Rythm Oil: A Journey through the Music of the American South

Overview

Here are Stanley Booth's acclaimed writings about the South and the music that emanates from it. Rythm Oil?you don't have to know how to spell "rhythm" to have it in your body and soul?is a potion sold on Beale Street in Memphis. The home of Sun Records, B. B. King, Elvis Presley, Howlin' Wolf, and Jerry Lee Lewis, Memphis is also the home of fantastic stories and broke-down dreams. As Booth makes his way from Memphis to the Mississippi Delta to the depths of the Georgia woods exploring the sounds, the music, and...

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Overview

Here are Stanley Booth's acclaimed writings about the South and the music that emanates from it. Rythm Oil—you don't have to know how to spell "rhythm" to have it in your body and soul—is a potion sold on Beale Street in Memphis. The home of Sun Records, B. B. King, Elvis Presley, Howlin' Wolf, and Jerry Lee Lewis, Memphis is also the home of fantastic stories and broke-down dreams. As Booth makes his way from Memphis to the Mississippi Delta to the depths of the Georgia woods exploring the sounds, the music, and the culture of the American South, "he has produced some of the most gracefully written, thoughtful, and thought-stirring musings on the characters—the famous and the forgotten, the infamous and the unknown—who command the kingdom or drift through the shadowland of the South's rich-chorded patrimony" (Nick Tosches, Los Angeles Times).

Booth travels to the funeral of master bluesman John Hurt with slide-guitar virtuoso Furry Lewis, a man steeped in Southern history. Here is Memphis, a small town still living through the traumas of the Civil War and yellow fever, inspiring memories of riverboats, medicine shows, murder, Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Otis Redding, the Bar-Kays, and James Brown.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
No Depression, 2/22
“This is a ridiculously good book of music writing—though, that’s an injustice, it’s a book about soul, and life, and America as much or more as it is about ‘just’ music.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Disjointed but ultimately interesting, this series of essays covers 70 years of Southern and Southern-influenced music and performers, from Robert Johnson to Otis Redding to Janis Joplin. Photos. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306809798
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 DA CAPO
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 7.64 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Booth's work has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and many other publications. He lives on the Georgia coast, just south of Savannah.

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