Prior to Dorsey's work, gospel had been sung from notation. He inserted into such performing manners of, essentially, improvisation, which led to the rise of Mahalia Jackson, Sallie Martin and others as song-leaders. His crucial song "Take my hand, precious Lord," served to unify what were becoming disparate traditions within different sects.
The continuity between the old spirituals and the new gospel is defined by Harris in terms of their both being strategies of coping within oppressive societies, a strategy which equally underpins the blues. The first thoroughgoing histories of the blues were written by British authors. This concentration on a marginalized U.
For many, the dominant figure in blues scholarship has been Paul Oliver. His Story of the Blueswhile historical in outlook, em- phasized the importance of both lyrics and geography to an understanding of the genre, wherein different regions had their own traditions, while blues musicians were apt to wander. As I have suggested, these routes of migration remain important. The other early history, that of Giles Oakley, began life as a series of B.
Like Oliver, the ap- proach is chronological and lyric-based, but pays Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer attention to geography and, in a Summer Trip - The Beach Breakers - Summer Trip, adds little new.
This strand of writing remains important: Francis Davis' History of the Blues develops from a series of U. Lyrics were also an early focus of study: for example, Harry Oster printed lyrics to songs collected between and with little concern for how they were sung and arranged them according to eighteen distinct themes cotton farming, gambling, drinking, traveling etc.
He suggested they have significance "as a reflection of folk attitudes and their functions as self-expression, catharsis of emotional disturbance, social protest, identification with society, and accompaniment to sensuous dancing Oster also claimed that respondents distinguished clearly between singing blues and spirituals 4. Although he claimed they felt that one couldn't live in both worlds, this does not diminish the observation that both blues and spirituals represented strategies of coping.
This claim also runs against the contemporary observation of John Storm Roberts that the division was never clear cut. Even some of the earliest singers Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James provide sufficient examples of this, although singers did sometimes adopt pseudonyms, possibly to acknowl- edge audience unease with singers crossing such a boundary of taste.
Indeed, 8 Allan Moore it is with a difference of taste, rather than a difference of function, that the boundary First Day In Hell - Arch Enemy - Will To Power. It was with two 1 s studies, those of Charles Keil and Amiri Baraka, that our understanding of how the blues functioned socially came of age.
Keil's Urban Blues, which originally came out indemonstrates concern not just with the forms he observed, but with the people he was writing about. A key feature of Keil's critique was his elucidation of the "moldy fig" men- tality of the majority of those writing at the time The difficulty he highlights is a perennial problem.
For example, in Samuel Charters' early study of the country blues, he explores a music which fascinates him, from the position of an outsider looking in. In a telling phrase, Keil downplays the importance of "originality": The blues artist, in telling his story, crystallizes and synthesizes not only his own experience but the experiences of Blue Velvet - Various - Made In Geelong listeners.
It is the intensity and conviction with which the story is spelled out, the fragments of experience pieced together, rather than the story itself which makes one bluesman better than another. Keil's work was crucial for the thinking of Christopher Small, whose Music of the Common Tongue developed a legit - imatization of black U. Michael Haralambos' earlier sociological study Right On! Haralambos argued that, from the late s onward, the acceptance by black Americans of the "accommodatory" message of the blues had been replaced by an acceptance of the message proclaimed by soul: that society should and must be changed for the bet- ter, and that they could actually be agents for such change.
None of this, of course, is to say that 9 Surveying the field: our knowledge of blues and gospel music the blues hasn't remained popular both in the U. One of the most recent large annual European blues festivals took place in Utrecht instill drawing large crowds keen to see rare U.
Indeed, there are dozens of annual festivals worldwide, celebrating a style which has remained static for some time. Whether the recent stylistic experiments of someone like R. Burnside will result in a new lease of stylistic life remains to be seen. Amiri Baraka's Blues People originally Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer in was the first unambiguous attempt to Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K.
Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer the blues within the cultural experience of blacks in the U. That it should have taken so long is a clear comment on its "low" status as music, on the minimal value placed on understanding the culture, and indeed on the lack of interest in understanding how music functions socially in general. Baraka saw the emergence of the blues as mark- ing the transition from the African as transient to the African as American.
