Nobody Knows Where the Blues Come From ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Robert Springer

Nobody Knows Where the Blues Come From

University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: June 2007
ISBN: 9781604737318
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
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Musicians and music scholars rightly focus on the sounds of the blues and the colorful life stories of blues performers. Equally important and, until now, inadequately studied are the lyrics. The international contributors to Nobody Knows Where the Blues Come From explore this aspect of the blues and establish the significance of African American popular song as a neglected form of oral history.

"High Water Everywhere: Blues and Gospel Commentary on the 1927 Mississippi River Flood," by David Evans, is the definitive study of songs about one of the greatest natural disasters in the history of the United States. In "Death by Fire: African American Popular Music on the Natchez Rhythm Club Fire," Luigi Monge analyzes a continuum of songs about exclusively African American tragedy. "Lookin' for the Bully: An Enquiry into a Song and Its Story," by Paul Oliver traces the origins and the many avatars of the Bully song. In "That Dry Creek Eaton Clan: A North Mississippi Murder Ballad of the 1930s," Tom Freeland and Chris Smith study a ballad recorded in 1939 by a black convict at Parchman prison farm. "Coolidge's Blues: African American Blues from the Roaring Twenties" is Guido van Rijn's survey of blues of that decade. Robert Springer's "On the Electronic Trail of Blues Formulas" presents a number of conclusions about the spread of patterns in blues narratives. In "West Indies Blues: An Historical Overview 1920s-1950s," John Cowley turns his attention to West Indian songs produced on the American mainland. Finally, in "Ethel Waters: 'Long, Lean, Lanky Mama,'" Randall Cherry reappraises the early career of this blues and vaudeville singer.

Robert Springer is a professor of English at the University of Metz in Longeville les Metz, France. Among other works, he is the author of Authentic Blues: Its History and Its Themes and the editor of The Lyrics in African American Popular Music.

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Nobody Knows Where The Blues Comes From – Robert Springer

Nobody Knows … is a series of investigations into the history and, more importantly, lyrics of the genre. I say more importantly because in the expanded picture of writing of this type particular attention has not been paid to the words of the songs, as far as the author(s) know. This book focusses on large scale incidents such as floods and fires, and national affairs such as Prohibition and Unemployment, to discover the blues in a textbook style. The essayists all use fairly ‘on-the-tin’ headings that make obvious the source of their investigation, but the chapter written by the editor, Springer himself, is rather cryptic. On the Electronic Trail of Blues Formulas could be mystifying to even those well-endowed in knowledge of blues. These ‘formulas’ are in fact referring to stanzas of lyrics which appear regularly in many songs; standards, if you will. This is a very well researched and eye-opening book.
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