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American Music Records

From Academic Kids

American Music Records is a United States-based record label specializing in traditional New Orleans jazz.

Label of an American Music 78 by Bunk Johnson

The label was founded by William Russell in 1944, who ran the label almost entirely by himself for most of his life (sometimes with the help of others on individual recording sessions). Russell started the label to issue the recordings of early jazz musicians like Bunk Johnson and George Lewis that he had made in New Orleans, Louisiana.

At first the label was based in Russell's home town of Canton, Missouri; Russell and the label moved to New Orleans at the start of the 1960s.

In the 1970s many American Music recordings were reissued on LP by Storyville Records.

Around 1990, Russell sold the label to George H. Buck, who added it to his GHB/Jazzology Records group and began issuing the recordings on compact disc. Russell was surprised when the first CD issue of his Bunk Johnson recordings quickly sold more copies than had all of the American Music gramophone records in the preceding decades.

In addition to Russell's recordings, Buck also reissues historic recordings of New Orleans jazz originally on other labels, including Icon Records, on the American Music label.

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