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Josh White : Society Blues - Elijah Wald

Josh White

Society Blues


Published: 31st October 2002
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Born in South Carolina, White spent his childhood as a "lead boy" for traveling blind bluesmen. In the early '30s he moved to New York and became a popular blues star, then introduced folk-blues to a mass white audience in the 1940s. He was famed both for his strong Civil Rights songs, which made him a favorite of the Roosevelts, and for his sexy stage persona. The king of Cafe Society-also home to Billie Holiday--he was the one bluesman to consistently pack the New York nightspots, and the first black singer-guitarist to act in Hollywood films and star on Broadway.
In the 1950s, White's bitter compromise with the blacklisters left him with few friends on either end of the political spectrum. He spent much of the decade in Europe, then came back strong in the 1960s folk revival. By 1963, he was voted one of America's top three male folk stars, but his health was failing and he did not survive the decade.
Written in an engaging style, "Society Blues" portrays the difficult balancing act that all black performers must face in a predominantly white culture. Through the twists and turns of White's life, it traces the evolution of the blues and folk revival, and is a must read for anyone interested in the history of American popular culture, as well as a fascinating life story.
Visit the author's website to see the Josh White photo gallery and learn more about Elijah Wald.

""Society Blues incorporates a skillful and thought-provoking critique of the ideological presuppositions that guide the promotion of authenticity. Wald achieves this goal by sticking to the details of White's career, not generalizing about its implications, yet the point comes across with clarity and conviction."-David Sanjek, "American Studies, Fall 2002 "[An] affectionate, careful biography.."-The Washington Post

Prefacep. ix
Southern Exposure (1914-1921)p. 1
Homeless and Hungry Blues (1921-1930)p. 11
Things About Coming My Way (1930-1936)p. 26
John Henry (1936-1939)p. 46
Raise a Ruckus (1940)p. 56
Marching down Freedom's Road (1941)p. 72
Partnerships: Leadbelly and Libby Holman (1941-1943)p. 90
Cafe Society (1943-1945)p. 101
The House I Live Inp. 125
Apples, Peaches, and Cherries (1946-1947)p. 137
Travels, Whiskey, and Womenp. 154
Broadway, Hollywood, and Beyond (1947-1950)p. 162
Un-American Activities (1950)p. 177
Strange Fruitp. 196
Across the Atlantic (1951)p. 210
You Know Baby (1952-1953)p. 228
Josh at Midnight (1954-1958)p. 239
Folk Revivalp. 258
House of the Rising Sun (1958-1963)p. 273
Goin' Down Slow (1963-1969)p. 283
Epiloguep. 296
Notesp. 301
Bibliographyp. 325
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415942041
ISBN-10: 0415942047
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 374
Published: 31st October 2002
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1