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We knows nothing much about the blues... we called it blues, we called it breakdowns, we called it blues and some people say it's square dances... We didn't know what it was; the achin'-hearted blues is slow, breakdowns is fast - Percy Thomas, who played in the Son Simms Four with Muddy Waters, interviewed by Paul Oliver, from Blues Off The Record

Author Topic: New book by Paul Garon  (Read 2116 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
New book by Paul Garon
« on: November 16, 2005, 10:58:51 AM »
The following was sent to me as part of a 'round-robin' circulation. Some folk hereabout might have an interest in knowing about publication:

My new book, co-authored with Gene Tomko (a young blues scholar who did
most of the lyric transcriptions) is about *black hoboes and their songs*.
It's called WHAT'S THE USE OF WALKING IF THERE'S A FREIGHT TRAIN GOING YOUR WAY? 296pp, paperback only (no cloth edition), published by Charles H. Kerr Co. Indeed, it was their idea that I do the book.

Over 100 lyrics transcribed, and 25 of the best ones included on the free
CD that comes with the book. Chapters (and lyrics) are focused on various
aspects of the hobo life (including riding freight trains): share cropping,
the timber industry, coal mining, harvesting, the Great Migration, jobs in
the North, prison, the chain gang, and convict leasing, life on the Main
Stem, etc. Much first-person testimony from blues singing hoboes on the
life they lived. Many illustrations including 6 blues-related photos not
seen by modern collectordom.

List price $22. Beasley Books is happy to take your orders and you can
indicate whether you want a signed copy, or inscribed to you or a friend,
or just plain unsigned. Please include a street address as we use UPS
ground @ $5 anywhere in the lower 48 states. I am still recovering from
surgery--a radical cystectomy, with complications--so books are going out
kind of slowly, and I'm trying to avoid going to the PO. We accept Visa,
MC, AX, Paypal, MOs and checks.
Buyers from outside the US will be quoted economy and air rates from which
they can choose.
We appreciate your patience in advance!
Thanks for looking,
Paul and Beth Garon
Beasley Books (ABAA)
1533 W. Oakdale
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-4528
(773) 472-7857 FAX

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: New book by Paul Garon
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2005, 11:50:54 AM »
My copy of this has just landed. It looks like a compulsive read and full of interesting illustrative archive material. I'm surprised this subject wasn't tackled years ago. Paul Oliver give his approbation thus:
"What's the Use of Walking is a fascinating book in which Paul Garon has brought together a truly remarkable collection of blues and blues songs, created by African American hoboes and ex-hoboes, which reveals a new dimension of the personal and the experiential nature of the poetic spirit in the blues. The main motivation of the black hobo travelers was to find work, and the author has meticulously researched the nature and conditions of the lumber and turpentine industries, mining, levee-building and other employment that they sought, and about which they also sang. This is not a book solely for blues enthusiasts, for whom it is indispensable, but it is strongly recommended to all who are interested in popular culture, its forms, its expression and meaning."
There's also an accompanying CD the contents of which will be well known to those hereabouts but I'm sure will provide invaluable musical illustration for those who purchase the book purely for the subject. For information here's what's on the CD:
1. Tampa Red: Turpentine Blues 2. Sam Johnson: We Done Quit 3. TCI Section Crew: Track Linin' 4. Texas Alexander: Section Gang Blues 5. Blind Willie McTell: Savannah Mama 6. Bukka White: Special Stream Line 7. Wesley Wallace: No. 29 8. Blind Willie McTell: Travelin' Blues 9. Henry Thomas: Railroadin' Some 10. Sleepy John Estes: Special Agent (Railroad Police Blues) 11. Sleepy John Estes: Hobo Jungle Blues 12. Son Bonds: Old Bachelor Blues 13. Charlie Segar: Key to the Highway 1 4. Son Bonds: 80 Highway Blues 15. Willie Scarecrow Owens: Traveling Blues 16. Blind Blake: Georgia Bound 17. Washboard Sam: C.C.C. Blues 18. Sylvester Weaver: Penitentiary Bound Blues 19. Son House: County Farm Blues 20. Smokey Hogg: Penitentiary Blues Parts I & 2 21. Will Bennett: Railroad Bill 22. Charley Patton: Mean Black Moan 23. John Handcox: Going To Roll That Union On 24. John Handcox: There Is Mean Things Happening in This Land 25. Bumble Bee Slim: I Done Caught My Death of Cold

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