Blues from the Delta

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Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1978 - African American musicians - 226 pages
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The Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of the blues. Stretching from Vicksburg, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee, the Delta was transformed in the nineteenth century from an undeveloped "island" of hardwood forest and bayous to one of the richest cotton producing areas of the Deep South. Just as the Black laborers transformed the land, so did they cultivate the blues out of the fertile soil of work chants and gospels. Thus began a musical tradition which would produce the likes of Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, and later Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and B.B. King. This book is a documentary study, with text and photos, of the survival of this heritage. While many of the greats have died or left the area, the music lives on there. Through numerous interviews, transcribed sessions in local "jook joints," and photographs, author William Ferris reveals the philosophy, lifestyles, and reminiscences of contemporary Delta musicians as they tell how they learned and how they continue to play and live the blues. -- from Book Jacket.

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Entering the Delta
The Blues Family
The Blues Perspective

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Common terms and phrases

ABC Records ain't gonner Ain't that loving Alan Lomax Arhoolie Arthur Big Boy Arthur Lee audience B. B. King Baby Bessie Smith Big Bill Broonzy Big Joe Big Joe Williams blues singers blues verses bluesmen Bluesway Bo Diddley Boogie Woogie Broonzy Brownie McGhee Bukka White Butterbeans & Susie Caledonia can't Champion Jack Dupree Charley Patton Charley Pride Checker Chess Chicago Blues church Clarksdale come Country Blues Country Music dance David Evans Delmark Delta Blues didn't disc jockeys don't Dust My Broom Eddie Collins Eddie Taylor Elmore James Flyright Folk folk music Folklore Folkways Furry Lewis Going Down Slow gonner git gonner tell Grand Ole Opry guitar harmonica Hound Dog Taylor Howlin I'll I'm gonner It's J. B. Lenoir James Sonny James Thomas Jasper Love Jazz Jazz's Jimmie Davis Jimmy Reed John Lee Hooker Juicy Fruit Junior Parker Kent KST Kingsnake Lake Mary Lee Kizart Leland Leroy Carr Little Brother Montgomery Little Milton Little Walter Lonnie Johnson Lord Louis Jordan Ma Rainey Magic Sam Maudie Memphis Minnie Mercy Dee Walton Miss Mississippi Blues Mississippi Delta Mississippi Fred McDowell Mississippi John Hurt Mississippi Sheiks Mississippi State Penitentiary Momma morning Mose Allison Muddy Waters musicians Negro night long Otis Spann Parchman Penitentiary Paul Oliver performers Pine Top Pine Top Boogie Play the blues Poppa Jazz Prison Songs RCA Victor Real Folk Blues recorded in Chicago rhythm and blues Robert Johnson Robert Nighthawk Robert Wilkins rock Roosevelt Sykes Sacred Harp Scott Dunbar Shotgun House sing the blues singers Skip James Son House song Sonny Boy Sonny Boy Williamson soul music Stax Storyville style talk That's told Tommy Tommy Johnson Tommy McClennan Top Boogie Woogie tradition tune Tutwiler W. C. Handy waddn't Walter Davis William Broonzy Williams woman won't Yazoo Yeah York

About the author (1978)

Ferris is the former director of the Center for the study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

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