This fall we have two new books on the Chicago Blues scene that celebrate the city’s incredible musicians and their legacy. Celebrate with us and check out our books on Chicago Blues and some interesting articles in American Music.
Photographs by Peter M. Hurley
In a follow up to his 2006 book Chicago Blues, David Whiteis delves into how the current and upcoming Chicago blues generations carry on the blues legacy. Drawing on in-person interviews, Whiteis places the artists within the ongoing social and cultural reality their work reflects and helps create. Beginning with James Cotton, Eddie Shaw, and other bequeathers, he moves through an all-star council of elders like Otis Rush and Buddy Guy and on to inheritors and today’s heirs apparent like Ronnie Baker Brooks, Shemekia Copeland, and Nellie “Tiger” Travis.
Through revealing portraits of selected local artists and slice-of-life vignettes drawn from the city’s pubs and lounges, Chicago Blues encapsulates the sound and spirit of the blues as it is lived today. As a committed participant in the Chicago blues scene for more than a quarter century, David Whiteis draws on years of his observations and extensive interviews to paint a full picture of the Chicago blues world, both on and off the stage.
This collection assembles the best interviews from Steve Cushing’s long-running radio program Blues Before Sunrise, the nationally syndicated, award-winning program focusing on vintage blues and R&B. As both an observer and performer, Cushing has been involved with the blues scene in Chicago for decades. His candid, colorful interviews with prominent blues players, producers, and deejays reveal the behind-the-scenes world of the formative years of recorded blues.
In this new collection of interviews, Steve Cushing once again invites readers into the vaults of Blues Before Sunrise. Icons from Memphis Minnie to the Gay Sisters stand alongside figures like schoolteacher Flossie Franklin, who helped Leroy Carr pen some of his most famous tunes; saxman Abb Locke and his buddy Two-Gun Pete, a Chicago cop notorious for killing people in the line of duty; and Scotty “The Dancing Tailor” Piper, a font of knowledge on the black entertainment scene of his day.
Available November 2019
Harper’s eloquent memoir conjures the smoky redoubts of men like harmonica virtuoso Big Walter Horton and pianist Sunnyland Slim. Venturing from stageside to kitchen tables to the shotgun seat of a 1973 Eldorado, Harper listens to performers and others recollect memories of triumphs earned and chances forever lost. Harper also chronicles a time of change, as an up-tempo, whites-friendly blues eclipsed what had come before, and old Southern-born black players held court one last time before an all-conquering generation of young guitar aces took center stage.
Wayne Everett Goins
Goins mines seventy-five hours of interviews with Rogers’s family, collaborators, and peers to follow a life spent in the blues. Goins’s account takes Rogers from recording Chess classics to playing Chicago clubs to a late-in-life renaissance that included new music, entry into the Blues Hall of Fame, and high-profile tours with Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. Informed and definitive, Blues All Day Long fills a gap in twentieth-century music history with the story of one of the blues’ eminent figures and one of the genre’s seminal bands.
Lincoln T. Beauchamp Jr.
This incomparable anthology collects articles, interviews, fiction, and poetry from the Original Chicago Blues Annual, one of music history’s most significant periodical blues publications. Founded and operated from 1989 to 1995 by African American musician and entrepreneur Lincoln T. Beauchamp Jr., OCBA gave voice to the blues community and often frankly addressed contentious issues within the blues such as race, identity, prejudice, wealth, gender, and inequity.
Richard E. Stamz with Patrick A. Roberts
As either observer or participant, radio deejay and political activist Richard E. Stamz witnessed every significant period in the history of blues and jazz in the last century. From performing first-hand as a minstrel in the 1920s to broadcasting Negro League baseball games in a converted 1934 Chrysler to breaking into Chicago radio and activist politics and hosting his own television variety show, the remarkable story of his life also is a window into milestones of African American history throughout the twentieth century.
Read on JSTOR from American Music, edited by Gayle Sherwood Magee
By Christopher Cody
By Roberta Freund Schwartz