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The Devil's Music: History of the Blues [Paperback]

Giles Oakley


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Paperback, May 5 1983 --  
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The Devil's Music: A History Of The Blues The Devil's Music: A History Of The Blues
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Book Description

May 5 1983 Ariel Books
Superbly researched and vividly written, The Devil's Music is one of the only books to trace the rise and development of the blues both in relation to other forms of black music and in the context of American social history as experienced by African Americans. From its roots in the turn-of-the-century honky-tonks of New Orleans and the barrelhouses and plantations of the Mississippi Delta to modern legends such as John Lee Hooker and B. B. King, the blues comes alive here through accounts by the blues musicians themselves and those who knew them. Throughout this wide-ranging and fascinating book, Giles Oakley describes the texture of the life that made the blues possible, and the changing attitudes toward the music. The Devil's Music is a wholehearted and loving examination of one of America's most powerful traditions.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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About the Author

In 1976, Giles Oakley helped produce the acclaimed five-part BBC documentary The Devil's Music, which resulted in this book. He has since coproduced numerous prime-time programs and series for BBC-TV and has contributed to many books and journals. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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When in 1863 President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was read out loud in Boston's Tremont Temple, the audience sang: Sound the loud timbrel. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly eductional; great for the early blues June 27 2007
By B. Welshans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Very comprehensive; from Slavery era through the 60s, provides a long list of the men and women who created the blues and the following generations that assimilated and popularized them. Discusses the social, economic and political forces that influenced them as well. Good educational read. Pretty much ends at the Muddy Waters/BB King heyday of the 60s. If you're looking more for the modern blues (the Alberts, Buddy Guy, Clapton, Hendrix, SRV even) then this one is not for you. However, if you want to know about the guys (and gals) from whom the modern-era bluesmen learned their chops, this is your book.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues You Can Use Oct. 23 2008
By Chris Luallen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For anyone interested in a learning more about the blues, including it's history, different styles and most important musicians, this book is an excellent choice. It traces the music from it's roots in work songs, gospel and tent shows through the country blues of the South and the electric blues of Chicago on to the modern era.

The writer clearly has great admiration for this music, not only for it's creative spirit but as a reflection of the black experience in America and the struggle of so many folks to survive bigotry and economic injustice.

Top notch blues perfomers like Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters are covered as well as lesser known but still influential talents such as Gus Cannon and Henry Thomas. Written in 1976, Oakley's comments on the contemporary blues scene can sometimes sound dated. But an excellent afterword, written in the late 90's, bring it somewhat more up to date. If you want to know more about the blues then this book is a great place to start.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book Jan. 13 2014
By Joseph Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very informative, well-written piece. If the blues are your forte this is the book for you. Enjoy it and learn.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ IT; YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID Dec 7 2013
By Soulman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was another good reference for anyone who is a student of the blues and it's history. It was very informative and easy to read. The author's writing style is pleasant and reflects an honest and objective account of the events and people who make up this slice of history.

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