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Long Lost Blues : Popular Blues in America, 1850-1920 - Peter C. Muir

Long Lost Blues

Popular Blues in America, 1850-1920

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Mamie Smith's 1920 recording of "Crazy Blues" is commonly thought to signify the beginning of commercial attention to blues music and culture, but by that year more than 450 other blues titles had already appeared in sheet music and on recordings. In this examination of early popular blues, Peter C. Muir traces the genre's early history and the highly creative interplay between folk and popular forms, focusing especially on the roles W. C. Handy played in both blues music and the music business. Long Lost Blues exposes for the first time the full scope and importance of early popular blues to mainstream American culture in the early twentieth century. Closely analyzing sheet music and other print sources that have previously gone unexamined, Muir revises our understanding of the evolution and sociology of blues at its inception.

"Muir's revealing book contributes significantly to understanding how sheet music and the pop music industry influenced the blues. An important work." Tim Brooks, author of Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919

Acknowledgments vi; A Word About the Music Examples ix; Introduction 1; 1. The Popular Blues Industry 1912-1920 10; The Birth of Popular Blues 10; The Nature and Scope of the Early Popular Blues Industry 15;The Development of the Popular Blues Industry 21; Blues Performances in the Mainstream 27; 2. The Identity and Idiom of Early Popular Blues 41; The Main Influences: Folk Blues and Tin Pan Alley 41; An Overview of Popular Blues Songs 44; The Five Categories of Popular Blues Songs 53; An Overview of Instrumental Blues 63; Some Distinctive Components of the Popular Blues Idiom 80; 3. Curing the Blues with the Blues 102; Introduction 102; Origins and Definitions of the Term "Blues" 103; Musical Alleviation of the Blues 107; Homeopathic and Allopathic Blues 113; 4. The Blues of W. C. Handy 141; Introduction 141; Blues from the Memphis Period (1909-1917) 142; Blues After the Move to New York (1917-1953) 177; Conclusion 185; 5. The Creativity of Early Southern Published Blues 196; Introduction 196; Southern Published Blues of 1912-1914 197; Euday L. Bowman 209; George W. Thomas 212; Perry Bradford 217; Southern Published Blues of 1915-1920 223; 6. Published Proto-Blues and the Evolution of the Twelve-Bar Sequence 234; Introduction 234; Development of the Blues Song 235; The Evolution of the Twelve-Bar Blues Sequence 242; Conclusion 269; Appendix: Titular Blues 1912-1915 279; Major Works Consulted 291

ISBN: 9780252034879
ISBN-10: 0252034872
Series: Music in American Life
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 1st February 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.75