommy Johnson.
John owns a business called Blues Images (www.bluesimages.com) that produces a calendar and CD package each year. The calendar features original advertisements for pre-war blues releases with songs from these ads that are in the calendar. John finds the best possible quality original 78 rpm records and has them transferred to digital format by Richard Nevin, who was responsible for the widely acclaimed CD releases for the Yazoo label. This year’s calendar features both sides of Tommy Johnson’s “Alcohol and Jake Blues/Ridin’ Horse” which was released by Paramount Records in 1929. As this was during the depression few copies sold, and this is the better of only 2 known copies in the world. John had the winning bid of $37,100 on an eBay auction. This was the most money ever paid for a pre-war 78 RPM record. John was featured in an article published in the New York Times in July of 2009.
His website, www.johntefteller.com includes additional information about John Tefteller including the discovery of a previously unknown record by St. Louis bluesman JD Short, which will appear on the Blues Images 2016 blues calendar. The interview with John Tefteller is fascinating and includes a liberal sampling of tracks from the CD accompanying the 2015 calendar. This show will be available on WORT’s archive until October 18.