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Ragged but Right: Black Traveling Shows, "Coon Songs," and the Dark Pathway to Blues and Jazz (American Made Music Series)

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1578069019
ISBN-10: 1578069017
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This groundbreaking study of "coon songs" and ragtime in black musical comedies, circus sideshows, and tented minstrel shows

--- Offers one of the first books to confront the "coon song" phenomenon head-on and trace its importance in the formation of blues and jazz

--- Provides the first sweeping survey of black band and minstrel companies attached to circus sideshows

--- Creates a body of dependable information on black tented minstrel shows

--- Follows the very successful Out of Sight which became a required purchase for anyone interested in the history of American popular music

From the Inside Flap

A groundbreaking study of "coon songs" and ragtime in black musical comedies, circus sideshows, and tented minstrel shows
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Product Details

  • Series: American Made Music Series
  • Hardcover: 461 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (January 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578069017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578069019
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on May 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have not finished this book, but I feel it is so important that I want to review it now and not wait. Most people who think they know about the history of Black and general popular music, jazz, blues, and old time music do not know anything about the material that is covered in this book. Without this knowledge, we are all wrong, mistaken and confused.

An important thread central to musical culture in this country was commercial and professional African American musicians and other entertainers who were centered in traveling companies of various kinds including circuses, minstrel shows, and traveling theatar companies during the years covered. Here we have gathered in minstrel shows the great women singers who helped make the blues nationaly known and recorded like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. Here you have musicians who became masters of Jazz playing and composition. Here you had comedians whose routines became part of the standard discourse in this country far from the stages they performed on. Here you have the dancers who ignited the great African American dance crazes of the 20th century.

Seroff and Abbot cover the information about this slowly, thoroughly and with abundant illustrations and documentation. Their sources are the coverage of Black entertainment in columns and entire newspapers that were published during the era on this in African American newspapers. The documentation they use should be a guide for further research into specific aspects of the music.

The prices on this book is quite steep. One hopes that libraries make a special push to acquire this book. Ask your library to do so, even if you have the money,or like myself, the urgency, to buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A on August 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply essential to anyone trying to understand either the history of American popular music or the complex and contradictory history of "race" in America. This book is a treasure trove of material that has largely been obfuscated and misrepresented by later historians and critics. We very much need more scholarship like this excellent and thought-provoking book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Haymes on August 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An amazing book from Abbott & Seroff. This is so essential to my research into a forthcoming book on the great vaudeville blues singer, Clara Smith from Spartanburg, South Carolina. In fact this book is so well-written and researched I am inspired to get their previous tome: "Out Of Sight"
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Ragged but Right: Black Traveling Shows, "Coon Songs," and the Dark Pathway to Blues and Jazz (American Made Music Series)
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