Superbly researched and vividly written, The Devil's Music is one of the only books to trace the rise and development of the blues both in relation to other forms of black music and in the context of American social history as experienced by African Americans. From its roots in the turn-of-the-century honky-tonks of New Orleans and the barrelhouses and plantations of the Mississippi Delta to modern legends such as John Lee Hooker and B. B. King, the blues comes alive here through accounts by the blues musicians themselves and those who knew them. Throughout this wide-ranging and fascinating book, Giles Oakley describes the texture of the life that made the blues possible, and the changing attitudes toward the music. The Devil's Music is a wholehearted and loving examination of one of America's most powerful traditions.
Writers of the Black Chicago Renaissance comprehensively explores the contours and content of the Black Chicago Renaissance, a creative movement that emerged from the crucible of rigid segregation in Chicago's "Black Belt" from the 1930s through the 1960s. Heavily influenced by the Harlem Renaissance and the Chicago Renaissance of white writers, its participants were invested in political activism and social change as much as literature, art, and aesthetics. The revolutionary writing of this era produced some of the first great accolades for African American literature and set up much of the important writing that came to fruition in the Black Arts Movement. The volume covers a vast collection of subjects, including many important writers such as Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Lorraine Hansberry as well as cultural products such as black newspapers, music, and theater. The book includes individual entries by experts on each subject; a discography and filmography that highlight important writers, musicians, films, and cultural presentations; and an introduction that relates the Harlem Renaissance, the white Chicago Renaissance, the black Chicago Renaissance, and the Black Arts Movement. Contributors are Robert Butler, Robert H. Cataliotti, Maryemma Graham, James C. Hall, James L. Hill, Michael Hill, Lovalerie King, Lawrence Jackson, Angelene Jamison-Hall, Keith Leonard, Lisbeth Lipari, Bill V. Mullen, Patrick Naick, William R. Nash, Charlene Regester, Kimberly Ruffin, Elizabeth Schultz, Joyce Hope Scott, James Smethurst, Kimberly M. Stanley, Kathryn Waddell Takara, Steven C. Tracy, Zoe Trodd, Alan Wald, Jamal Eric Watson, Donyel Hobbs Williams, Stephen Caldwell Wright, and Richard Yarborough.
The Legendary Lonnie Johnson, Music, and Civil Rights
Author: Dean Alger
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Lonnie Johnson (1894–1970) was a virtuoso guitarist who influenced generations of musicians from Django Reinhardt to Eric Clapton to Bill Wyman and especially B. B. King. Born in New Orleans, he began playing violin and guitar in his father’s band at an early age. When most of his family was wiped out by the 1918 flu epidemic, he and his surviving brother moved to St. Louis, where he won a blues contest that included a recording contract. His career was launched. Johnson can be heard on many Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong records, including the latter’s famous “Savoy Blues” with the Hot Five. He is perhaps best known for his 12-string guitar solos and his ground-breaking recordings with the white guitarist Eddie Lang in the late 1920s. After World War II he began playing rhythm and blues and continued to record and tour until his death. This is the first full-length work on Johnson. Dean Alger answers many biographical mysteries, including how many members of Johnson’s large family were left after the epidemic. It also places Johnson and his musical contemporaries in the context of American race relations and argues for the importance of music in the fight for civil rights. Finally, Alger analyzes Johnson’s major recordings in terms of technique and style. Distribution of an accompanying music CD will be coordinated with the release of this book.
The Blues Encyclopedia is the first full-length authoritative Encyclopedia on the Blues as a musical form. While other books have collected biographies of blues performers, none have taken a scholarly approach. A to Z in format, this Encyclopedia covers not only the performers, but also musical styles, regions, record labels and cultural aspects of the blues, including race and gender issues. Special attention is paid to discographies and bibliographies.
Relating the blues to American social and literary history and to Afro-American expressive culture, Houston A. Baker, Jr., offers the basis for a broader study of American culture at its "vernacular" level. He shows how the "blues voice" and its economic undertones are both central to the American narrative and characteristic of the Afro-American way of telling it.
