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When you go down on Deep Ellum, keep your carburator clean, 'cause the women on Deep Ellum sell you dirty gasoline - Bill Neely, Deep Ellum Blues documentary

Author Topic: Mike Leadbitter  (Read 879 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Mike Leadbitter
« on: March 30, 2012, 07:06:34 AM »
I was performing a weenie search for the name Mike Leadbitter and was astonished to note that there were as many as 30 hits on the name.

Mike died thirty eight years ago, had he lived he would have been 70 this month. It occurred to me that there must be a generation (or two?) who don't realise how pivotal he and his magazine, Blues Unlimited, were to blues research. The following edited obituary gives but a flavour.

http://www.recordsbymail.com/MikeLeadbitterBluesUnlimited.php

Offline lindy

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Re: Mike Leadbitter
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 08:55:15 AM »
I also want to express appreciation for him.

Even though I'm a hardcore reader and country blues fan, I never got around to reading the two books with the same title--"Nothing But The Blues"--until this past December. I'm talking about Lawrence Cohn's book and the collection of Blues Unlimited articles edited by Leadbitter. I checked them out from the library at the same time and ate them right up.

It was a great two weeks of immersion, lots of info that I had already heard here on Weenie or in other books, lots of new information, and some information that had been proven wrong through later research. But I appreciated the way that the Blues Unlimited writers often just transcribed the words of the interviewees, let them riff on their knowledge and their histories. That approach retained a lot of color and flavor in the text.

Anyone who is just getting started in their appreciation of the country blues, or who hasn't yet gotten around to reading both of these books, I highly encourage you to track them down.

Thanks to Mr. Leadbitter!

Lindy

Offline jharris

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Re: Mike Leadbitter
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 09:12:05 AM »
I recall a rumor that someone was putting together an anthology of Blues Unlimited articles. Anyone know if this is fact or fiction?

I was around 16 or so when I picked up my first copy of BU. Talk about bad timing - it was the very last issue!


Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mike Leadbitter
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 09:15:03 AM »
I recall a rumor that someone was putting together an anthology of Blues Unlimited articles. Anyone know if this is fact or fiction?
Steve Franz and Bill Greensmith were in the process of attempting this. How far they got I don't know. I'll enquire of Steve.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mike Leadbitter
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 09:33:26 AM »
I'm talking about Lawrence Cohn's book and the collection of Blues Unlimited articles edited by Leadbitter. I checked them out from the library at the same time and ate them right up.
Here's the front page and spine of the Leadbitter NBTB (published 22nd April 1971). There was a CBS double LP of the same name which was released at the same time.

What upset Mike was that Hanover Books cut costs by not compiling an index which, as Mike admitted, rendered it useless as a reference work. Later that year it was published in the States and for that edition Pete Welding supplied that much needed index.

Offline lindy

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Re: Mike Leadbitter
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 02:30:15 PM »

Bunker Hill--

While doing a brief search online this morning, I saw several links to a book entitled "Nothing But the Blues: An Illustrated Documentary".

Is this one and the same as the collection of Blues Unlimited articles? I'm being lazy here, I didn't bother chasing down too many links from the original Google search. The two that I did click on didn't answer the question, and didn't have pictures of the book cover

L

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mike Leadbitter
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 09:52:45 PM »

Bunker Hill--

While doing a brief search online this morning, I saw several links to a book entitled "Nothing But the Blues: An Illustrated Documentary".

Is this one and the same as the collection of Blues Unlimited articles? I'm being lazy here, I didn't bother chasing down too many links from the original Google search. The two that I did click on didn't answer the question, and didn't have pictures of the book cover
That's the sub-title, given in small print, on the title page of the Leadbetter book. I guess it's in the Oak edition too.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Mike Leadbitter
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 10:57:57 PM »
I have the 1971 U.S. edition. It gives Hanover Books LTD. as the publisher and Oak as the North American distributor. I was looking through it and saw photos of George Smith and Jimmy Reed by our own Peter B. I bought it new when it came out and I think that it's time for a close re-reading.

 


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