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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Books and Articles => Topic started by: TenBrook on September 03, 2019, 01:06:05 PM

Title: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: TenBrook on September 03, 2019, 01:06:05 PM
Hi all,
I know that this book has been discussed a bit on the forum in the past but I wasn't aware that it was finally published in February of this year. I did a search to see if anyone had posted here since it was released but I didn't find anything. Unfortunately it looks a bit pricey. Has anyone read or seen a copy? I'm curious to hear how it is.

https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781623496388/the-blues-come-to-texas/ (https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781623496388/the-blues-come-to-texas/)

https://www.amazon.com/Dickson-sponsored-Center-History-University/dp/1623496381 (https://www.amazon.com/Dickson-sponsored-Center-History-University/dp/1623496381)

Lew
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: banjochris on September 03, 2019, 03:07:10 PM
It's fascinating but very, very dense. I bought it and have been reading it in little bits, skipping around. It is awfully pricey but I figured it was probably required reading.
Chris
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: Harry on September 03, 2019, 05:55:19 PM
I saw it a few weeks ago but thought it was already posted on weenie. 103 euro where I live.
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: Stuart on September 03, 2019, 06:20:32 PM
Thanks for the heads up, Lew. I checked WorldCat (OCLC) and more than a few university libraries in the U.S. (60) have it in their holdings, so you might be able to get it through Inter-Library Loan. It wouldn't hurt to ask.

I submitted a purchase request to the Univ of Washington library. I'm hoping the magic works.

https://www.worldcat.org/
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: TenBrook on September 04, 2019, 07:41:22 AM
Thanks all. Turns out they have it at my local library so I put a hold in. Looking forward to checking it out.
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: jharris on September 04, 2019, 01:32:50 PM
There is some fascinating research in this book but as Chris said, very dense.

I interviewed Alan Govenar regrading the book and aired it on my show in two parts:


-https://sundayblues.org/?p=17942 (https://sundayblues.org/?p=17942)

-https://sundayblues.org/?p=17968 (https://sundayblues.org/?p=17968)

Also, attached is a review of the book and an interview with Kip Lornell about the book from Blues & Rhythm 340. I scanned this for Alan as he had not see these yet:

-https://sundayblues.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/lornell.pdf (https://sundayblues.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/lornell.pdf)

-https://sundayblues.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/bluescomestotexas.pdf (https://sundayblues.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/bluescomestotexas.pdf)
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: TenBrook on September 05, 2019, 08:19:24 AM
Jeff,
Thanks for the links, I will definitely check all of that out.

I picked up the book from my local library today and as Chris noted it is very dense and feels more like a research book than something you would want to read cover to cover. But it is a beautiful looking book and I do look forward to reading as much as I can before I have to return it to the library. So far I'm enjoying reading the introductory notes on the history of Paul and Mack's correspondence on their planned collaboration.

Lew
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: btasoundsradio on September 27, 2019, 06:26:15 AM
the sections about Henry Thomas, LV Thomas, Blind Lemon and Blind Willie Johnson are what I have read so far and they are revelatory. Had anyone else heard of Blind Madkin Butler as an influence on Lemon and Johnson before?
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: jostber on October 01, 2019, 12:55:02 AM
the sections about Henry Thomas, LV Thomas, Blind Lemon and Blind Willie Johnson are what I have read so far and they are revelatory. Had anyone else heard of Blind Madkin Butler as an influence on Lemon and Johnson before?

There are more details on the connection between Madkin Butler and Blind Willie Johnson in this article from Michael Cormoran:

http://www.jukeboxplaying.com/blind-willie-johnson-revelations-in-the-dark/


Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: TenBrook on October 17, 2019, 08:37:49 AM
Here's a recent article/short radio piece on the book from the Texas Standard:
https://www.tpr.org/post/how-music-scholar-finally-completed-blues-come-texas (https://www.tpr.org/post/how-music-scholar-finally-completed-blues-come-texas)
Title: Re: 'The Blues Come to Texas: Paul Oliver and Mack McCormick's Unfinished Book'
Post by: eric on October 17, 2019, 09:10:52 AM
Our local library actually bought this book after I requested it through inter-library loan, bless them.  Anyway, as noted above, it's  a scholarly exercise and dense.  I started out with the intention of reading it straight through, but it's tough going and my patience for academic analysis of vernacular music is limited.

However...a tremendous amount of effort has gone into this by the authors and compilers, and thanks to that, Mack McCormick's research is available to us.  And boy, was it a lot of research.  The amount of field work Mr. McCormick did is pretty astounding, and done at a time when many of the early musicians and their contemporaries were still around.  The really interesting part of this book for me is the very detailed context he provides for the environment in which this music developed, and the wonderful stories from the musicians themselves and their friends.
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