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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Books and Articles => Topic started by: jphauser on December 20, 2013, 06:10:14 PM

Title: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: jphauser on December 20, 2013, 06:10:14 PM

100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own by Edward Komara and Greg Johnson will be published this January.  Sounds like  a fun read.  Could start a few arguments, too.

http://www.amazon.com/Books-Every-Blues-Should-Music/dp/0810889218/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387590612&sr=1-10&keywords=blues+music (http://www.amazon.com/Books-Every-Blues-Should-Music/dp/0810889218/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387590612&sr=1-10&keywords=blues+music)
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 26, 2014, 02:59:16 AM
I gather that this is already available Stateside and due for publication in UK next month. Anybody purchased it and would care to comment?

This pensioner has got to the stage of counting the pennies. If it ain't essential will only get purchased when/if remaindered....:(
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: Johnm on February 26, 2014, 07:04:28 AM
Why own, as opposed to read?
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 26, 2014, 07:33:47 AM
Good point. It's been drawn to my attention the Amazon US allows one to look at the titles of those under discussion. I seem to have a significant number of them so probably won't need the tome.

http://www.amazon.com/Books-Every-Blues-Should-Music/dp/0810889218?tag=533643275-20 (http://www.amazon.com/Books-Every-Blues-Should-Music/dp/0810889218?tag=533643275-20)

Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: jphauser on February 26, 2014, 10:57:23 AM
Good point. It's been drawn to my attention the Amazon US allows one to look at the titles of those under discussion.

http://www.amazon.com/Books-Every-Blues-Should-Music/dp/0810889218?tag=533643275-20 (http://www.amazon.com/Books-Every-Blues-Should-Music/dp/0810889218?tag=533643275-20)

I just checked the list of titles and it includes some surprising picks (see below) and titles I've never heard of (plus plenty of titles you'd expect).

Long Steel Rail by Norm Cohen  (more about folksongs than blues)
Blues and Evil by Jon Michael Spencer (I've never come across this title)
King of the Queen City by Jon Hartley (about the King Records label) (again, never heard of it.  When I think of the King label, I think of R&B singers like Little Willie John and Wynonie Harris.)

Two books that I'm happy to see on the list are James Cone's The Blues and the Spirituals and Angela Davis's Blues Legacies and Black Feminism.

Jim Hauser

Post has been modified to clarify intended meaning.
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 28, 2014, 01:34:41 AM
Long Steel Rail by Norm Cohen
Jim, I purchased this as a hardback when published in 1981 (?42.50). An astonishing body of work. I'm sure others here may concur.

I would gladly make available my rather out of date book list (Blues, Jazz, Country, Folklore, Black Studies & related). That is if only I could feel safe in the knowledge that it wouldn't end up on the internet as blogs unaccredited, or worse, being passed off as that of the blogger.  Bitter me? Perish the thought.
 ;D
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: dj on February 28, 2014, 05:06:38 AM
Bunker Hill kindly sent me a copy of his book list 8 years ago.  It made me realize how inadequate my library was, and ever since I've been trying to build it up before I become a "pensioner... counting the pennies".  I'll never have a library anywhere near as large and interesting as his, but it's at least somewhat adequate now, and a never ending source of enjoyment.

So a very public thanks for your generosity, Alan.
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 28, 2014, 05:48:12 AM
So a very public thanks for your generosity, Alan.
Alway pleased to encourage potential bibliophiles.

8 years ago? How times flies. About three years ago I added a small box of music book "ancients" which I discovered in the attic in a box labelled "odds & sods". Most misleading. Now shelved as is only right.
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: banjochris on February 28, 2014, 08:43:12 AM
Long Steel Rail by Norm Cohen
Jim, I purchased this as a hardback when published in 1981 (?42.50). An astonishing body of work. I'm sure others here may concur.
Absolutely. An excellent book, especially if you have any interest in old-time country as well. And available pretty reasonably on Amazon.
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: jphauser on February 28, 2014, 07:38:56 PM
Long Steel Rail by Norm Cohen
Jim, I purchased this as a hardback when published in 1981 (?42.50). An astonishing body of work. I'm sure others here may concur.

