The Story of the Blues
I have read a lot of blues books in my time but the one that i am reading now is certainly one of the best. It is written by Paul Oliver, and is titled "The Story of the Blues". It is copyright 1969 by Chilton Book Company, so I don't know if it is still in print. As the back cover says "this is perhaps the most exciting and complete book on the blues to be published in many years". They are not kidding. The photographs alone are worth the price of admission. all of the old juke joints, all of the old performers, all of the rich texture of where the blues was born and grew up is in this book. And the text literally brought tears to my eyes because of the harsh conditions and sad stories that make the blues the story of life. It was written in 1969 so you won't find the North Mississippi All-Stars, or even Stevie Ray Vaughan, but the book is a very valuable piece of evidence for anyone building a case for the blues. If you can't find it at your bookstore check your library. And check their cd section while you are there.
--Roger Slugg, RBS Board Member