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Jack White Discusses Legendary Paramount Records at Yale

Neilson Barnard, Getty Images

Jack White may be a gentleman — but is he a scholar?

The former White Stripes frontman and owner of Third Man Records took part in an academic discussion about the legendary label, Paramount Records, during an event last night (Oct. 28) at Yale University in Connecticut. It all revolved around the upcoming Third Man release of the retrospective collection, ‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 2,’ set for release on Nov. 18. The first installment was released last year and the upcoming second chapter will focus on the label’s latter recordings pressed between 1928-1932.

According to the Yale Daily News, hundreds of people attended the discussion which also featured Revenant Records owner Dean Blackwood, authors Greil Marcus and Scott Blackwood and artist Adia Victoria.

Each speaker selected two songs from the Paramount Records collection to spotlight during the event and White chose Blind Blake’s ‘Diddy Wah Diddy’ and Charley Patton’s ‘Spoonful Blues.’ White said he chose ‘Spoonful Blues’ due to the song’s “emotional intensity as well as its blend of religious and secular themes.”

The main focus was the history of the label and its unique role in recording “race records” that documented the plight of African Americans and the lower class. White said, “What’s beautiful about Paramount, though, is … the accidental capturing of American culture for the sake of a dollar.”

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