Escaping the Delta by Elijah Wald
Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues

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The life of blues legend Robert Johnson becomes the centerpiece for this innovative look at what many consider to be America's deepest and most influential music genre. Pivotal are the questions surrounding why Johnson was ignored by the core black audience of his time yet now celebrated as the greatest figure in blues history.

Trying to separate myth from reality, biographer Elijah Wald studies the blues from the inside -- not only examining recordings but also the recollections of the musicians themselves, the African-American press, as well as examining original research. What emerges is a new appreciation for the blues and the movement of its artists from the shadows of the 1930s Mississippi Delta to the mainstream venues frequented by today's loyal blues fans.


About Elijah Wald

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Elijah Wald es escritor y mÚsico con veinte aÑos de experiencia reportando sobre los orÍgenes musicales y sobre la mÚsica misma en diferentes regiones del mundo. Fue escritor y asesor para el proyecto de mÚltiples medios del Instituto Smithsonian llamado The Mississippi: River and Song (El RÍo Mississippi: el rÍo y su mÚsica), y tambiÉn recibiÓ un premio por la biografÍa Josh White: Society Blues (Josh White, Blues de la Sociedad). Una sobrevista de su obra se puede conseguir en Elijah Wald is a writer and musician with twenty years experience covering roots and world music. He was writer and consultant on the Smithsonian multimedia project The Mississippi: River of Song, and is the author of the award-winning biography Josh White: Society Blues.
Published April 24, 2012 by Amistad. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Wald’s central point is that the errant contemporary perception of Johnson as a haunted, “primitive” artist and the key figure of Delta blues grew out of the highly romantic conceptions of such (white) promoters and archivists as John Hammond and Alan Lomax, whose notions were accepted as gospel ...

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In this combination history of blues music and biography of Robert Johnson, Wald, a blues musician himself (and author of Narcorrido ), explores Johnson's rise from a little known guitarist who died in 1938 to one of the most influential artists in rock and roll.

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