Danny Smith & Bill Hampson - The Blood And The Blues British Product

The Blood And The Blues by Danny Smith & Bill Hampson

Cross Rhythms Rating: 5/10
Tags: Paperback, Book, Music Related
Normal Dispatch Time: 1-5 days
A wide ranging look at the history of slavery and the musics that came out of it.

Price: £7.99 Check other currencies

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

The big problem with this book is working out exactly what it is trying to cover. Take away the foreword, introduction, photos, photographic descriptions, endnotes, bibliography, authors' notes and the page about the human rights pressure group Jubilee Campaign, one is left with 185 pages which chronicle the history of the loathsome slave trade, detail how early spirituals sometimes contained coded messages for runaway slaves (eg, "Wade In The Water" isn't just about baptism but an instruction to runaways to travel along the shallows of the river to avoid being tracked by bloodhounds), the development of early forms of African American music, the birth of the blues and how rock'n'roll came into being as well as taking in a myriad of subsidiary topics like the practice of record companies and music publishers to cheat black composers out of their royalties, the American Civil War, Little Richard's views on Mick Jagger's book advance (one of the few times Danny Smith uses original interview material) and other subjects as well. Just about all the material here has been published previously, and in more depth, but this brightly written volume may still be useful as a basic primer if you know little or nothing about the harrowing slave trade or the development of African American music. Probably the most disappointing thing about the book are the errors which occur through its pages (eg, the Drifters didn't sing on "Stand By Me", it was one time Drifters vocalist Ben E King who was the sole vocalist; the RCA "race records" subsidiary was Blue Bird, not Black Bird; and most embarrassing of all, it was the Staple Singers, not Sisters). Overall then, not a great piece of work.

Genre: Music Related
Cross Rhythms Product Code: 55083
Product Format: Book
ISBN: 9781860247095
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 232
Publisher: Authentic
Cat. Code: 9781860247095
Release Date: 30 Jan 2009

A wide ranging look at the history of slavery and the musics that came out of it.

Daring escapes, dangerous songs: the legacy of slavery’s underground railroad.

This book tells the inspiring collection of stories anecdotes and interviews of runaway slaves who escaped to freedom in America and the courageous people who risked their lives to help the fugitives. It also reveals the musical heritage of slave songs that became the foundation of all modern music. This is an epic story that touches all of us in the twenty-first century, as it reveals that modern music is based on slave songs born in slavery in America. Not your standard history book but it presents historical events in a contemporary, up-to-date style with remarkable accounts of endurance and bravery, courage and faith amidst oppression and danger.

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