BN.com Gift Guide

Willie Dixon: Preacher of the Blues

Overview

One of the greats of blues music, Willie Dixon was a recording artist whose abilities extended beyond that of bass player. A singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer, Dixon's work influenced countless artists across the music spectrum. In Willie Dixon: Preacher of the Blues, Mitsutoshi Inaba examines Dixon's career, from his earliest recordings with the Five Breezes through his major work with Chess Records and Cobra Records. Focusing on Dixon's work on the Chicago blues from the 1940s to the early 1970s, this ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$35.00
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $29.69   
  • New (6) from $29.69   
  • Used (1) from $34.99   
Willie Dixon: Preacher of the Blues

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$19.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$34.99 List Price

Overview

One of the greats of blues music, Willie Dixon was a recording artist whose abilities extended beyond that of bass player. A singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer, Dixon's work influenced countless artists across the music spectrum. In Willie Dixon: Preacher of the Blues, Mitsutoshi Inaba examines Dixon's career, from his earliest recordings with the Five Breezes through his major work with Chess Records and Cobra Records. Focusing on Dixon's work on the Chicago blues from the 1940s to the early 1970s, this book details the development of Dixon's songwriting techniques from his early professional career to his mature period and compares the compositions he provided for different artists. This volume also explores Dixon's philosophy of songwriting and its social, historical, and cultural background. This is the first study to discuss his compositions in an African American cultural context, drawing upon interviews with his family and former band members. This volume also includes a detailed list of Dixon's session work, in which his compositions are chronologically organized.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Willie Dixon's work cannot be confined to his work as a composer, arranger, producer, and bass player. Over the course of his life and through his experience, he grew as a blues spokesperson into the embodiment of the blues preacher." This exhaustive biography and analysis of Dixon's music, the most comprehensive study of Dixon's life and work available, features extensive references, many details drawn from interviews, an analysis of Dixon's composition and studio methods, and a complete discography. Inaba (who developed this book from his doctoral dissertation) tells the story of Dixon's life, from his 1915 birth in Vicksburg, Mississippi, through his childhood in an impoverished area blemished further by racism, to his adulthood in Chicago as a boxer and musician. The details of Dixon's musical works and technique are juxtaposed with the details of Dixon's life. From the Big Three Trio to Dixon's highly productive years with Chess Records to finally, his own Blues Factory studio, Inaba traces and comments on the significance of Dixon's lasting imprint on music. Recommended for musicologists and fans of the blues, as well as those with an interest in history.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist
A Booklist Top 10 Art Book!

At long last, a thorough, satisfying exploration of Willie Dixon, thanks to Japanese-born musicologist Inaba. Dixon, Inaba says, was drove the successful growth of the post–WWII blues style born in the Mississippi Delta and developed at Chicago’s Chess Records. More than merely plugging a guitar into an amplifier, Dixon shepherded this evolution by writing lyrics that welded traditional wisdom and cultural references from the rural south to urban images and experiences, and then setting them to simple, driving music. Inaba locates Dixon within African American culture, describing the environment in which he was born, delving into the complexity of his religious beliefs, and providing insight into black cultural patterns. This enables Inaba to identify nuances in Dixon’s writing that elevate his songs from entertainment to poetry. Inaba also shows how Dixon ensured the successes of Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and other popular blues musicians by writing songs specifically tailored for each singer’s personality and musical strengths. Extensively researched, Inaba’s volume fully exposes Dixon as a multifaceted blues innovator and essential presence in American music.

Starred Review Booklist
A Booklist Top 10 Art Book!

At long last, a thorough, satisfying exploration of Willie Dixon, thanks to Japanese-born musicologist Inaba. Dixon, Inaba says, was drove the successful growth of the post–WWII blues style born in the Mississippi Delta and developed at Chicago’s Chess Records. More than merely plugging a guitar into an amplifier, Dixon shepherded this evolution by writing lyrics that welded traditional wisdom and cultural references from the rural south to urban images and experiences, and then setting them to simple, driving music. Inaba locates Dixon within African American culture, describing the environment in which he was born, delving into the complexity of his religious beliefs, and providing insight into black cultural patterns. This enables Inaba to identify nuances in Dixon’s writing that elevate his songs from entertainment to poetry. Inaba also shows how Dixon ensured the successes of Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and other popular blues musicians by writing songs specifically tailored for each singer’s personality and musical strengths. Extensively researched, Inaba’s volume fully exposes Dixon as a multifaceted blues innovator and essential presence in American music.

Block Magazine
Willie Dixon is one of the most important songwriters and composers of postwar Chicago Blues. Each chapter contains impressive footnotes... Preacher of the Blues forms a welcome addition.
Journal of American Folklore
In this impressive volume, Mitsutoshi Inaba adds to our understanding of Dixon’s role with his analysis of Dixon’s recognition early in life that the blues is a form of secular religion with the power to explain, advise, comfort, and heal those who wish to find salvation in this world rather than a presumed next. ... In addition to his analyses of both the words and music of Willie Dixon’s best songs, Inaba provides a thorough listing and description of Dixon’s recordings with all the details concerning dates, production, and other artists. The book also contains many photographs of Dixon, other Chicago blues figures, and the world he helped to create. But Inaba’s most significant contribution to blues scholarship is his many interviews with Dixon’s family members and others who knew him. Frequent and lengthy excerpts from the comments of these witnesses to Dixon’s career both confirm Professor Inaba’s thesis regarding Dixon’s role as preacher and moral philosopher and give us a view of his life from ground level. His book belongs in the library of everyone who loves the blues.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442245631
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Series: African American Cultural Theory and Heritage Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 445
  • Sales rank: 989,427
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mitsutoshi Inaba has a PhD in musicology and ethnomusicology from the University of Oregon. He has taught courses on blues history, African American music history, and rock history.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)