Blues Unlimited

Series produced by Steve Franz

Series image

Join us as we explore the wonderful world of the Blues, and its history, heritage, and rich cultural traditions.

Blues Unlimited is an NPR-style two-hour weekly show that has been called the "best blues radio show in the United States," and has an established and loyal audience of listeners from around the globe. Hosted by "Sleepy Boy Hawkins" (the alter-ego of scholar, author, fanatic, and historian Steve Franz), each installment is a self-contained evergreen show, delving into a different genre, topic, or aspect of the blues. For more details on the program, see our full profile, or email us at bluesunlimited@gmail.com


215 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Also featured on this episode, a legendary slice of vinyl from the Specialty archives; compiled by Barret Hansen in 1972.
Join us for some terrific Down Home Country Blues from Specialty Records. In addition to Frankie Lee Sims and Clifton Chenier — two of our all-time...

Bought by WJSU, 90.5 WSNC, and KRPS


  • Added: Jun 22, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Illustration by the Daily Planet/Tom Wilson, depicting Robert Johnson's recording debut in a San Antonio hotel room, 1936.
Join us as we go back to the 1930s and dig out some of the rarest blues of all time. From Leroy Carr and Robert Johnson to Big Bill Broonzy and Bli...

Bought by WJSU, 90.5 WSNC, and KRPS


  • Added: Jun 15, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Just one of many LPs by Lightnin’ Hopkins, whose extensive recordings made up a large portion of the Bluesville catalog.
Join us for part two of our new and ongoing series, "The Legends of Bluesville." This time around, we’ll aim the spotlight on Texas and the Gulf Co...

Bought by WJSU, KRPS, and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: May 24, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: One of the distinctive album covers from the Bluesville label.
Join us for the launch of a new and ongoing series, "The Legends of Bluesville." This time around, our focus will be on the Eastern Seaboard, with ...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC, WJSU, and KRPS


  • Added: May 19, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
Join us as we finish up our tribute to the "The Blues," a series of five LPs issued by Chess Records in the mid 1960s. We’ll hear classics from Mud...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC, WJSU, and KRPS


  • Added: May 11, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
Join us as we aim the spotlight on a classic series of LPs from Chess Records. Simply called "The Blues," they issued five volumes between 1963 and...

Bought by WJSU, 90.5 WSNC, and KRPS


  • Added: May 05, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Hammond B3 keyboard master Sam Lazar, who cut a few LPs for Argo, then disappeared. Courtesy of the collection of Armin Büttner.
Join us as we take another trip down to the land of the Hammond B3. We’ll hear some killer grooves and hot rockers from some of our old favorites l...

Bought by WJSU and KRPS


  • Added: Apr 27, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Join us as we journey to the Queen City of the South, Charlotte, North Carolina, to hear some of the rich blues and heavenly gospel that was record...

Bought by WFAE, KRPS, 90.5 WSNC, and WJSU


  • Added: Apr 19, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Photo of Walter Horton by Sylvia Pitcher, London, 1968.
Join us as we pay tribute to one of the all time greatest harmonica players, Big Walter Horton. Making his first recordings with Sam Phillips in Me...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC, WJSU, and KRPS


  • Added: Apr 12, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
We’ve been digging through the archives to bring you this special "best of" encore presentation. This time around, it's a whole bunch of hot rocker...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC, WJSU, and KRPS


  • Added: Apr 04, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Napoleon Strickland playing the fife while Othar Turner dances. Near Senatobia, Mississippi, 1970. Photo by David Evans.
Join us as we aim the spotlight on the legendary field recordings of David Evans. An intrepid researcher, most of what he captured in the mid 60s a...

Bought by 90.5 WSNC, WJSU, KRPS, and Red River Radio Network


  • Added: Mar 30, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: The King of Chicago Blues Piano, Big Maceo. Photo courtesy of Blues Unlimited magazine #106, Feb/March 1974.
Join us for a tribute to keyboard legend Big Maceo Merriweather. Although his recorded legacy is not all that large, he left an indelible mark in t...

Bought by KRPS


  • Added: Mar 22, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: An all-time classic: Muddy Waters At Newport, from 1960.
Join us as we explore some of the very best live blues performances of all time — B.B. King at the Regal, Muddy Waters at Newport, Robert Nighthawk...

Bought by WJSU and KRPS


  • Added: Mar 15, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Join us as we aim the spotlight on Bill Quinn’s legendary Gold Star record label. Founded in Houston in the late 1940s, he recorded some of the cre...

Bought by KRPS, WJSU, and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Mar 08, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Bobby Robinson outside of his legendary Harlem record shop, c. 1970s.
Join us as we aim the spotlight on independent record producer, Bobby Robinson. Not only could he lay claim to a legendary series of labels — such ...

Bought by KRPS, WJSU, and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Mar 01, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Photo of Johnny Woods courtesy of Center for Southern Folklore Archives. Photographer unknown.
We've taken a whole great gob of our favorite down home country blues harmonica blowers, and lined them up for one incredible episode we're calling...

Bought by WJSU, KRPS, and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Feb 22, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Stick McGhee, whose "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" was a big smash hit for Atlantic Records in 1949.
Join us as we celebrate the good times, with songs about drinking and having fun. With music on tap from Ike Turner, J.B. Lenoir, John Lee Hooker, ...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Feb 15, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: From top left: Legendary axe-man Hubert Sumlin; one of Arthur Crudup’s later acoustic recordings; the great Freddie King.
Join us as we take another look at some of our favorite artists — some of them synonymous with the very concept of "Postwar Electric Blues" — and f...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Feb 09, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Join us for part two of our look at the blues in Saint Louis from the 1920s and '30s, this time focusing on the piano players. We’ll hear from popu...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Feb 01, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Join us for a look at Saint Louis, where the country blues meet the city. Over the years, some critics have claimed it was the place where prewar b...

Bought by KRPS and 90.5 WSNC


  • Added: Jan 25, 2014
  • Length: 01:58:59
  • Purchases: 2