Updates: Week beginning: ... Saturday 9th December 2023
At PD Productions, our research and journey of discovery never ends, simply because the culture of the blues never ends. We're honoured and privileged to share the music within the genre of the Blues back to a hundred years and beyond, a genre so vast and so diverse. So many people from around the world have contributed to our research, and indeed, our library of music, far too many to mention by name, we take this moment to thank them all.
Every Friday we have the blues. Our production is about the privilege of bringing these legendary artists, together with the more obscure ones and their music to a worldwide audience.

What are for you, the authentic blues? ... On 'Backtracking' we play the music from as far back as a 100+ years, that's what this production is all about. By contrast, we dip a toe, tentatively, into the 50s / 60s and even the 70s. They too, have a message for us - listen and know the blues. We reflect, that as we travel back in time, are we not listening to the stories of those who KNEW the blues..
    Click / Download 'Backtracking'

Back to where it all began ...   It all started in a small town bar in Louisiana; it was like travelling back in time, dusty, rickety tables, chairs, and a bare wooden floor. Sat on a little platform was a lady and a guy with a guitar, and then the lady began to sing the blues. I could have closed my eyes and would have been listening to Ma Rainey or Bessie Smith. Quietly listening, we knew and felt the songs were telling us of a deep sadness, borne of a deprivation beyond our comprehension. I was listening to the 'Blues' long before that, but never really understood, until then, what was meant by 'Feeling the blues'

Our research and journey since then has been a discovery of the ‘Blues’ that never ends, simply because the culture and history of the blues never ends. We're honoured and privileged to share with you this great music and its history, back a hundred years and beyond and through to the present day, a genre so rich, so vast and so diverse.

What started all those years ago with a handful of blues has grown exponentially with the help of our team and good friends,  Alan, Terry and Graham, the ‘Doc’ to become a library so vast it’s often difficult to keep track of it all, and continues to grow.

And the shows: ... David Presents ‘Backtracking’, our wonderful guest contributors produce...

  • Blues at 5
  • Listen to the Blues talking
  • Soul in Shades of Blue

Thank you for visiting with us and listening to our productions from here in the UK. Our team extend our best wishes to all.

David – PD Productions (UK)

Click here to close
Backtracking Preview / Archive
    Discovering the blues

PD Productions / Blog
Productions for radio
Blues Research
Licensing / Copyright
PD Updates blog
Get Backtracking on your radio station - Free.
Find out more
Featured artist of the week .... Black Boy Shine
    Black Boy Shine - Bad luck town blues  

Black Boy Shine born Harold Holiday (c. September 12, 1908 – March 28, 1952) was a Texas blues pianist, singer and songwriter. Little is known of his life outside of his recording career. He was part of the 'Santa Fe Group', a loose ensemble of black blues. He recorded almost twenty tracks between 1936 and 1937, two of his tracks, ‘Hobo Blues’ and ‘Ice Pick and Pistol Woman Blues’, depicted the lurid and violent lives of Harold and his listeners. However, Harold is remembered as a smooth underworld figure and the best of the Texas pianists.

Harold spent most of his life in Houston, which ultimately influenced his style of playing. Harold was noted as a smooth singer and pianist, with a sweet melodious voice and elegant playing. His songs ’Dog House Blues’ and ‘Back Home Blues’, were in a barrelhouse style. His repertoire dealt with the realities of life for his predominately black audience

In the mid 1930s, Black Boy Shine frequently met up with pianist, Moon Mullican, when performing around Houston. Combining nicknames, for a short time in the 1930s, they performed as a duo called "Moonshine".  In 1935 to 1937, Harold recorded as an accompanist on a number of tracks for Bernice Edwards, Alongside Bernice; he recorded piano duets including one entitled ‘Hot Mattress Stomp’

Harold died in 1952, in Sugar Land, Texas, from tuberculosis. He was 43 years old.

Load featured track - Black Boy Shine - Bad luck town blues Next week: .. Charlie Spand
Download link  
Everyday we have the blues - Get some more  
From the PD Productions archives ...
Featured lady blues artist
Algia Mae Hinton - Going down this road
Load this track
Gospel Blues Train
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Jesus is here today
Load this track
North Mississippi blues / Hill Country Blues
Mississippi Fred McDowell - Worried Mind
Load this track
Zydeco Blues
Gib Guilbeau - Happy Cajun Man
Load this track
Appalachian blues trail
Brownie McGhee - Pawn Shop Blues
Load this track
Blues on the Bayou
Tabby Thomas - Don't say
Load this track
Prison work songs / The spirituals connection
Pickin' Cotton, all day long
Load this track
The Blues shack / Artists we'd almost forgotten
Clifford Grandpappy Gibson - Bad Luck Dice - 1929
Load this track
Sawmill Gravy Blues - Special Productions - December 2023
SMGB - The Legends
Load this production
Railroad Blues
Cannon's Jug Stompers - Big railroad blues
Load this track
Jazz - Moods in Shades of Blue
Cleo Laine - I gotta a right to sing the blues
Load this track
Mississippi Moaners
Mississippi Bracy - You scolded me and drove me from your door ... (1931)
Load this track
The Sea Island Singers - Special feature
An American folk / blues music ensemble from Georgia, United States.
Load this feature
Soul - in Shades of Blue - Guest production
The sweetest soul in shades of blue from the latter part of the 20th Century ... and sometimes, from the Noughties, presented by Umm Leila.
Load this Production