Cygnet Productions was founded in 1996 by Christopher Hillman and Roy Middleton to produce recordings and documentation in the specialist field of jazz and blues research and discography. A number of CD recordings were produced at which point it was decided to concentrate on the books while advising and influencing Frog Records on their CD production and documentation in the same fields.
Late in 2013 Roy Middleton, who had covered printing and publication, decided to withdraw from the organisation and Christopher Hillman, wishing to rationalise and simplify his operation around his home in Devon but to continue to produce books in the same specialisation as before, closed Cygnet Productions and started up Chris Hillman Books in cooperation with a local printer.
Cygnet Productions ceased trading on April 30th 2014 but all its books and CDs are still available through Chris Hillman Books.
Following that, Chris Hillman has continued under his own name, producing publications in the same disciplines and style as before. The Ivory Men and The Ivory Ladies have been completed with much positive input from Daniel Gugolz and Paolo Fornaraand published to a good response from readers and reviewers. Crescent City Cornet and Crescent City Reeds have now also been published with the assistance of Richard Rains and and they have returned to Discography with New Orleans to Texas and now The Art and Craft of Discography. Chris is determined to continue producing books on jazz and blues research for as long as he has the health and strength to do so.