Sorry Alan, I wasn't trying to say Long Steel Rail wasn't worthy of being on the list; I was just surprised to see it on the list because I think of it as being a folksong book rather than a blues book.  I have to admit that I've only really read the part dealing with "John Henry."  Reading the entire book is on my "To Do" list though.   Based on some of the other titles in the list of 100, including Lawrence Levine's Black Culture and Black Consciousness (one of my all-time favorites), it's clear that the authors were defining "blues book" broadly. 

Regarding the decision of whether to buy versus read a book, I like owning books for various reasons including being able to make notes in them and use a highlighter.  I am constantly going back to books I've already read (like Levine's) to verify this or that, refresh my memory on something, or reread favorite parts.   Being a librarian by trade, it was hard for me to bring myself to deface a book by writing in it, but I got over that hurdle quickly once I got started.   I do have to be careful to not mark up the books which I've gotten from the library and somehow have managed to not make a mistake yet.   I used to always buy new copies of books, but now I often wait a while to pick up a used copy and save myself a few bucks.  If I feel I have to read a book before I can buy it used or if I don't want to buy it, I borrow it from the library and use a sheet of paper as a bookmark and use it to take notes.  Marking up the books and taking notes has saved me countless hours of trying to locate where I once read something. 

Jim
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: Bunker Hill on March 01, 2014, 05:32:07 AM
I obviously misread your meaning, sorry.

My books are festooned with numerous, slim strips of paper inserted where appropriate and put to the same purpose. Some go back four decades and have discoloured with age. The "post-it note" cut into strips has come into its own in this respect.
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: jphauser on March 01, 2014, 08:12:07 AM
I obviously misread your meaning, sorry.

My books are festooned with numerous, slim strips of paper inserted where appropriate and put to the same purpose. Some go back four decades and have discoloured with age. The "post-it note" cut into strips has come into its own in this respect.

I modified my post to make it clearer. 
Some of those strips of paper have made it into my books too.  :)
Jim

Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: Bunker Hill on March 03, 2014, 05:54:06 AM
King of the Queen City by Jon Hartley (about the King Records label) (again, never heard of it.)
You and me both! Neither author nor book. I've relied upon Steve Tracy's Going To Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City (Illinois UP 1993). Steve has been researching writing about blues since the early day of Blues Unlimited magazine.

Six years later he edited a hefty tome of 600 pages Write Me A Few of Your Lines: A Blues Reader.

Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: oddenda on March 04, 2014, 12:59:27 AM
There is also King Records of Cincinnati: Images of America by Randy McNutt. Only aware of it... haven't seen it.

pbl
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: jphauser on March 04, 2014, 03:49:50 PM
I didn't see Harry Oster's Living Country Blues on the list when I checked it through Amazon's "Look Inside" , but the preview didn't include all 100 titles.  It's the first book on the blues that I ever came across.
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: Bunker Hill on March 05, 2014, 02:08:50 AM
I didn't see Harry Oster's Living Country Blues on the list when I checked it through Amazon's "Look Inside" , but the preview didn't include all 100 titles.  It's the first book on the blues that I ever came across.
Whilst on the subject of Oster, Stefan has an impressive discography of his work.

http://www.wirz.de/music/osterfrm.htm (http://www.wirz.de/music/osterfrm.htm)
Title: Re: 100 Blues Books Every Blues Fan Should Own
Post by: jphauser on March 05, 2014, 07:23:24 PM
Whilst on the subject of Oster, Stefan has an impressive discography of his work.

http://www.wirz.de/music/osterfrm.htm (http://www.wirz.de/music/osterfrm.htm)

Mighty impressive!  And I was surprised to see that Oster recorded Son House (telling an old folk tale titled "Two at the Gate").
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