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Vinyl Gets!: The Boswell Sisters

April 4, 2010

Digging through the local vintage store’s vinyl bins is always fun. On my last drop-in I spent a couple hours thumbing through the dusty discs looking for something to catch my eye. Buried in the back of one of the jazz bins was the Boswell Sisters’ rarities compilation Okay, America!. The only other customer in the store was chatting up the cashier when I very audibly said “Oh shit”. I caught the two of them out of the corner of my eye trying to peek around the shelf separating me from them. Playing it off I flipped the record over to check out the tracklist.
Alternate takes? Never-before-collected songs? The Dorsey Brothers? I knew I wanted the record.

Okay, America's B-side label showing off the Jass Records logo

The release is a nicely put together package. It’s been hard trying to track down any info on Okay, America! through the internet other than it got a CD release in the ’90s. The reverse side of the sleeve actually covers quite a bit of information for each track, from musicians to recording dates. Even nicer though is a printed “talk” by Connee Boswell as told to Rich Conaty. She talks about how the sisters once received a letter deriding the group as “savage chanters.” Connee goes on to say that the letter was proof positive that the sisters were on to something.

Okay, America's A-side label

The actual disc is not too impressive, aesthetically that is. It actually kind of bothers me that the tracklist for both sides is only on the A-side label and in tiny print. Not that you’ll be trying to read the record while it’s spinning but I guess I’m just picky. The actual music is a great listen which begs the question: why did it take so long for these songs to be collected and released (about 50 years)? If you’re a Boswell fan and can find a copy I would recommend getting Okay, America! though it seems that it might be easier to get a hold of the CD release instead.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tati permalink
    April 5, 2010 1:55 PM

    What! I want this.

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