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Author Topic: Blues Discography 1943-1970  (Read 13259 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Blues Discography 1943-1970
« on: October 01, 2006, 10:40:38 AM »
A new edition of Blues Discography 1943-1970 is apparently now available:

A legend reborn             

"The Blues Discography 1943-1970 The definitive chronicle of Blues recordings inspired by the trailblazing Blues Records by the late discographer Mike Leadbitter and his partner Neil Slaven which first appeared in 1968 and then in an expanded two-part form, the first volume in 1987 (A to K) and eventually, with the help of Les Fancourt, the second part (L to M) saw the light of day in 1994. Now Les Fancourt in collaboration with Bob McGrath and a flock of collectors and researchers world-wide, has shepherded this new much revised and expanded interpretation into what must now surely be almost complete coverage of the genre's most influential and exciting period. Recording details of all applicable styles from unaccompanied field recordings to the slick big city styles are featured. Over 2320 individual artist discographies including 340 new artists added since Blues Records was last published. The work's format is set in the standard discographical layout, alphabetical by artist, chronologically by session, listing personnel details, unissued titles and original releases, mainly 45 and 78 but where appropriate, selective EP, LP and CD entries?when they are themselves are the original issue. A full cross-referenced accompanying musician's index is also included. The Blues Discography catalogs the Blues' transition from a totally African-American and often localized target group to its eventual international acclaim. 640 pages, 640 pages large format (8.5" X 11")."

$91. Too bad about the price. I'm sure they have their reasons but I don't know if that price can be justified regardless. $16.00 shipping on a 640 page book is also outlandish.

You can download sample pages at:
http://www.eyeballproductions.com/pages/blues%20discography.html

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2006, 11:01:04 AM »
$91. Too bad about the price. I'm sure they have their reasons but I don't know if that price can be justified regardless. $16.00 shipping on a 640 page book is also outlandish.
Hey let's put some perspective to this. 1n 1987 volume one (800) pages was 50GBP and in 1995 Vol.2 (808 pages) 75GBP, making a grand total of 115GBP. Admittedly they were hardbacks but even so 11 years later for a revised edition to come out in just one volume for about the same UK price as vol.2 of eleven years ago I think is a bargain. But I'm weird like that...
« Last Edit: October 01, 2006, 11:02:43 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2006, 03:31:00 PM »
Well, point taken on perspective, BH. :) It's a steal compared to the previous volumes.  :D

I still don't really understand the pricing though. Sure academic presses charge quite a bit for their books (although this isn't an academic press). But I think once you go over $75 your client base becomes almost exclusively libraries. What are the costs here that make it so high? Printing is certainly expensive, but there are lots of 640 page paperbacks out there for a lot less than 91 bucks - and this is on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, which seems unusual. There is no doubt an unimaginable amount of labour that goes into a book like this, for which those involved deserve high praise, but there is labour in any large detailed book. And I think charging $16 for shipping and an extra $4 for credit card processing is really pushing it. If you're in business, that's the cost of doing business.


Offline Richard

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2006, 08:13:27 AM »
And, as I recall "Rust"  the jazz collectors version of Goodrich Dixon used to be about ?200 if you could get.. i snatched a US site hand's off at about $150  a few years back.

So I fear that is the price, I might get tempted as I have always wanted set a set of this one as well  :-X 

Average computer books are ?30 so this is OK value as I see it... In fact I have just ordered the discography..... :)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 08:35:53 AM by Richard »
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2006, 08:40:20 AM »
OK, more points taken.  :D  I am obviously just cheap.  :P

I wonder when such projects will go to electronic format, either on CD-ROM or web-based, which frankly makes more sense these days, allows for corrections and updates etc. And is obviously becoming more standard for libraries and what not.


Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2006, 10:29:49 AM »
I still don't really understand the pricing though. Sure academic presses charge quite a bit for their books (although this isn't an academic press). But I think once you go over $75 your client base becomes almost exclusively libraries. What are the costs here that make it so high? Printing is certainly expensive, but there are lots of 640 page paperbacks out there for a lot less than 91 bucks - and this is on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, which seems unusual. There is no doubt an unimaginable amount of labour that goes into a book like this, for which those involved deserve high praise, but there is labour in any large detailed book. And I think charging $16 for shipping and an extra $4 for credit card processing is really pushing it. If you're in business, that's the cost of doing business.
From looking at the sample pages on the website, the rather weird size I think is due to having got two pages of the earlier format onto one of the new with the use of two columns a page, thereby achieving a single volume. Blues discographical books have a very finite/specialised market of usually about 750-1000, and then only after several years on sale. It's a fact the previous edition took around 2-3 years to sell 500 of each volume. Neither got near selling 750 except the overprinted Vol.1 which was dramatically reduced and folk purchased copies to replace their well-thumbed and falling apart ones. In the case of B&GR4 I was reliably informed that it took OUP 6-7 years to sell its initial 1000 print run. Ho, hum.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2006, 10:41:04 AM »
I wonder when such projects will go to electronic format, either on CD-ROM or web-based, which frankly makes more sense these days, allows for corrections and updates etc. And is obviously becoming more standard for libraries and what not.
Couldn't agree more. The excuse used to be to that it would be too easy to "pirate" the work. However, some years back somebody in Japan actually OCR scanned the entire two volumes of the post war discography (1600 pages) and had for themselves an "electronic" copy and all the related advantages of such. So that blows the argument that books are "pirate proof" out of the water. :)


Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2006, 10:58:08 AM »
Yes, I can see why fear of pirating might make some hesitate, but libraries certainly aren't into that, collectors and blues scholars would presumably want authentic copies with access to updates, corrections etc, and any piracy I suspect would be a fringe thing. As you say, this is a specialists' publication, and specialists would I suspect take the legit road most of the time. One doesn't even need to use the example of OCRing. You could photocopy the thing for cheap (and have it bound even) if you were set on stealing. I don't think their market would be inclined to such things though, and would recognize the need to pay for the work so the work continues. In fact, with registration keys now activated through websites and what not, it's probably easier for most non-techy people to copy a book than software.


Offline dj

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2006, 11:06:48 AM »
It's hard to see the value of pirating a book that's expected to sell 200 copies a year at most.

I'd love to have Blues & Gospel Records on CD with a simple set of database tools, to be able to do things like search to see who was recording in a given city on a given date.  On the other hand, I love to have a physical book.  I'm sure most Weenies will agree with me that there's nothing better than sitting on the back porch on a summer afternoon with a cold beer a pre-war blues discography.     :D

Offline Richard

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2006, 06:05:00 AM »
S-J it's only money and you can't take it with you, even a pair of (hated) name trainers are at leats ?50 here now (so my kids tell me!) so, go live dangerously!

A real book, dj you have it.. after 20 mins I hate reading things on computer that last more than a page !
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2006, 08:19:55 AM »
A book, with a CD-ROM in the back. Now you're talkin'...

Online Stuart

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2006, 08:44:08 AM »
it's only money and you can't take it with you

That's why you never see an armored car in a funeral procession.

(An old one--anyone remember the locus classicus for it?)

Offline Richard

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2006, 01:28:19 PM »
locust what?...uummmm   no, remind us all. Please ;)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Online Stuart

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2006, 04:33:13 PM »
"locus classicus" just refers to the earliest known source, or the standard source, or a/the classic example of the use of word, phrase, etc.

Anyway, there's a line/exchange/banter from one of the early hokum songs that goes something like:

"Hey, do you know why you never see an armored car in a funeral procession?"

"No, why is that?"

"'Cause you can't take it with you!"

followed by laughter and more music. I can't for the life of me remember who did it, that's why I asked. Anybody know?


