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Songsters and Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records Paperback – September 27, 1984

ISBN-13: 978-0521269421 ISBN-10: 0521269423

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Songsters and Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records + Searching for Robert Johnson: The Life and Legend of the "King of the Delta Blues Singers"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 27, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521269423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521269421
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,617,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...fills an interesting and important gap in American musical history." Cashbox

Book Description

This original study reveals that the emphasis on blues has drawn attention away from other rich and important vocal traditions such as Southern rural dance music and the comic and social songs and ballads of travelling entertainment shows. Includes a guide to reissued recordings and indexes of approximately 500 artists and 700 song titles.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on December 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a crime that this wonderful book is not available in an inexpensive edition but only in a collectible price because it is effectively out of print.
It provides a real history of the music that preceded the Blues and Dorsey-based Gospel in and outside of the recording music and makes an essential contribution to the history of the Blues and African American music in the 1880-1930 period. Oliver speaks about factors left out of most discussion of the Blues. For example, he surveys the very large repertoire of Ragtime and pseudo ragtime tunes that were part of the repertoire of early Blues singers and he suggests how this music may have been one of the initial building blocks of the blues. Oliver also discusses the wave of Black Southern vernacular dances that conquered the South and much of the nation in the early 20th century which were key to the development of new Black musics in those years.

When you first read this, you will wish you had bought this book sooner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wm. on May 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Both well written and well researched, this book posits that commercial recordings - specifically "race" records made primarily from the late 1920s to the early 1930s - were a vital and important means of communicating folk traditions. Mr. Oliver's looks at both secular and religious recordings (particularly sermons), and provides insightful and deeply informed analysis of both. For those interested in blues, or American music in general,this is an extremely informative book,and I recommend it highly.
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