The New Blackwell Guide to Recorded Blues

Overview

This is the fully revised edition of Paul Oliver's successful The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Blues. It has been entirely rewritten to take account of the CD revolution in which some 6,000 blues CDs have been issued over the last five years. This is not only the best and most succinct guide to recorded blues: it also provides a history of the subject.
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Overview

This is the fully revised edition of Paul Oliver's successful The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Blues. It has been entirely rewritten to take account of the CD revolution in which some 6,000 blues CDs have been issued over the last five years. This is not only the best and most succinct guide to recorded blues: it also provides a history of the subject.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The New Blackwell Guide to Recorded Blues. Blackwell. Dec. 1996. c.448p. permanent paper. ed. by John Cowley & Paul Oliver. index. LC 96-12140. ISBN 0-631-20163-7. $49.95; pap. ISBN 0-631-19639-0. $19.95. Blackwell has distinguished itself as a publisher of music guides, and its latest offering upholds the high standards set by previous ones, including the blues guide (The Blackwell Guide to Blues Records, LJ 12/89) updated here. As is generally true of Blackwell guides, the coverage is selective rather than exhaustive; in this case, the book consists of 11 discographical essays, each covering a period in blues history and recommending around 50 recordings as either "essential" or "basic" to a blues library. The essays are consistently well written and extremely informative. More that simply guiding the reader to good blues recordings, they also provide a remarkably thorough overview of the history and development of specific artists and styles. Each citation includes a catalog number and complete track list. A number of the recordings cited are UK-only releases, which limits somewhat the guide's usefulness to American readers. Still, this guide should find a place in most academic music collections. (Index not seen.) Where the Blackwell guide offers impressive depth, the All Music guide offers impressive breadth. Those familiar with the "All Music Guide" series know exactly what to expect here: a huge number of brief reviews and artist biographies covering almost every blues artist one can think of, as well as several useful appendixes on instrumental and regional styles and numerous charts illustrating webs of influence among artists and the connections among blues subgenres. As is also generally the case with All Music guides, the rating system is so ambiguous as to be almost meaningless, and the writing is uneven in quality. Not all research collections will need it, but this guide can be confidently recommended as a resource for the nonspecialist reader.Rick Anderson, Penacook, N.H.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631196396
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/30/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

John Cowley has worked in publishing and the Civil Service, and also undertakes field work in the United States and Trinidad. He is author of Carnival, Canboulay and Calpso (1996), and a contributor to Black Music in Britain (1990), Songs about Work and Nothing but the Blues (1993). His articles have been published in journals such as Blues & Rhythm, the Journal of Folklore Research, Musical Traditions and Popular Music.

Paul Oliver writes and lectures on Vernacular Architecture and conducts field work in the United States and Africa. His books on African American music include Blues Fell This Morning (1960,1990), Conversation with the Blues (1964), The Story of the Blues (1969), Savannah Syncopators (1970), Songsters and Saints (1984) and Blues Off the Record (1984). He also edited Black Music in Britain (1990).

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Recorded Blues: Considerations and Contexts 7
2 Songsters and Proto-Blues 35
3 Early Deep South and Mississippi River Basin Blues 65
4 The East Coast and Texas 97
5 "Classic" Blues and Women Singers 125
6 Piano Blues and Boogie Woogie 155
7 The 1930s and Library of Congress 185
8 Rhythm and Blues 211
9 Southern Crossovers 247
10 Post-War Chicago and the North 281
11 Down-Home Post-War Blues 311
12 Post-War Texas and the West Coast 343
13 New Orleans, Louisiana, and Zydeco 371
14 Modern Trends 401
List of Discs, Cassettes, and Long-Playing Records by Label 425
Recommended Reading 433
Index 439
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