Online Stuart

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2006, 07:29:00 AM »
It might be worth waiting until the book makes its way into the distribution and retail pipeline. I doubt that we'll see any significant discounts on this one, but Amazon's free shipping and no charge for credit card orders will knock $20 off the total price.

There are more than a few factors that go into setting the price of a book, but without a subvention or the potential of a large number of buyers the publisher has to calculate a worse case/break even price.  Nobody is in business to lose money.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2006, 01:12:20 AM »
It might be worth waiting until the book makes its way into the distribution and retail pipeline. I doubt that we'll see any significant discounts on this one, but Amazon's free shipping and no charge for credit card orders will knock $20 off the total price.
I'm afraid it won't. I enquired about this from McGrath prior to ordering my copy. Two choices, either direct from him at the website or via Roots & Rhythm who will take the order and pass to him for despatch. I took the latter option thinking that after our four decade friendship Frank Scott could do with the commission. R&R were extremely efficient at handling the order and my copy (via airmail from Canada) arrived 5 days later, even if at extreme cost to myself. Beats UK domestic second class post anyday. :)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2006, 01:13:52 AM by Bunker Hill »

Online Stuart

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2006, 09:50:36 AM »
It might be worth waiting until...
I'm afraid it won't....

Thanks for the update, BH. Sometimes we have to pay top dollar for quality--and not wait for a sale that will never happen.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2006, 11:07:04 AM »
Quote from: Stuart
Thanks for the update, BH. Sometimes we have to pay top dollar for quality--and not wait for a sale that will never happen.
Quite so.

That's exactly what happened with Blues Records Vol.2 (L-Z). When it finally appeared in 1994 (7 years after vol.1) folk held off buying in the anticipation that after a couple of years it would be sold cheap like Vol.1. The reality was that Vol.2 sold out within two years. A reprint never took place and all those holding out for cheap copies were left with only half a discography (A-K). On the rare occasions that the second volume came onto eBay, it sold for sums well, well beyond its worth - and was out of date into the bargain!

Offline CF

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2008, 08:29:42 AM »
I'm confused  :) Having ordered 'Blues & Gospel' I may want this down the road . . . but, is this an A-Z discography or just A-M for 1943-1970??
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2008, 08:50:11 AM »
I'm confused  :) Having ordered 'Blues & Gospel' I may want this down the road . . . but, is this an A-Z discography or just A-M for 1943-1970??
One huge volume, two columns per page, miniscule typeface, A-Z.

See www.eyeballproductions.com where details of Gospel discography also available.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2008, 10:52:03 AM »
Here follows Bob McGrath's introduction under the heading "History and rebirth"

The Blues Discography is the successor to the trailblazing Blues Records 1943-66 by Mike Leadbitter and his partner Neil Slaven (first published in 1968). Sadly the world lost a great Blues advocate in 1974, when Mike died of tubercular meningitis at the age of 32. Thirteen years later in 1987 as a belated tribute to Mike, Neil (with support from Alan Balfour and Chris Smith) completed the first part (A to K) of the much anticipated second edition of Blues Records broadening the content to include more city blues and R&B artists and expanding the years covered to 1943-1970. Due to disagreements between Neil and his publisher, things then temporarily ground to a halt. Eventually Les Fancourt was persuaded to take up the reigns and the second part (L to Z) saw the light of day seven years later in 1994.

I've always loved Blues Records. When it was first published I was delighted that someone had finally afforded the same dignity to the Blues that had long been the accepted standard for Jazz discography. The same, of course, was equally true when Cedric Hayes and Robert Laughton cataloged the parallel universe of Black Gospel music a few years later within. Gospel Records 1943-70. My copies of both of these milestone works are falling to pieces in beautiful distress as a result of their constant abuse. l had dabbled with discographical ramblings myself at the original time of their publication and many years later I was inspired directly by these publications to attempt a similar task when I embarked on the huge undertaking of chronicling all independent record labels that released Black music. This became The R&B Indies.

