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The Devil's Music: A History Of The Blues Paperback – March 22, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 2nd edition (March 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306807432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306807435
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In 1976, Giles Oakley helped produce the acclaimed five-part BBC documentary The Devil's Music, which resulted in this book. He has since coproduced numerous prime-time programs and series for BBC-TV and has contributed to many books and journals.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By B. Welshans on June 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Very comprehensive; from Slavery era through the 60s, provides a long list of the men and women who created the blues and the following generations that assimilated and popularized them. Discusses the social, economic and political forces that influenced them as well. Good educational read. Pretty much ends at the Muddy Waters/BB King heyday of the 60s. If you're looking more for the modern blues (the Alberts, Buddy Guy, Clapton, Hendrix, SRV even) then this one is not for you. However, if you want to know about the guys (and gals) from whom the modern-era bluesmen learned their chops, this is your book.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Chris Luallen on October 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
For anyone interested in a learning more about the blues, including it's history, different styles and most important musicians, this book is an excellent choice. It traces the music from it's roots in work songs, gospel and tent shows through the country blues of the South and the electric blues of Chicago on to the modern era.

The writer clearly has great admiration for this music, not only for it's creative spirit but as a reflection of the black experience in America and the struggle of so many folks to survive bigotry and economic injustice.

Top notch blues perfomers like Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters are covered as well as lesser known but still influential talents such as Gus Cannon and Henry Thomas. Written in 1976, Oakley's comments on the contemporary blues scene can sometimes sound dated. But an excellent afterword, written in the late 90's, bring it somewhat more up to date. If you want to know more about the blues then this book is a great place to start.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Soulman on December 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was another good reference for anyone who is a student of the blues and it's history. It was very informative and easy to read. The author's writing style is pleasant and reflects an honest and objective account of the events and people who make up this slice of history.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Green on January 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative, well-written piece. If the blues are your forte this is the book for you. Enjoy it and learn.
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By Leonora A. Perry on November 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great book
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