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Deep Ellum and Central Track: Where the Black and White Worlds of Dallas Converged Hardcover – November, 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press; 1st edition (November 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574410512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574410518
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,082,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Govenar is a writer, folklorist, photographer, and filmmaker. He has a B.A. with distinction in American Folklore from Ohio State University, an M.A. in Folklore and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in Arts and Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is president of Documentary Arts, a non-profit organization he founded in 1985 to present new perspectives on historical issues and diverse cultures. Over the years, he has worked with Documentary Arts to organize festivals, arts-in-education programs and exhibitions; develop interactive media; and produce films, videos and radio series for national and international broadcast. Govenar has served on an Experts Panel on the safeguarding and inventory of intangible cultural heritage at UNESCO and has worked with FARO in Brussels to develop the touring exhibition Recognizing Our Cultural Heritage: An American and Flemish Dialogue.
Govenar is the author of more than twenty-five books, including Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound, Stompin' at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller, Extraordinary Ordinary People: Five American Masters of Traditional Arts, Untold Glory: African Americans in Pursuit of Freedom, Opportunity and Achievement, Stoney Knows How: Life as a Sideshow Tattoo Artist, Deep Ellum: The Other Side of Dallas, Portraits of Community, and The Early Years of Rhythm and Blues. His book Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper's Daughter won First Place in the New York Book Festival (Children's Non-Fiction), a Boston Globe-Hornbook Honor; and an Orbis Pictus Honor from the National Council of Teachers of English. The off-Broadway premiere of Govenar's musical Blind Lemon Blues, co-created with Akin Babatunde received rave reviews in The New York Times and Variety.
For more than two decades, Govenar has directed Masters of Traditional Arts, an ongoing, multifaceted initiative focused on the recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship, awarded annually by the National Endowment for the Arts since 1982. In this capacity, Govenar has worked with institutions and cultural organizations across the United States and has compiled and edited a two-volume biographical dictionary, co-authored an education guide for teachers and students, developed interactive touchscreen kiosks for museums, schools and libraries, produced two 52-part radio series for national broadcast, and curated the touring exhibition Extraordinary Ordinary People: American Masters of Traditional Arts. 
Govenar has directed numerous documentary films for broadcast and educational distribution in the United States and abroad, including You Don't Need Feet to Dance, The Beat Hotel, Master Qi and the Monkey King, Poetry of Exactitude, The Devil's Swing, Texas Style, Everything But the Squeak, The Human Volcano, The Hard Ride, Dreams of Conquest, and Little Willie Eason and His Talking Gospel Guitar. His film Voyage of Doom was co-produced with La Sept/ARTE for broadcast in 20 French and German countries and with NOVA for primetime broadcast in North America.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By chris meesey Food Czar on November 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When your typical blues fan thinks of cities that were important to the development of this great art form, he usually thinks of Chicago and maybe Memphis. However, Alan Govenar and Jay Brakefield make the case for Dallas, Texas as a major center for the developement of the blues in no uncertain terms. Of course, Deep Ellum and Central Track is not a blues book per se, but rather a well researched historical and sociological treatise on the birth and development of Big D's Deep Ellum and Central Track districts from the earliest days to the present. The authors use lots of primary source interviews with the surviving denizens of this fascinating area of town and paint a truly engaging picture of the lifestyles and business practices of these predominantly black and Jewish areas, particularly around the 1920's heyday of the earliest great blues artists. Such immortal founding fathers as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson and "Oak Cliff" T-Bone Walker were crucial to the growth of the art form, and these and innumerable lesser artists are covered in meticulous and loving detail. The authors also spend plenty of time covering contributors to the local jazz and country music scenes as well, particularly jazz hornman Buster Smith, and country pickers the Light Crust Doughboys, where western swing icon Bob Wills got his start. Even though the work has a decidedly scholarly bent, the numerous stories of such colorful characters as gambling mogul Benny Binion and mammoth shoeshine entrepreneur "Open the Door Richard", provide enough reading pleasure to keep even casual fans enthralled. Researchers will love the nearly one hundred pages of source appendices, and fans of history, sociology, music, and Big D will all want to read this book as soon as possible, for it proves, among other things, that Dallas, Texas was and is a fascinating city, as well as a major contributor to the history of the blues art form.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a well researched and well written description of a time and place in Dallas in the 20's and 30's that has long been overdue. The history of blues, jazz, gospel and country was written in Deep Ellum. It was a "good read", and I recommend it highly.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Cannon on September 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was on time and exactly as promised. Love the book, interesting reading. I would order from this vendor again.
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