It occurred to me one day, in the course of my research and investigation of indies lore, that both Gospel Records and Blues Records were long overdue for republishing. Les Fancourt, Cedric Hayes and Bob Laughton had been very helpful supplying information for The R&B Indies and I was delighted to learn from them that they had continued to gather information and develop the manuscripts over the last 11 years or so, despite the slim chance that a future edition would ever be published. It seemed criminal to me that after all this research, revision and effort that they had made, should be left in desk drawer purgatory. After talking with Les, Cedric Robert and Neil and reviewing the bruises and baggage we decided what was needed, was a fresh start. The new incarnations, The Blues Discography 1943-70 and The Gospel Discography 1943-70 are by default, very much just that, as so much fresh information has been uncovered. Now that they are reborn we have close to complete coverage of the genre's most exciting period. The Blues Discography catalogs the Blues' transition from an almost totally African-American and often localized target group to its eventual international acclaim.

The Blues, as we all know, is a many splendored thing and not a finite science so there will undoubtedly be endless disagreements of what should and shouldn't have been included. I fought tooth and nail to allow "The Sweethearts Of The Blues" to be included as Les made room for harder blues but as a Swedish associate of mine explained "one man's meat is another's pickled herring". Yes well, I think its best to leave it there. As for the unfortunate 'almost-blues' artists that have slipped through the cracks, they will perhaps be presented one day in a third companion work The Soul Discography 1960 - 80. I am currently in the process of convincing a gentleman who is extremely well qualified to give up his life for the interim and partner with me on this project.

The work's format is set in a standard discographical layout, alphabetically by artist, chronologically by session and matrix number, listing personnel details where known and unissued titles. All original releases are listed, mainly 45 rpm and 78 rpm issues but where appropriate, selective EP, LP and CD entries. Non-US releases are excluded unless they are themselves the initial issue. A cross-referencing musician's index can be found immediately following the discography on page 611. Unfortunately some new information came to light after the index had been written and to avoid rearranging the pagination and therefore necessitating a complete rewrite of the index, these have been annexed as a Late Additions section on page 626.

Dovetailing perfectly with this volume is a companion work The Gospel Discography 1943-70 by Cedric Hayes & Robert Laughton available from Eyeball Productions (2007). For pre-war recordings see Blues and Gospel Recordings 1890-1943 by Robert M.W. Dixon, John Godrich & Howard Rye (1997) avaiable from the Oxford University Press.

Offline CF

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2008, 11:50:51 AM »
Great Alan, thanks for that. I may have to get this sooner than I planned. I looked into ordering it from Eyeball but it seemed a paypal account was required . . . I'd rather not go down that path if possible but I don't know where else I could pick this up . . .
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2008, 12:09:03 PM »
Great Alan, thanks for that. I may have to get this sooner than I planned. I looked into ordering it from Eyeball but it seemed a paypal account was required . . . I'd rather not go down that path if possible but I don't know where else I could pick this up . . .
I bought mine via Frank Scott at Roots & Rhythm using a credit card. I thought the least I could do was give the commission to an old friend. It was mailed to me by Eyeball.

Offline harry

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2015, 11:27:10 AM »
Just to be sure. Is the information in the discography Blues Records, 1943-1966 the same as in Blues Records, 1943-1970?
So Blues Records, 1943-1970 is basically Blues Records, 1943-1966 with 4 years added?

Offline alyoung

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2015, 04:21:50 PM »
Just to be sure. Is the information in the discography Blues Records, 1943-1966 the same as in Blues Records, 1943-1970?
So Blues Records, 1943-1970 is basically Blues Records, 1943-1966 with 4 years added?
There's an enormous difference, because of the amount of extra information garnered since "1966" was published. No comparison between the two -- "1966" was in effect the first attempt to get the ball rolling; the latest 1943-70 (while still not perfect) is a huge advance.