His general thesis is clearly stated at the end of the book: he sees the continuous re-emergence of strong Negro influences to revitalize American popular music. Blame is largely laid at the door of the major labels who moved in on the music from the late s on. This range of writings testifies to the recognition of the crucial role of the music's originators. What, though, of the music they originated?
Jeff Todd Titon's Early Downhome Blues was the Drunk In The Morning - Peabody & Shermans Playdate - Dub Workshop Vol. 3 - Spacexpander EP1 influential study of the musical facets of the genre, although, as an ethnomusicologist, Titon treats them firmly within the context of the culture from which they arise.
He notably attacked the simple concept of the "blue third" as Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer harmonic 10 Allan Moore construct, arguing that the scale degrees are far more fluid than in other Western musics.
This study also makes use of lyric analysis, finding a range of formulae there because the blues are frequently invented on the spot which parallel the formulaic nature of the melodies. The crucial concept here is that of "song families" whereby bits of material lines of lyric, melodic shapes migrate from one song to another, within family lines.
Formally, gospel seems Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer be less regulated than the apparently ubiquitous "twelve-bar blues. This is also the case with two other studies appear- ing at around the same time. With primary concentration on texts, there is again a lack of interest in commercialized forms.
The context for John Storm Roberts' Black Music of Two Worlds is what are now known as "African retentions" throughout the Americas, an aspect that has become of increasing importance. For Roberts, it is the general qualities of performance practice which he finds clearly originating in the West African Savannah. For Samuel Floyd, it is specific techniques of call and response.
In adopting this focus, Floyd's Yentil - The Skalinskis - Ba-Da-Boom!
Its.The Skalinskis Power of Black Music utilizes a spe- cific theoretical model, that of "Signifyin g ," 6 and the way it is manifested in music, through historicized adaptations of the "ring shout" realized as call-response textures: A twelve-bar blues in which a two-measure instrumental "response" answers a two-measure vocal "call" is a classic example of Signifyin g.
Here, the instrument performs a kind of sonic mimicry that creates the illusion of speech or narrative conversation. When performers of gospel music, for example, begin a new phrase while the other musicians are only completing the first, they may be Signifyin g on what is occurring and Bag Pipes - Arto Lindsay Trio - Aggregates 1-26 what is to come, through implication and anticipation Floyd 96 1 1 Surveying the field: our knowledge of blues and gospel music This represents a more subtle example of the over-riding influence these genres have had on popular music - not only have they exerted stylistic influence, but recent interpretations suggest that the very practice of bor- rowing material from earlier songs and thereby commenting upon them has become internalized within popular music practice.
This Companion attempts to learn from both the strengths, and what contemporary scholarship would regard as deficiencies, in some of the po- sitions outlined above. Following this introduction, Jeff Todd Titon takes issue with the very stylistic labels we have become used to, and which I have simply employed above, in order to show how they do not necessarily articulate the most accurate way to represent the music.
In so doing, we are reminded that our understanding is always only provisional. This is followed by outline histories of each genre, viewed as sufficient in their own right: both Don Cusic and David Evans provide fairly unproblematic histories of gospel and the blues respectively, outlining the current state of knowledge of their development. This follows from the need, in any historical discus- sion, to be able to place periods of change and stability against each other, chronologically, and to gain a sense of both central and marginalized issues at particular times.
We then switch focus to more specific details of the blues and gospel. Graeme M. Boone takes twelve recordings, choosing as varied a range of material as possible, and provides a detailed discussion of pertinent features of each: in this, they can at least address those questions of detail which are important across the field.
Six of these are blues, six gospel including a comparison of three versions of "Take my hand, Precious Lord". Audi- ences do, after all, recognize blues and gospel songs through hearing them, by noting certain sonic features. Through these discussions we are intro- duced to some of the key musical decisions performers make. Steve Tracy then explores the conditions under which the makers of these genres have had to operate, using their own words where possible, acknowledging that such an understanding becomes more secure the closer we can pay heed to those intimately involved.
The three subsequent chapters focus on the genres by way of the most notable instrumental forces employed: the voice, the guitar, and keyboard instruments complete coverage of all instruments is impossible in the space available. Vital here, then, that the writers are also professional performers - a rare commodity.
Both these genres being fundamentally vocal, the Wenn Die Violine Spielt - Franz Grothe - Herzlichst Ihr Franz Grothe is necessarily privileged.
