Long Lost Blues
Popular Blues in America, 1850-1920
Awards and Recognition:
Received a Certificate of Merit in the Best Music History category from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), 2011
The first comprehensive examination of the early blues industry and the music it produced
Mamie Smith's 1920 recording of "Crazy Blues" is commonly thought to signify the beginning of commercial attention to blues music and culture, but by that year more than 450 other blues titles had already appeared in sheet music and on recordings. In this examination of early popular blues, Peter C. Muir traces the genre's early history and the highly creative interplay between folk and popular forms, focusing especially on the roles W. C. Handy played in both blues music and the music business.
Long Lost Blues exposes for the first time the full scope and importance of early popular blues to mainstream American culture in the early twentieth century. Closely analyzing sheet music and other print sources that have previously gone unexamined, Muir revises our understanding of the evolution and sociology of blues at its inception.
"Required reading for lovers of the blues and historians of American popular music."--Notes
"One of the most important and original books on blues to be published in the past decade."--The Journal of Southern History, David Evans
"Muir's revealing book contributes significantly to understanding how sheet music and the pop music industry influenced the blues. An important work."--Tim Brooks, author of Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919
"This fascinating work discusses the genesis and introduction of a minority music genre into mainstream culture in a way that is impossible to ignore, given the importance of blues connections to other genres. Essential reading for anyone interested in American popular music."--Dick Spottswood, host of The Dick Spottswood Show on BlueGrassCountry.org and editor of Ethnic Music on Records
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