Inc. was founded in October 1978 in Chicago by Michael Frank as a
record label and artist management company. The label grew out of a
musical and personal friendship between the label founder and Honeyboy
Edwards, whom Michael had met in the fall of 1972 at a club in Chicago.
Michael started playing harmonica with Honeyboy in 1973, and after a
long hiatus, has returned to doing so.
and is to make and release new and reissue recordings by African
American blues and jazz musicians and artists working in the African
American oral tradition, to facilitate career opportunities for the
musicians, while whenever possible recording material not previously
recorded by the artists, and to introduce blues fans to a wider range
of blues artists than they would otherwise hear, by taking them to
clubs in the African American community and by producing special shows.
years the label
has broadened its ethnic and stylistic reach to include independent
artists of any ethnicity who write and perform their own material
rooted in African American and folk tradition.
currently on the
active Earwig roster for recording and touring are Honeyboy Edwards,
Johnny Drummer, and Liz Mandville Greeson.
thirty-eight blues albums of which five are reissue of the
artists' self produced and distributed albums, and four were produced
by outside producers. Michael Frank, label CEO, produced thirty of
these, as well as three other sessions not released. He also produced
the last recordings of Louis Myers, Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis, and
Willie Johnson - fabled guitarist from the early Howlin' Wolf Band.
eight albums by nationally renowned folk storytellers Jackie Torrence,
Alice McGill, Bobby Norfolk and Laura Simms. These folktellers' Earwig
recordings won American Library Association, Parents Choice, and NAIRD
Awards, two jazz albums by Pittsburgh's Carl Arter (piano)
Irvin (female vocalist), and one Southern Black gospel album by the
Gospel Trumpets of North Carolina.
records on the label are by The Jelly Roll Kings, Honeyboy Edwards, Big
Jack Johnson, Jimmy Dawkins, and Liz Mandville Greeson. Jackie
Torrence's and Laura Simms storytelling recordings have also done
Jack Johnson's first recordings as a leader, and also introduced
Cincinatti's H-Bomb Ferguson and Detroit's Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones to
the national blues scene. Johnny won a Handy Award - Best New Artist -
for his Earwig cd Ain't Gonna Worry. He also won the Living Blues
Critics Poll in the category Best New Artist - Contemporary, for the
album. The label also arranged gigs for Louisiana Red's long
anticipated triumphant return from Germany to US touring in 1999 upon
the heels of his Handy nominated Earwig cd Millennium Blues.
Frank has also been responsible for managing the career of David
Honeyboy Edwards for twenty-seven years, including getting Honeyboy's
oral history/autobiography published. The book won both a Handy Award
and a Keeping the Blues Alive award, and is widely recognized as one of
the most important
books on blues ever written. Mr. Edwards won a 2002 National Endowment
For the Arts - Heritage Fellowship Award.
Earwig Story (Soul Bag Magazine -
catalog of the finest in traditional and contemporary blues, or
information on any Earwig recording artist, contact us at Earwig Music
Company, Inc., 2054 W. Farwell Ave. - Garden Unit, Chicago, IL
60645-4963; phone 773-262-0278, fax 773-262-0285, e-mail email@example.com.
Music is distributed in the United States by Burnside Distribution
Corporation, 6635 N.
Baltimore Ave, Suite 285, Portland, OR 97203 Voice: (503) 231-0876, Fax: (503) 231-0420
Music is distributed in Europe by Parsifal bvba, Gulden Vlieslaan 67,
B-8000 Brugge, Belgium, phone 50 339516, fax 50 333386