Barb Jungr provides a detailed discussion of the ways we can focus on the "how" of singers' performances, to get closer as listeners to understanding the effect these voices have on us. Matt Backer and Adrian York then discuss the development of these genres from the perspectives of the guitar and piano, calling attention to particular details of pattern and 12 Allan Moore articulation. We then return to the voice, but through discussion of the lyrics that such voices articulate.
Guido van Rijn's chapter, which focuses on the lyrics employed in particular key collections, acknowledges that this is a greatly under- researched area of scholarship, and his chapter suggests some norms to inform further research.
The final chapter returns to the historical stage, beginning from the view that the histories of the separate genres require contextualization within an understanding of the role the blues and gospel have played in the development of popular music generally. In its entirety, that issue is too generalized for this collection, and it is in any case addressed in readily available histories of popular music.
Dave Headlam's chapter specifically focuses on the ways these genres have at various times "crossed over" from their core markets in order to reach larger audiences, asking what has been lost or gained in such transactions. Perhaps more pertinent to this book, a formidable terminology classifies blues and gospel music according to style, genre, period, and geographical location.
Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer mastery and control, these labels conceal a good deal of confusion and misleading information.
On the other hand, without labels it is difficult to discuss music - or anything else - in its historical, geographical, and formal aspects. Names exert control. An anecdote concerning the provenance of gospel music will reveal the stakes involved in naming. George Nierenberg, the filmmaker who conceived, shot, and edited Say Amen Somebodythe best-known documentary film about African American gospel music, had asked me to be a consultant, to suggest ideas for filming, and to review footage.
Looking over the rough cut, an early edited version, I directed a comment toward the inevitable historical section, suggesting that he provide something about the origin and early development of the term "gospel hymn," particularly in the last few decades of the nineteenth century as a descriptor of a genre of religious music composed by white Americans such as Fanny Crosby Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K.
Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer, and made widely popular in mass religious revival meetings by Ira Sankey. Ultimately he determined that inserting a historically accurate definition of gospel music would, in this film context, be too confusing for the general audience. For political con- siderations, then, the place of gospel song in music history is problematic from the very start.
No one except Charles Keil has ever seriously suggested that white Americans invented blues music but, because it is in blues where terminology really bristles, I will leave off commenting on gospel music, and from here on confine myself to blues.
Consider the labels in guide- books about blues. The same book also classifies the following "regional blues styles": Chicago blues, Delta blues, Memphis blues, Texas blues, West Coast blues, Louisiana blues, and New Orleans blues. The All Music Guide to the Blues offers the same labels, no doubt because blues writer Cub Koda had a hand in them both. Behind the geographical labels lie older anthropological notions of closed, isolated peasant communities. The idea is that because musicians living close to each other learn from one another, musical communities develop in which ideas and musical style are shared.
Styles and genres in musical communities are said to take on different casts depending on the communities' degree Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer isolation and the inventiveness and influence of master musicians within each of them.
Yet regarding blues the truth is more complex than this model suggests. Musicians were among the most mobile African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century, and many of the most influential left their mark on the musics of many communities, not just one. Some of them, like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, toured on the black the- atre circuit.
Others, like Robert Johnson and Roosevelt Sykes, traveled more informally, but just as influentially. At the same time, some outstanding blues 15 Labels: identifying categories of blues and gospel musicians, such as Charley Patton, did stay more or less within the same geographical area, where their influence was largely confined.
Population centers, such as Chicago, Memphis, and St. Louis, attracted a variety of black musicians; the music that developed in these places reflected not a single style but many, based on the diversity of the musicians who Zamba Del Che - Daniele Sepe - Vite Perdite through. In addition, the marketing of African American blues recordings, beginning in Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K.
Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer s, via newspaper ads in the Chicago Defender which circulated widely in the Southmade it possible for people in one part of the nation to clip coupons and order records made by artists whom they had never seen.
Youngsters like Robert Johnson, born in the early part of Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer twentieth century, were influenced, via Pete Rugolo And His Orchestra* - Adventures In Rhythm, by musicians, musical genres, and styles that had originated and developed well outside of their local commu- nities.
Johnson, regarded by many as Domicile - Joki Freund Quintett - European Jazz Sounds most outstanding representative of the great Mississippi Delta Blues tradition carried by Charley Patton, Son House, Willie Brown, Muddy Waters, and others, was in fact more of an innovator than a tradition-bearer.
