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The Making of the Blues

Week 2: The Making of the Blues

What are the Blues?

What were the origins of the Blues?

What do the blues reveal about social and cultural change in US society in the early C20?

What was the significance of the ‘Blues Queens’, and what does this tell us about Gender in the blues?

What were the differences between Rural/Delta and Urban Blues?

 

Core Reading

Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff, '” Ragged but right." Black traveling shows, “Coon Songs”, And the Dark Pathway to Blues and Jazz (Jackson, Mississippi, 2007), pp.1-8. [Ebook}

Evans, David. "Musical Innovation in the Blues of Blind Lemon Jefferson." Black Music Research Journal 20, no. 1 (2000): 83-116.

Monod, David. "“Ev'rybody's Crazy'Bout the Doggone Blues”: Creating the Country Blues in the Early Twentieth Century." Journal of Popular Music Studies 19, no. 2 (2007): 179-214.

Elijah Wald, 'What is Blues?', Escaping the Delta, pp.3-13 **


Further Reading

Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff, '”Coon Songs”, Big Shows and Black Stars of the Ragtime Era', in Ragged but right." Black traveling shows, “Coon” Songs, And the Dark Pathway to Blues and Jazz (Jackson, Mississippi, 2007), pp.11-80

Abbott, Lynn, and Doug Seroff. Out of sight: The rise of African American popular music, 1889-1895 (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2003

Abbott, Lynn, and Doug Seroff. "" They cert'ly sound good to me": sheet music, Southern vaudeville, and the commercial ascendancy of the blues." American Music (1996): 402-454.

Abbott, Lynn. "" Play that barber shop chord": a case for the African-American origin of barbershop harmony." American Music (1992): 289-325.

Abbott, Lynn, and Doug Seroff. "Ragged but right." Black traveling shows, ‘Coon’ Songs, And the Dark Pathway to Blues and Jazz. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2007

Bay, Mia. “Remembering Racism: Rereading the Black Image in the White Mind.” Reviews in American History 27.4 (1999): 646–56.

Brooks, Tim, and Richard Keith Spottswood. Lost sounds: Blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919. (University of Illinois Press, 2004)

Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind (1971)

Reebee Garofalo and Steve Waksmen, Chapter 2. ‘Blues, Jazz, and Country: The Segregation of Popular Music’, Rockin’ Out (6th edn., Pearson, 2013)

Muir, Peter C. Long Lost Blues: Popular Blues in America, 1850-1920 (University of Illinois Press, 2010)

Titon, Jeff Todd. Early Downhome blues: A musical and cultural analysis. (UNC Press Books, 2014)

Elijah Wald, Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues (Amistad/Harper Collins, 2004)

Elijah Wald, The Blues: A Very Short introduction (OUP, 2010)