An amazing look at a very underground strain of music during the postwar years – the now-legendary "custom" series at Starday
Records – a system by which individuals could send in their own music and get them pressed up on a limited run! Other labels offered such a service, but Starday
has probably become the most famous over the years – partly because if the music was deemed worthy, the label would sign the artist themselves – and partly because there were hundreds of singles that came through the process that were hard-burning gems at the time! Given Starday
's usual roster, there's a fair bit of hillbilly, country, and rockabilly in the mix – but the scope of sounds also includes a bit of R&B, gospel, and other styles too – all brought together here for the first time ever, in a comprehensive box that looks at the first five years of the series. Many singles were pressed with their own label names, which makes this package way more than just Starday
label rarities – and artists hailed from all over the country, including many who never saw the light of day after these records. The full history of the series is told in the massive hardcover book – which lists each record individually, with label scans, recording information, and photos and bios of the artists. The huge book is almost worth it alone for any fan of this period of music – but the set also comes with 10 CDs that present each single in chronological order – 312 songs, and a heck of a lot of rare music, all done up beautifully!