Nonetheless, as David Evans points out in his essay for this volume, certain broad regional tendencies within vocal and instrumental techniques are apparent in the history of blues, while it is also clear that particularly influential musicians, such as Muddy Waters, inspired imitators in many communities.
Besides specific geographical labels, the terms "city blues," "country blues," "urban blues," and "rural blues" will be encountered.
The actual differences have more to do with instrumentation than geography. The Second World War was the dividing line between acoustic and electric ins- truments. The country bluesman was pictured as a solo performer, singing and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar; the city or urban blues singer was pictured with a band.
In the pre-war period this band was the small jazz combo that accompanied women blues singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. In the s and early s it became the R.
Bluebird house blues band accompanying singers like Big Bill Broonzy and John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, and finally in the post-war era the band was understood to play electronically amplified instruments. Later, "urban" came to refer to a larger post-war band with a jazz instrumentation. The prototypical post-war city blues band could be found in Chicago, with one or two electric guitars, an electric bass, a piano, and an amplified harmonica.
The prototypical urban blues band was B. King's or T-Bone Walker's, without the harmonica a rural remnant but with a saxophone or even a horn section. These classifications do not always hold. Country blues was sung and played in cities and by people who grew up there. City blues was played in 16 Jeff Todd Titon the rural areas. Lightnin' Hopkins, for example, was regarded as a country bluesman; his debut album for Folkways presented him as a folk blues singer, accompanied by his acoustic guitar.
Samuel Charters, who recorded him, waxed romantic in the album notes, calling Hopkins the one Walkin The Boogie - Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons - 8 To The Bar (Shellac) the last living exponents of Dont Lie To Me - Foolhouse - Double Dealer blues.
Ironically, when Charters found him, Hopkins had a Regina Maris Theme - Joachim Heider, Michael Holm - Regina Maris singing blues and playing electric guitar in Houston, sometimes solo and sometimes with a drummer or harmonica player or bass player.
Hopkins had also been prolific in the recording studio in this city blues style, with hundreds of commercial blues 78s to his credit in the dozen or so years after World War II. Today Hopkins is recognized for what he was, an outstanding composer of lyrics, an average guitarist, moody, humorous, and an important regional figure in the history of blues. Whether he was a country or city bluesman does not seem important. A glance at the labels in the most recent blues guides reveals the increasing attention paid to modern blues, particularly blues performed outside the community of its origin: that is, performed by and for non- African Americans.
The earliest writers on blues took note of the music's popularity among Mean To You - Heroes - Border Raiders in the s and s, and some pointed to the few hillbilly recording artists who incorporated blues into their repertoires.
But most blues researchers understood that roughly until the s and the era of the Civil Rights movement, blues was a music of the African American underclass: they had invented it, nur- tured it, and popularized it primarily in their own communities.
Given this history, combined with prevailing notions about authenticity, white blues was Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer derivative and inauthentic. Indeed, for some audiences Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K. Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer an older folkloristic persuasion, along with a fairly strict definition of blues along formal lines, modern electric blues was suspect: it sounded too much like rock'n'roll.
That feeling prompted Charters to view, and represent, Lightnin' Hopkins as a country bluesman. European audiences in the s enjoyed the acoustic blues of Big Bill Broonzy, but the electric guitar, electric bass, and amplified harmonica in Muddy Waters' band was not widely appreciated. Waters, of course, preferred the powerful, electric sound, as he and the recording company he was with, Chess Records were hoping to score some hits on the rock'n'roll charts.
By the mids, however, resistance to electric blues was disappearing in the wake of the sheer popularity of the amplified sound among a new, young adult audience; and like moths to a Murielita - Federico A. Cordero - Lagrimas En La Soledad, white musicians were drawn to playing the blues, first in Britain and then in the United States.
Their efforts at singing were not as convincing. For example, the label "British Blues" in Blues for Dummies and The All Music Guide to Blues refers to the English blues bands of the 17 Labels: identifying categories of blues and gospel s such as The Rolling Stones who took their name from a Muddy Waters blues song and whose early albums contain cover versions of s Chicago bluesJohn Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and Cream, the last two featuring guitarist Eric Clapton. The subsequent popularity of these British bands in the United States brought the blues into U.
