Keeping The Blues Alive

Blind Pig: A Blues Record Label

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Without a dedicated and reliable record label supporting their career, musicians would have a difficult time navigating the complex and often overwhelming music world. The record label is responsible for many aspects of their client’s career like production, sale, and copywriting issue with their albums. They also are usually responsible for multiple musicians as well, juggling a lot of tasks on a day to day basis.

Oftentimes, record labels will specialize in a specific genre because they know the ins and outs of the market and get better direct their clients. For example, there are a few standout record companies in the blues realm. One major label is Blind Pig Records.
Blind Pig Records started as the brainchild of business owner and entrepreneur Jerry Del Giudice. Originally, the Blind Pig was the name of Jerry’s bar/music venue located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Opening its doors in 1971, the venue was a hot spot for many blues artists and for locals to enjoy great food and music. As a side note, Nirvana sold out the Blind Pig in 1989. Nowadays, it features a lot of ‘indie rock’ and local groups and still has a steady clientele stream coming through.

In 1977, Del Giudice decided to branch out into the record label business with a friend of his, Edward Chmelewski. They originally set up shop right in the basement of the Blind Pig, but later moved to the profitable city of San Francisco, California. Although starting from humble beginnings, Blind Pig Records became one of the “premiere labels” in music.

They essentially became the home for a “who’s who list of blues musicians.” A few known names associated with the label include Muddy Waters, Big Bill Morganfield, Albert Cummings, Junior Wells, Tommy Castro, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Popa Chubby, and many others.

Toward the end of 2015, the owners of Blind Pig decided to hand things over to the major music distribution company, The Orchard. As an independent record label, the fact that they were as successful as they were throughout the years is very impressive. It is because of this that the owner wanted the company to go to a “fine, forward-looking organization that will care for the legacy of the label.”

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Patrick Ortiz 


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