Bluesby Dick Weissman
Pub. Date: 11/28/2005
Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
The United States has produced some of the most influential and admired musicians and performers of the 20th century. Musical genres such as the blues, jazz, and rock and roll originated in this country and are now loved throughout the world, while American composers, singers, producers, and songwriters-from Aaron Copland to Miles Davis, from Leadbelly to Elvis Presley, from Billie Holiday to Janis Joplin-have contributed significantly to the musical landscape in other genres, such as folk and classical music. The American Popular Music books are essential resources for the study and appreciation of the key personalities, recordings, performances, instruments, and styles of music that make up popular music in America, enhanced by dozens of photographs, a glossary, a discography of recommended listening, and a chronology.
Born out of the field hollers, work songs, and spirituals sung by African-American slaves and tenant farmers as they were forced to work in the fields of the South, blues music often speaks of oppression, sadness, and love, topics that transcend racial and ethnic boundaries. Early musicians such as Blind Lemon Jefferson and W. C. Handy established the standards of the genre, with the hit songs "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" and "Memphis Blues," respectively. Their affecting lyrics would later serve as inspiration for future blues performers such as Muddy Waters, Leadbelly, and John Lee Hooker. The blues would become the foundation of nearly every form of American music created in the 20th century, especially jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and hip-hop. Its influence on American music and other artistic forms of expression has been astounding, and blues remains a popular category of music today.
About the Author:
Dick Weissman is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon and the University of Denver
Table of Contents
A-to-Z Entries 1
Glossary of Music Terms 269
Further Reading and Research 277
Editorial Board of Advisers 281
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