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Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound (John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas) Hardcover – October 9, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas
  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press (October 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158544605X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585446056
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Texas Blues has value that transcends music scholarship. . . The book does an admirable job of balancing range and depth."-Living Blues
(Living Blues 2009-02-01)

"This book is a unique collection of publicity photos, snapshots, and reproductions of concert posters, album labels and album covers."-Texas Observer
(The Texas Observer 2009-01-09)

"Alan Govenar's book is easily the most ambitious, most sweeping volume specifically dedicated to the subject of Texas blues. No other book even comes close."--Joe Nick Patoski, author of Willie Nelson: An Epic Life
(Joe Nick Patoski, author of Willie Nelson: An Epic Life)

Review

"This is the most important book I am aware of on the history of Texas blues. And at $40 for 599 glossy, lavishly illustrated pages (and deeply discounted at the usual Internet kiosks) it's a remarkable bargain. Govenar, in addition to being a painstaking interviewer and researcher, is also a longtime archivist and photo historian who founded the nonprofit Documentary Arts and has a close working relationship with the Texas African American Photography Archive, both based in Dallas. This book is a unique collection of publicity photos, snapshots, and reproductions of concert posters, album labels and album covers. It's a marvelous visual record. There is also text--analysis, biography and interviews--tracing the Texas blues through its many twists and turns from the days of slavery to the present. The sheer quantity of information presents a challenge to coherence, and Govenar is to be commended for merging history and geography into a chronology that makes immediate and intuitive sense." -- Jim Sherman

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel S. Dunnam on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is, without a doubt, the definitive book about Texas blues. It documents every influential figure (well known or otherwise), not just with expertly written essays and first hand personal accounts from interviews with the artists, but also with countless, lovely, color and black-and-white photos.

From Blind Lemon Jefferson to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aaron "T-Bone" Walker to Alphonse "Lonnie" Mitchell. If you can think of a Texas blues personality you'll find them well represented here.

Author and blues historian Dr. Alan Govenar's bona fides in this field have been well established for decades, and in Texas Blues he seems to be offering up every insight he has gleaned over the years into one exhaustive edition. All I wish was that it came bundled with an audio box-set that offered up a song or two by the 100+ musicians covered in the prose.

Anyone interested in the history of blues, and particularly the important role of Texas blues, will not be disappointed by Mr. Govenar's latest and deepest foray into genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rev KM Williams on December 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this History Book on Texas Blues is Unique because it is written primarily with the words of Each Bluesman or Blueswoman in an Autobiographical manner;So there is no real critical review or opinion from the author,but rather from the artists themselves!Very informative and extensive. Excellent!!! PS I am honored to have 2 pages written on yours truly(KM Williams-pg67-68).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jay F. Brakefield on August 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Govenar's book is the most compehensive ever on Texas blues. It contains a wealth of information, entertainingly presented, and great photos as well.

A couple of reviews, from Library Journal:

Govenar, Alan. Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound. Texas A&M Univ. (John & Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music). 2008. c.599p. photogs. bibliog. discog. index. ISBN 978-1-58544-605-6. $40. MUSIC
As this massive, vibrant, and colorful study shows, the importance of Texas Blues is demonstrated by the number of musicians who have practiced or are practicing this art. The coverage is expansive, with introductory essays, interviews conducted by Govenar and others, and a wealth of photographs. Govenar (Meeting the Blues) manages to profile an amazing number of guitarists, pianists, singers, and others, both well known and obscure, who show how much pioneering blues musicians like T-Bone Walker and Lightnin' Hopkins influenced their own development. The discussion of the role played by tiny establishments, radio stations, country music, and several key record labels is particularly enlightening. These vignettes, along with a carefully chosen discography and bibliography, contribute to making this a special book on the blues field, particularly its Texas developments. Recommended for all libraries, especially those with large music holdings.--William G. Kenz, Minnesota State Univ., Moorhead

[...]
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James R. Lawler on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
just started reading this book an it is right on the first few pages let me know that blind lemon jefferson was born in wortham tx about 50 miles from were i live
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By Aaron B. Alexander, Jr. on December 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved it very muck. Lots of good reading and bluesmens' history.
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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.




 








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Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound (John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas)
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