Springer, Robert, ed: Nobody Knows Where The Blues Come From
Springer, Robert, ed.: Nobody Knows Where The Blues Come From: Blues And History
Published: 2006 University Press of Mississippi, 303 pages
Nobody Knows Where The Blues Come From is a collection of eight papers first presented at a conference on "Lyrics in African American Popular Music" held at the University of Metz in 2002. The authors represented include David Evans on blues and gospel lyrics about the 1927 Mississippi flood, Luigi Monge on lyrics commemorating the Natchez Rhythm Club fire, Paul Oliver on "the Bully Of The Town", and Guido Van Rijn on social comment in blues recorded during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge.
Pros: The first five essays, each on the treatment of an historical theme in blues lyrics, fit together uncommonly well for such a collection. All the essays are well written with a minimum of academic jargon, and are thus accessible to the non-academic reader.
Cons: John Cowley's essay on West Indian songs recorded in the United States before 1950 may not be of interest to readers interested primarily in the blues.