Guido van Rijn
Guido van Rijn

Guido van Rijn taught English at Kennemer Lyceum in Overveen, The Netherlands. He retired in 2015. A freelance writer and blues historian, he has published articles in Blues Unlimited, Blues & Rhythm, Juke Blues and Living Blues.

His Ph.D. dissertation from Leiden University was revised as the award-winning Roosevelt’s Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs on FDR (1997). A sequel entitled The Truman and Eisenhower Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs, 1945-1960 was published in 2004. Kennedy’s Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs on JFK was published in August 2007. President Johnson’s Blues: African American Blues and Gospel Songs on LBJ, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy and Vietnam 1963-1968 was published in 2009. The Nixon and Ford Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs on Vietnam, Watergate, Civil Rights and Inflation 1969-1976 was published in 2011. The final volume, The Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama Blues was published in 2012.

Together with Alex van der Tuuk Guido van Rijn has compiled a five-volume discography of the Paramount 78 label. These volumes appeared in 2011, 2012 and 2013, 2014 and 2015. This discography lists all New York Laboratory recordings in matrix order, so that the original sessions can be reconstructed. In 2015 a second, revised edition of Volume One appeared.

In 2021 Van Rijn published The Texas Blues of Smokey Hogg, the first biography of the legendary blues singer.

At present Guido is working on the first ever biography of blues pianist Walter Davis.

Guido van Rijn has also produced twenty-six LPs and CDs for his own Agram label and, in 1970, co-founded the Netherlands Blues and Boogie Organization which culminated in the annual Utrecht Blues Estafette. For Roosevelt’s Blues he received an ARSC award (1997) and in 2015 he was presented with the KBA (Keeping the Blues Alive) award in Memphis, TN. It was a lifetime achievement award in the category “historical preservation.”