British owners of unique record label honoured by top US music heritage organisation

KBA 2018

The Blues Foundation, the guardians of the heritage of American Blues music, has honoured a British couple with its prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive award. The award is for “individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to the Blues world.”
Recipients Gary and Gillian Atkinson own the independent roots music label Document Records, which is known for specialising in the issue and reissue of early recordings of American Blues, Gospel, Spirituals, Jazz, and early Country music, covering the complete recorded works of artists, presented in chronological order. Document Records earliest recordings date back to Spirituals recorded in the late 1800s. Document Records reputedly has the largest catalogue of its kind in the world.
With roots stars such as Son House, Mamie Smith, ‘Ma’ Rainey, Big Bill Broonzy, Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup, and Muddy Waters to their name, the Atkinsons have also found their services to music honoured by such contemporary stars as Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) and John Mayall in the UK and Paul Simon, Jack White and Pearl Jam in the US.
For Maverick readers, there is additional interest as Document Records is working on publishing more of its significant collection of early Country (‘Old Timey’) music.
To find out more about Document Records, please visit their website:

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