With this volume, Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff complete their groundbreaking trilogy on the development of African American popular music. The authors bring to life the performers, entrepreneurs, critics, venues, and institutions that were most crucial to the emergence of the blues in black southern vaudeville theatres.
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Lynn Abbott is an independent scholar living in New Orleans. His work has been published in American Music, 78 Quarterly, American Music Research Center Journal, and The Jazz Archivist.
Doug Seroff is an independent scholar living in Greenbrier, TN. His work has appeared in American Music, Black Music Research Newsletter, Blues Unlimited, and Record Exchanger, among others. A leading expert on black gospel quartet singing for twenty-five years, he has written chapters published in anthologies and many scholarly essays for a wide variety of journals.
Lynn Abbott works at the Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University, in New Orleans.
[Abbott and Seroff] now complete their trilogy with The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville capping a rigorously researched and academic body of work that goes a long way to telling the true story of the blues.--C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz I can't imagine a more complete assessment of this complex topic at this point in the twenty-first century: all the old performers are no longer with us to be interviewed. And there are a finite number of 'negro' newspapers to be read. The authors have done all the necessary research for us.--Living Blues An invaluable musical history of the advent of the blues for those who want to dig in deep.--Gary von Tersch "Big City Rhythm and Blues " Their work, based on meticulous and far-ranging research, is invaluable for its documentation of the history of African American music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as for the authors' astute and politically engaged interpretations of their research findings.--George De Stefano "PopMatters " This huge piece of work revives not only old times but gives the vivid background (in the idiom of the times) to the additional research that enlarges on band arrangements, travel and show schedules, the introduction of new songs and themes as well as changing management of theaters, booking organizations and marketing personnel.--Jive Talk It's hard not to resort to hyperbole in writing about this book. There is much more between these covers than a review can mention, and all logically and elegantly organized. It breaks ground over which there has previously been nothing more than theorizing, much of it in pursuit of predetermined agendas with more than a hint of cultural colonialism in them. No one can ever again credibly write about the origins and early history of blues (or jazz) without taking account of the contents of this book. How much more essential than that can you get?--Howard Rye "Blues & Rhythm " The Original Blues . . . is a must-read for anyone with a collection of blues by the Smiths (Trixie, Clara, Mamie and, of course, Bessie) as well as those interested in early vaudeville, mustical theater (think Shuffle Along and Blackbirds) and even Burlesque.--Steve Ramm "The Antique Phonograph, JUNE 2019 " A remarkably lifelike picture of a struggling industry in the throes of self-creation--Russell Davies "Times Literary Supplement "
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