Ed. Andrews - Barrel House disc

Ed. Andrews

Ed. Andrews was an American blues singer and guitarist — from who knows where but probably some place around Atlanta — who made the first-ever male blues recording for OKeh in 1924.

The story is simple, after the first recordings by Bessie Smith and Mamie Smith (OKeh, New York, 1920), OKeh’s talent scouts saw this man busking in Atlanta — during one of their “hunting” trips to Atlanta in search for talented musician — and quickly they wanted “something” from him. So in that way Andrews — with his pick and strum guitar style and his vibrato voice — made the first-ever blues recording, self-accompanied bluesman, for the OKeh company in March 1924, by a man.

This was the song Barrel House Blues

… and its B-side Time Ain’t Gonna Make Me Stay.

These two were the only songs that the bluesman would record.

OKeh placed an advertisement on the weekly newspaper Chicago Defender — founded for primarily African-American readers: Ed. Andrews - OKeh ad

“Right where the blues songs were born is where Ed. Andrews was singing ‘em and playing ‘em when the special OKeh Recording Expedition discovered him. Why, man alive, he was just scattering happiness all around, wherever he appeared. And now, on his first OKeh record. “Time Ain’t Gonna Make Me Stay”, this boy is certainly up-holding his good reputation.”

Anyway it is not stated that Ed. Andrews was from Atlanta — as OKeh’s expedition found him there — but he may be well have born in another place and have been only a transitory musician, although other sources state the opposite and think that it was not a merely transit.

Negro Quarter in AtlantaEd. Andrews Ad by OKeh Records

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