Offline dj

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2015, 05:30:32 PM »
Quote
No comparison between the two

I'll second that.  Browsing through the first few pages of each, 1943-1970 covers many more artists, has more complete information on artists covered in both (and not just because it includes 4 more years of entries), and presumably has more correct information on artists, issues, personnel, etc.

Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2015, 07:31:46 PM »
... The New Testament - in chronological order  ;D



- Mike Leadbitter & Neil Slaven: Blues Records 1943 to 1966 - A complete guide to 20 years of recorded blues.- London/New York (Oak Publications), 1968

- Mike Leadbitter & Neil Slaven: Blues Records 1943 to 1970 - A selective discography, Vol. one, A to K.- London (Record Information Services), 1987

- Mike Leadbitter, Leslie Fancourt & Paul Pelletier: Blues Records 1943 to 1970 - A selective discography, Vol. two, L to Z.- London (Record Information Services), 1994

- Les Fancourt & Bob McGrath: The Blues Discography 1943 - 1970.- Vancouver 2006
- Les Fancourt & Bob McGrath: The Blues Discography 1943 - 1970 (2nd edition).- Vancouver 2012

- Robert Ford & Bob McGrath: The Blues Discography 1971 - 2000 [the later years].- Vancouver 2011

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2015, 11:37:23 PM »
Nice one Stefan. I've attached a scan of the cloth (hardback) edition published by Hanover Books Ltd. In the early 70s the late Mike Leadbitter once worked at Hanover.

Offline harry

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2015, 01:06:10 PM »
Thanks for response. I guess you don't really need 43-66 if you have 43-70.

Add Blues & Gospel Records - 1890-1943 (Dixon, Godrich, Rye) to the testament and you're all set.

Recording The Blues (Dixon, Godrich, Oliver) would be a good companion
https://archive.org/stream/RecordingTheBlues/Recording%20the%20Blues#page/n1/mode/2up

Offline harry

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2015, 01:25:19 PM »
The 1943-1966 edition is currently offered at my local online market. It's being advertised as "extremely rare". I thought about bidding on the book but hesitate now knowing the 43-70 is so much better. Below some photos from the listing.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 01:31:40 PM by harry »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2015, 11:32:42 PM »
Thanks for response. I guess you don't really need 43-66 if you have 43-70.

Add Blues & Gospel Records - 1890-1943 (Dixon, Godrich, Rye) to the testament and you're all set.

Recording The Blues (Dixon, Godrich, Oliver) would be a good companion
https://archive.org/stream/RecordingTheBlues/Recording%20the%20Blues#page/n1/mode/2up
Harry, another option might be to invest in "Yonder Come The Blues (CUP 2001) which not only includes a reprint of Recording The Blues  but also Savannah Syncopators, Blacks, Whites & Blues. There were 11 Blues Paperbacks in the series which I feel sure have been discussed at Weenie.

Offline harry

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2015, 11:27:59 AM »
Just picked up these three books together for 20 euros from a private seller. Not a bad deal I'd say.

Blues And Gospel Records, 1902-1943 (Dixon, Godrich)
Blues And The Poetic Spirit (Garon)
The Devil's Son-In-Law (Garon)

I think the seller was unaware of the international value of the 1902-1943 (starts at around 75 dollar).
I'm not sure but I think the Paul Garon material is part of the 11 paperback series.

Continue my search for the 43-70. Looks like the Fancourt, McGrath edition is not available second hand.
Read somewhere that finding a copy of 1943-1970, Vol. 2, L to Z. is like finding snow in the Sahara.



Online Stuart

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Re: Blues Discography 1943-1970
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2015, 01:28:54 PM »
Try Bookfinder, Harry--It looks like they list several European and UK sellers:

http://www.bookfinder.com/


I might be mistaken, but it looks like a couple of libraries in Germany have Vol. 2 in their holdings:

http://www.worldcat.org/title/blues-records-2-l-to-z-mike-leadbitter-leslie-fancourt-paul-pelletier/oclc/312331551


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