Traditional Scholars have often looked at African American studies through the lens of European theories, resulting in the secondarization of the African American presence in Europe and its contributions to European culture. Blackening Europe reverses this pattern by using African American culture as the starting point for a discussion of its influences over traditional European structures. Evidence of Europe's blackening abound, form French ministers of Hip-hop and British incarnations of "Shaft" to slavery memorial in the Netherlands and German youth sporting dreadlocks. Collecting essays by scholars from both sides of the Atlantic and fields as diverse as history, literature, politics, social studies, art, film and music, Blackening Europe explores the implications of these cultural hybrids and extends the growing dialogues about Europe's fascination with African America.
Southern music has flourished as a meeting ground for the traditions of West African and European peoples in the region, leading to the evolution of various traditional folk genres, bluegrass, country, jazz, gospel, rock, blues, and southern hip-hop. This much-anticipated volume in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture celebrates an essential element of southern life and makes available for the first time a stand-alone reference to the music and music makers of the American South. With nearly double the number of entries devoted to music in the original Encyclopedia, this volume includes 30 thematic essays, covering topics such as ragtime, zydeco, folk music festivals, minstrelsy, rockabilly, white and black gospel traditions, and southern rock. And it features 174 topical and biographical entries, focusing on artists and musical outlets. From Mahalia Jackson to R.E.M., from Doc Watson to OutKast, this volume considers a diverse array of topics, drawing on the best historical and contemporary scholarship on southern music. It is a book for all southerners and for all serious music lovers, wherever they live.
The Gospel According to the Blues dares us to read Jesus's Sermon on the Mount in conversation with Robert Johnson, Son House, and Muddy Waters. It suggests that thinking about the blues--the history, the artists, the songs--provides good stimulation for thinking about the Christian gospel. Both are about a world gone wrong, about injustice, about the human condition, and both are about hope for a better world. In this book, Gary Burnett probes both the gospel and the history of the blues as we find it in the Sermon on the Mount, to help us understand better the nature of the good news which Jesus preached, and its relevance and challenge to us.
Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the most popular and enduring band ever: “Even the most hardcore Deadheads will be impressed by this obsessively complete look at the Grateful Dead’s lyrics” (Publishers Weekly). The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics is an authoritative text, providing standard versions of all the original songs you thought you knew forwards and backwards. These are some of the best-loved songs in the modern American songbook. They are hummed and spoken among thousands as counterculture code and recorded by musicians of all stripes for their inimitable singability and obscure accessibility. How do they do all this? To provide a context for this formidable body of work, of which his part is primary, Robert Hunter has written a foreword that goes to the heart of the matter. And the annotations on sources provide a gloss on the lyrics, which goes to the roots of Western culture as they are incorporated into them. An avid Grateful Dead concertgoer for more than two decades, David Dodd is a librarian who brings to the work a detective’s love of following a clue as far as it will take him. Including essays by Dead lyricists Robert Hunter and John Perry and Jim Carpenter’s original illustrations, whimsical elements in the lyrics are brought to light, showcasing the American legend that is present in so many songs. A gorgeous keepsake edition of the Dead’s official annotated lyrics, The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics is an absolute must-have for the fiftieth anniversary—you won’t think of this cultural icon the same way again. In fact, founding band member Bob Weir said: “This book is great. Now I’ll never have to explain myself.”
The Birth of the Rolling Stones and the Death of Brian Jones
Author: Paul Trynka
Publisher: Random House
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The story of the Rolling Stones is one of the epic rock 'n' roll yarns of our time. Their music defined today's cultural landscape and their history is a source of endless fascination for music fans around the world. Yet one crucial part of that story has never been comprehensively analysed: the role of Brian Jones, the visionary who founded the band and controlled their early music down to the smallest detail. Drawing on over one hundred interviews with key principals including Keith Richards, Andrew Oldham and Marianne Faithfull, this is a story told from a totally new perspective and which lays bare the shocking ruthlessness, internal warfare and sexual competition within this most legendary of bands. As well as exploring Jones' crucial role in the Stones' music, it will also investigate the unravelling of his psyche, as observed by Brian's family, friends, bandmates, lovers and enemies. Victors get to write the history - but it's never wholly true. Brian's life story is a gripping one, an epic battle between creativity and ambition, between self-sabotage and betrayal. This book will disentangle the threads of the Rolling Stones story and put Brian Jones firmly in the foreground.