New Blues Books added

Donnerstag, 22. November 2018

Mel Watkins - ON THE REAL SIDE - A History of African American Comedy

From slavery to Chris Rock—the definitive companion to black humor
This comprehensive history of black humor sets it in the context of American popular culture. Blackface minstrelsy, Stepin Fetchit, and the Amos ’n’ Andy show presented a distorted picture of African Americans; this book contrasts this image with the authentic underground humor of African Americans found in folktales, race records, and all-black shows and films. After generations of stereotypes, the underground humor finally emerged before the American public with Richard Pryor in the 1970s. But Pryor was not the first popular comic to present authentically black humor. Watkins offers surprising reassessments of such seminal figures as Fetchit, Bert Williams, Moms Mabley, and Redd Foxx, looking at how they paved the way for contemporary comics such as Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Cosby.

Bruce Iglauer and Patrick A. Roberts - BITTEN BY THE BLUES - The Alligator Records Story

Matt Groening - Best Music Writing 2003 - The Year`s Finest Writing on Rock, Pop, Jazz, Country and More

Mittwoch, 14. November 2018

Christine Wilson - All Shook Up - Mississippi Roots of American Popular Music
An exhibit of The Mississippi State Historical Museum, February 18 - August 31, 1990.
This book was the companion to a 1990 exhibit of the same name, held at the State Historical Museum in Jackson, Miss. It looks at the Mississippi roots of blues, country, gospel, urban blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and jazz. All Shook Up reproduces many record covers, musical artifacts and black and white photographs of musicians.
In the forward, curator Christine Wilson writes: "The earliest and finest blues musicians came out of Mississippi. Eric Clapton summed that up when he called Muddy Waters 'my father.' And most people know that Elvis, called by some the greatest single influence on popular culture in the twentieth century, was born and bred in Mississippi.
"What is not generally recognized is the phenomenal influence of Mississippi artists in other genres of popular music . . .
""Music that emerged from Mississippi has shaped the development of popular music of the country and the world. Major innovations created new music in every form--gospel, blues, country, rock and roll, rhythm and blue, and jazz. Mississippi's music was the product of the mixing of two traditions--black and white--with scales, rhythms, idioms, techniques, tonalities, and repertoires intermingling for over a century to produce new music that was so rich and compelling it inspired strong new directions for the development of American popular music." "
(Adapted from the book jacket)

Dienstag, 13. November 2018

Elliott J. Gorn - LET THE PEOPLE SEE - The Story of Emmett Till

Everyone knows the story of the murder of young Emmett Till. In August 1955, a fourteen-year-old Chicago boy was murdered in Mississippi for having—supposedly—flirted with a white woman named Carolyn Bryant, who was working behind the counter of a store. Emmett was taken from the home of a relative later that night by white men; three days later, his naked body was recovered in the Tallahatchie River, weighed down by a cotton-gin fan. Till's killers were acquitted, but details of what had happened to him became public; the story gripped the country and sparked outrage. Black journalists drove down to Mississippi and risked their lives interviewing townsfolk, encouraging frightened witnesses, spiriting those in danger out of the region, and above all keeping the news cycle turning. 

It continues to turn. The murder has been the subject of books and documentaries, rising and falling in number with anniversaries and tie-ins, and shows no sign of letting up. Some have argued that his lynching did more to launch the Civil Rights movement than Rosa Parks or even Brown v. Board of Education. If that argument holds, it is in large part because of the photographs of Emmett Till—the before-photo of a young man jaunty with prospects, and the after-photos of the grotesquely disfigured face of a young man beaten to death and shot. The photographs, first reprinted in African-American journals and newspapers, didn't make their way to their white equivalents until much later, but they focused attention on the horrible, visceral truth of racism. It became impossible to turn away from them. 

The Till murder continues to haunt the American conscience. Fifty years later, in 2005, the FBI reopened the case. New papers and testimony have come to light, and several participants, including Till's mother, Mamie Till Mobley, have published autobiographies. Using this new evidence and a broadened historical context, Elliott J. Gorn delves into facets of the case never before studied and considers how and why the story of Emmett Till still resonates, and likely always will. Even as it marked a turning point, Gorn shows, hauntingly, it reveals how old patterns of thought and behavior linger in new faces, and how deeply embedded racism in America remains. Gorn does full justice to both Emmett and the Till Case—the boy and the symbol—and shows how and why their intersection illuminates a number of crossroads: of north and south, black and white, city and country, industrialization and agriculture, rich and poor, childhood and adulthood. This is the best book ever written on Emmett Till.

Bern Keating - The Mighty Mississippi

The Mississippi, they named it well. The river was big, too big to comprehend all at once. It changes character several times as if flows through the heart of America. With author Bern Keating and National Geographic photographer James L. Stansfield you will meet the river, and its inhabitants, in the colorful pages of The Mighty Mississippi.