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Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues


Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues Cover

ISBN13: 9780060524272
ISBN10: 0060524278
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The life of blues legend Robert Johnson becomes the centerpiece for this innovative look at what many consider to be America's deepest and most influential music genre. Pivotal are the questions surrounding why Johnson was ignored by the core black audience of his time yet now celebrated as the greatest figure in blues history.

Trying to separate myth from reality, biographer Elijah Wald studies the blues from the inside — not only examining recordings but also the recollections of the musicians themselves, the African-American press, as well as examining original research. What emerges is a new appreciation for the blues and the movement of its artists from the shadows of the 1930s Mississippi Delta to the mainstream venues frequented by today's loyal blues fans.

About the Author

Elijah Wald es escritor y músico con veinte años de experiencia reportando sobre los orígenes musicales y sobre la música misma en diferentes regiones del mundo. Fue escritor y asesor para el proyecto de múltiples medios del Instituto Smithsonian llamado The Mississippi: River and Song (El Río Mississippi: el río y su música), y también recibió un premio por la biografía Josh White: Society Blues (Josh White, Blues de la Sociedad). Una sobrevista de su obra se puede conseguir en

Elijah Wald is a writer and musician with twenty years experience covering roots and world music. He was writer and consultant on the Smithsonian multimedia project The Mississippi: River of Song, and is the author of the award-winning biography Josh White: Society Blues.

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Harpdog Brim, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by Harpdog Brim)
Back in the day, Robert Johnson was a talented blues guitarist with limited regional appeal. After his early death, he seemed destined to be forgotten, until the blues resurgence of the 1960s gave him posthumous fame out of all proportion to his lifetime success.

Without dismissing Johnson's talents and with a great deal of respect for the musician, Elijah Wald debunks the Johnson legend by trying to give us a more accurate picture of the popular music and blues scenes in the 1930s. He shows that musicians and audiences were more sophisticated than one would have thought after the often patronizing rediscovery of the blues - which rescued the music from obscurity just as it mythologized its roots.

This is a fine book by a blues lover who is strong enough to describe a less romantic and rustic past for this marvellous genre.
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Product Details

Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues
Wald, Elijah
by Elijah Wald
Artists, Architects, Photographers
Blues (music)
Blues musicians
Genres & Styles - Blues
Johnson, Robert
Blues musicians -- Mississippi.
Biography-Artists Architects and Photographers
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 x 0.92 in 13.6 oz

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Related Subjects

» Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
» Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Blues
» Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Blues and Rhythm and Blues
» Biography » Artists, Architects, and Photographers
» Business » Accounting and Finance

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