In Search of the Blues

In Search of the Blues

eBook - 2008
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In this extraordinary reconstruction of the origins of the blues, historian Marybeth Hamilton demonstrates that the story as we know it is largely a myth. Following the trail of characters like Howard Odum, who combed Mississippi's back roads with a cylinder phonograph to record vagrants, John and Alan Lomax, who prowled Southern penitentiaries and unearthed the rough, melancholy vocals of Leadbelly, and James McKune, a recluse whose record collection came to define the primal sounds of the Delta blues, Hamilton reveals this musical form to be the culmination of a longstanding white fascination with the exotic mysteries of black music.

By excavating the history of the Delta blues, Hamilton reveals the extent to which American culture has been shaped by white fantasies of racial difference.

Publisher: [New York] : Basic Books, c2008.
ISBN: 9780465018123
0465028586
9780465028580
Branch Call Number: ELECTRONIC BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (309 p.) : ill.
Additional Contributors: ebrary, Inc

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lukasevansherman
Nov 08, 2015

This book is less a history of the blues and more an exploration of the collectors, critics, and recorders of the blues, who were overwhelmingly white males. Familiar figures like Harry Smith and the Lomaxes make appearances, but also obscure, obsessive collectors. In many ways, the record collector character, which prizes authenticity and obscurity over popularity, began here. An intriguing book for the blues fan. For more of a history, "Deep Blues" and "Feel Like Going Home" are a good start.

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