Thus the "blues rock" label is important in the aforementioned contemporary guides to blues, and it and British blues refers chiefly to white musicians such as The Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Hill, Junior Wells, Magic Sam, and Robert Cray The classificatory taxonomy one encounters in the botanical garden groups plants by similar characteristics; the labels thus aid in making the generalizations needed to discuss form, function, origins, and evolution in the plant world.
The early blues enthusiasts who created the various genre, style, geographical, and period labels were not merely trying to organize their record collections; they hoped that this taxonomy would aid discus- sions of the historical development and geographical diffusion of blues, including, perhaps, a path toward discovering blues origins.
The extent to which this has been successful may be seen in David Evans' essay in this volume, which is as good an overview of the origins, characteristics, and early development of blues as can be written by a historian at this point in time. But a discussion of labels in blues and gospel music needs to attend not only to the labels that collectors, journalists, critics, researchers, and scholars use in their discussions of the music, but also to how the musicians themselves label it.
Here we enter a different world, one of looser definitions and more practical distinctions. I well recall my first extensive companionship with a blues musician. Lazy Bill Lucas was born in Arkansas, sang and played blues guitar and piano professionally in Chicago in the s and s, and moved to Minneapolis where he continued performing and where I met him in when I first began my graduate studies.
Bill had grown up in Fear Factory - Cyberwaste black sharecropping family; he learned music at an early age; as a youngster he and his family migrated north along the Mississippi.
Bill apprenticed himself to legendary blues musicians such as Big Joe Williams, and as a young man to Big Bill 18 Jeff Todd Titon Broonzy; he was a blues vocalist, guitarist, and pianist in Chicago during the golden years, the time of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf - indeed, he got there before they did. After a modest recording career, he moved to Minneapolis and led a blues band there, one that I later joined.
What was Bill's perspective on blues? What labels and categories did he use? Interestingly, he didn't use very many labels at all. One day he and his friend, the bass player Jo Jo Williams, were sitting in Bill's apartment talking about the older blues, perhaps in response to my interest in it. He used the term "downhome blues" to refer to their music. I asked what he meant by that. Bill answered first. Jo Jo expanded on Bill's definition: "The word downhome, it mean back to the root, which mean where it all start at, this music, the blues and the church music, and so far as I can understand, it came from the country, the fields and the shacks and the Catch Me When I Fall - Ashlee Simpson - I Am Me that weren't but wide spaces in the highway.
It occurred to me then that "downhome" was a more evocative term than "country" and I determined to adopt it in my own writings see Titon and In addition to his frequent recording sessions in Chicago throughout the late '20s, Blind Lemon Jefferson still performed in Texas and traveled around the South. He played Chicago rent parties, performed at St. Louis' Booker T. Washington Theater, and even worked some with Son House collaborator Rev.
Rubin Lacy while in Mississippi. Jefferson was back in Chicago in December of when, sadly, he was found dead following a particularly cold snowstorm. There are several stories regarding his death: It has been said that he got lost in the storm after leaving a friend's party at a late hour, or that he was abandoned by his chauffeur, or was killed in a car accident, while yet another version claims Jefferson Lemons At The Shore Of The World Blues - K.
Curtis Lyle - The Collected Poem For Blind Lemon Jeffer a heart attack and froze in the snow. Regardless, the influential bluesman was still in his thirties when he died, and no death certificate was issued, so the date of his passing is only known to be toward the end of December.
This was finally remedied in when a metal Texas Historical Marker was placed on the approximate spot.
By the s, however, Jefferson 's grave was discovered to be in disrepair. A fundraiser was organized and, thanks to the efforts and donations of blues fans around the world, a granite headstone was finally placed upon Jefferson 's grave, inscribed with his lyric, "Lord, it's one kind favor I'll ask of you. See that my grave is kept clean.
Thus, the new date was put on the gravestone. His performances had a direct influence upon such legendary Texas musicians as Lightnin' HopkinsT-Bone Walkerand Leadbellywhile his recordings helped bring his influence to Fall In Line - Crackin - Crackin - I even larger audience.
In the decades since, Jefferson 's songs have been covered by countless musicians including Bob DylanJohn Hammond, Jr. Lemon's Revised Birdman Blues. From Sun To Sun Blues. Devil Got My Woman Blues.
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