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These things that have come down orally over the centuries had to be the cream of the crop, or they'd have died out a long time ago - Almeda Riddle, quoted in The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax - Words, Photographs and Music, by Tom Piazza, LoC 2013

Author Topic: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues  (Read 5520 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« on: September 03, 2009, 09:34:58 AM »
I've received this from Chicago Review Press.

I don't know what became of the book by Tim O'Brien (see topic Blues Biographies In Progress) but one can only hope it's not going to be a case of two biographies published within years of each other as happened with Muddy Waters.

Govenar is a well respected authority on Texas music and has numerous publications to his name.
==========

Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues by Alan Govenar
Chicago Review Press
Publication May 2010

By the time of his death in 1982, Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins was likely the most recorded blues artist in history. This brilliant new biography--the first book ever written about him--illuminates a man of many contradictions. He poured out his feelings in his songs, but it was hard to tell if he was truly sincere. He appeared to trust no one, yet he knew how to endear himself to his audience, whether he was playing for black audiences in Houston?s Third Ward or for white crowds at the Matrix in San Francisco or in the concert halls of Europe.

Born in 1912 on a small farm to a poor, sharecropping family in the cotton country between Dallas and Houston, Hopkins left home when he was only nine years old with a guitar his brother had given to him. Picking cotton was not what he wanted to do, so he made his living however he could, sticking to the open road, playing the blues and taking odd jobs when money was short. This biography delves into Hopkins? early years, debunking the myths surrounding his meetings with Blind Lemon Jefferson and Texas Alexander, his time on a chain gang, his women, and his life-long appetite for gambling and drinking.

Hopkins didn?t begin recording until 1946, when he was dubbed "Lightnin?'"during his first session, and he soon joined Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker on the national charts. But by the time he was "rediscovered" by Mack McCormick and Sam Charters in 1959, his popularity had begun to wane. A second career emerged--now Lightnin? was pitched to white audiences, not black ones, and he became immensely successful, singing about his country roots and the injustices that informed the civil rights era with a searing emotive power.
  
More than a decade in the making, this biography is based on scores of interviews with Lightnin's relatives, friends, lovers, producers, accompanists, managers, and fans.


Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 11:09:57 AM »
This looks like a winner! A bit long to wait though. :)
He's been working at it for a decade or more, I guess the publisher has to fit it in with their schedule. In the meantime here's an interesting interview with AG who seems have other books he's currently researching. http://musictomes.blogspot.com/2008/12/interview-with-alan-govenar.html

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2009, 10:37:33 AM »
I've just been supplied with the Table of Contents

  Acknowledgments
  Introduction
1 Early Years
2 Travels with Texas Alexander
3 The Move to Houston
4 Rediscovery
5 The Blues Revival Heats Up
6 The Touring Intensifies
7 Mojo Hand: An Orphic Tale
8 An Expanding Audience
9 The Last Decade
  Discography
  Selected Bibliography

Unfortunately there's no pagination to give an idea of the size of the work but I'm reliably informed it should be in the region of 350 pages.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 06:53:01 AM »
Excellent! I can't wait!
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline jostber

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2009, 10:14:32 AM »
A whole chapter dedicated to Texas Alexander is pretty cool.


Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2009, 10:37:12 AM »

Offline Richard

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2009, 11:40:49 AM »
I've just pre-ordered on Amazon uk...
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2009, 11:49:06 AM »
I've just pre-ordered on Amazon uk...
Snap. ?17 for 368 page hardback seems like a bargain to me. It's been a longtime coming and I never thought I'd see an LH biography before I got put in an old folks home. Phew just made it in time!  ;D
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 11:52:46 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2010, 12:22:52 AM »
I note US Amazon have recently reduced this to a pre-order price of $19.53 whilst UK Amazon now up to ?21.71.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2010, 12:23:58 PM »
The Blues & Rhythm web site announces "coming up in B&R 248, Lightnin' Hopkins First Recordings by Alan Govenar" which I'm guessing is a 'come-and-buy-me' gleaned from the biography due for publication in May.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 07:02:19 AM »
You can now view the index, read some of the first chapter and complete bibliography here: http://tinyurl.com/ylrmh8r

running the mouse pointer over the cover displays a limited search feature.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2010, 02:02:11 AM »
The Blues & Rhythm web site announces "coming up in B&R 248, Lightnin' Hopkins First Recordings by Alan Govenar" which I'm guessing is a 'come-and-buy-me' gleaned from the biography due for publication in May.
It's out and I do B&R an injustice, it's a specially written feature by Govenar.

Offline blueshome

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Re: Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2010, 02:03:47 AM »
There's also an article on collecting in the 70's by our own Oddenda.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 07:54:57 AM by Johnm »

Offline Stuart

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