Blue Rhythms: Six Lives in Rhythm and Blues

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University of Illinois Press, 1996 - Music - 301 pages
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The high times and hard times of six of the greatest living rhythm and blues artists unfold in the pages of Blue Rhythms. In this vivid slice of oral history. Chip Deffaa profiles Ruth Brown, the most popular female black singer of the early 1950s; LaVern Baker, who succeeded Brown; Little Jimmy Scott, who Madonna calls the only singer who ever really made her cry; Charles Brown, master of the "club blues" style he popularized; Floyd Dixon, a more rambunctious fellow traveler; and Jimmy Witherspoon, whose blend of earthiness and urbanity helped earn him as big an r&b hit as was ever recorded. Deffaa deals not only with the performers' music but also with their struggles against racism and financial exploitation. The work is illustrated with more than forty photographs.
 

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Blue rhythms: six lives in rhythm and blues

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A noted jazz critic for the New York Post, Deffaa turns his attention to the world of rhythm and blues in his latest work. He does an admirable job of providing social and historical context for the ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Nobody knows you
15
Like a motherless child
73
Im driftin and driftin
102
Hard living alone
138
Where ya been so long?
174
How long blues?
217
Suggestions
243
Notes
261
Bibliography
269
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