For Record Store Day: The Contradictory History of Gennett Records


Pictured: The Wolverines Jazz Band at Gennett Records. Jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke, second from right.

Today, for the seventh annual National Record Store Day, take a fascinating peek into the history of Gennett Studios in Richmond, Indiana with a story from Radiotopia podcasters, Everything Sounds.

Learn about the dark contradictions of the 1920s record business. The Indiana studio that released some of the most raw and wild 1920s blues from musicians like Blind Lemon Jefferson to Louis Armstrong, also pressed KKK records like “Onward Christian Klansman” by the thousands:

It seems bizarre, but a studio that regularly hosted African American musicians in the 20s had no issues with recording one of America’s most notorious hate groups.

Listen to more of the Everything Sounds collection, and other Radiotopia shows like Radio Diaries and 99% Invisible on Pop Up Archive.