The blues : the authentic narrative of my music and culture /

Publication Type:



Chicago Review Press,, Chicago, Illinois, United States, p.xvi, 400 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : (2021)



Call Number:



(OCoLC)fst00799273, (OCoLC)fst00799648, (OCoLC)fst00799698, (OCoLC)fst00835056, (OCoLC)fst00835063, (OCoLC)fst00835072, (OCoLC)fst00835073, (OCoLC)fst01030837, (OCoLC)fst01071422, (OCoLC)fst01097281, African American musicians., African Americans, Blues (Music), Blues musicians, Blues musicians., Blues-rock music, Blues-rock music., fast, History and criticism., Influence., Louisiana, Music, Music., Musicians, Musicians., Popular music, Popular music., Rhythm and blues music, Rhythm and blues music., Social conditions., Southern States, Southern States.


"Chis Thomas King came of age immersed in the music and culture of the blues on the Louisiana Bayou. His late father, Tabby Thomas, was a working blues musician and juke joint owner-operator. King's enlightening narrative reveals tragedy and heroism as he struggles to preserve the authentic historical memory of his music and culture. All prior histories on the blues have alleged it originated on plantations in the Mississippi Delta. The Blues is the authentic counternarrative, revealing how and why this music has been misappropriated and its history whitewashed--and how and why Black people have been removed as gatekeepers and participants on stage and off and in the boardrooms. King not only diagnoses the problem but also provides a remedy: a reformation based on facts, not White myths. This book is the first to argue the blues began as a cosmopolitan art form, not a rural one. In New Orleans, as early as 1900, the sound of the blues was ubiquitous. The Mississippi Delta, meanwhile, was an unpopulated sportsman's paradise--the frontier was still in the process of being cleared and drained for cultivation. Protestant states such as Mississippi and Alabama could not have incubated the blues. New Orleans was the only place in the Deep South in the early twentieth century where the sacred and profane could party together without fear of persecution. Expecting these findings to be controversial in some circles, King has buttressed his conclusions with primary sources and years of extensive research, including a sojourn to West Africa and interviews with surviving folklorists and blues researchers from the 1960s folk-rediscovery epoch. They say the blues is blasphemous, the devil's music--King says they're unenlightened. Blues music is about personal freedom." --Includes bibliographical references (pages 369-382) and index.My culture -- The authentic narrative -- My music.