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A History of the Banjo: Frank Converse's Banjo Reminiscences Paperback – September 29, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466308117
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466308114
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,459,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The minstrel era remains a lost episode in the development of American entertainment. Many comedic, dramatic and satirical devices still used today trace back to this murky and largely undocumented time when troupes toured small theaters throughout the still relatively young United States. Many of the big names have since faded beyond legend into a remote obscurity. But they were celebrities at the time, much like the celebrities known today. Time tends to do this, especially in the realm of popular entertainment. Seasons, fads and preferences shift almost inextricably and the minstrel era, though it lasted over a century, fell to the same temporal sandblaster.

Of course this genre had some problems that would not stand up to future tastes. Many know that blackface was once a staple of American entertainment, even a necessity at certain times. Not to mention "dialect" where largely white performers dressed up in some bizarre simulacrum of black people and spoke in broken, unsophisticated dialogue that many today see as racist caricature. A glance at the song titles and lyrics of the time make this rather painfully apparent. Due to this alone many would rather forget this prickly phase in popular history. As such, many know almost nothing about this time except that it should remain a forbidden cultural void.

Regardless, the past thirty years has seen a resurgence, though relatively slight, of interest in the most notorious of American entertainment: the minstrel show and its music. Likely originating with Civil War re-enactors, this group of performers, scholars and banjo builders have exhumed this obscure music from the deep pit it sat in for decades.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book inspirational in that i dug up the book i purchased some years back on How to Play the Banjo and introduced it to the banjo that has been sitting in a corner of my room! The two have finally met and we three will work at my "...coming from New York with my banjo on my knee!" Thank you Mr. Heller!.
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