Original Folk Blues

The Bihari’s Original Folk Blues series on United/Superior from the 1970s seems to be a direct ripoff of Chess Records’ series The Real Folk Blues that started in 1965 with a Muddy Waters release. Subsequent Chess LPs in the series featured all their blues stars including Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Elmore James plus less known names. Chess followed up several of the releases with the series More Real Folk Blues.

Bihari’s United/Superior budget LPs are mostly Crown, Custom & Kent reissues. The Original Folk Blues series below are all Kent LP reissues pressed from the same plates. All have the original Kent release numbers scratched in the blank vinyl around the label. Most are reissues of the Kent series Anthology of the Blues, the first few issues of which had gatefold covers of surprising quality plus liner notes, credits & photos inside. Later releases dropped the gatefold format but still had liners & credits. The United/Superior reissues are barebones LPs with crappy covers & generic backs.

My Original Folk Blues budget collection below stretches back to Joe Bihari’s original travels through the South with his Magnacord recorder to newer recordings of Elmore James in Chicago, some produced by Lester Bihari& released in Memphis on the Mete0r Label.

The US reissues were always easier to find than the original Kent issues of which I only have two (see The Legend of Elmore James & West Coast Blues). Each of the 99 cent US LPs are vinyl treasures containing authentic blues, from country acoustic cuts on the Memphis & Arkansas LPs to the raw, electrified sound of Elmore James recorded in Chicago & Los Angeles.

All of this material and a lot more has been reissued by Ace Records in the UK which you can find here.


US 7743 reissue of Kent 5022


US 7778 reissue of Kent 9001


Kent 9001

GatefoldInside copy

Inside Kent 9001


US 7779 reissue of 9002


US 7784 reissue of Kent 9007


US 7787 reissue of Kent 9010


US 7788 reissue of Kent 9011

Contains some of the earliest BB King put to wax.


Post gatefold back:


Kent 9012






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