Many authors wrote about the Blues. Topics vary from biographies, the history and study books. In my book this are the books everybody should read. I’m always looking for new books, feel free to add.
Chicago Blues: The City & the Music
Chicago has always had a reputation as a ”wide open town” with a high tolerance for gangsters, illegal liquor, and crooked politicians. It has also been the home for countless black musicians and the birthplace of a distinctly urban blues—more sophisticated, cynical, and street-smart than the anguished songs of the Mississippi delta—a music called the Chicago blues. This is the history of that music and the dozens of black artists who congregated on the South and Near West Sides. Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Tampa Red, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Otis Rush, Sonny Boy Williamson, Junior Wells, Eddie Taylor—all of these giants played throughout the city and created a musical style that had imitators and influence all over the world. Text By Amazon
Chicago Blues as seen from the inside
When Raeburn Flerlage was asked to take a picture of Memphis Slim in 1959, he began a career that would produce some of the most fascinating and important photos ever taken of blues musicians. By shooting concert performances, studio sessions, interviews, and club shows, he became a fixture of the Chicago blues scene during the 1960s and early 70s, and captured some of America’s greatest blues artists at the pinnacle of their careers: Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spann, James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, Son House, and many more. Here, for the first time, are Raeburn’s greatest photos, reproduced in a beautiful format. From Howlin’ Wolf performing at legendary Pepper’s lounge to Otis Spann and James Cotton playing in Muddy Waters’ basement, these pictures bring to life one of the most incredible periods in American musical history. Text by Amazon.
Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
A very easy readable book. Great quotes, story about Muddy Waters, and the start of the Chocago Blues. The epic, rollicking, up-and-down life of Muddy Waters, who went from Mississippi farmhand to musical legend, who invented electric blues and created the template for the rock-and-roll band and its wild lifestyle, is brought into sharp focus in this widely acclaimed biography. photos. Text by Amazon.
Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story
Whenever you hear the prevalent wailing blues harmonica in commercials, film soundtracks or at a blues club, you are experiencing the legacy of the master harmonica player, Little Walter. Immensely popular in his lifetime, Little Walter had fourteen Top 10 hits on the R&B charts, and he was also the first Chicago blues musician to play at the Apollo. Ray Charles and B.B. King, great blues artists in their own right, were honored to sit in with his band. However, at the age of 37, he lay in a pauper’s grave in Chicago. This book will tell the story of a man whose music, life and struggles continue to resonate to this day.
The Blues Highway: New Orleans to Chicago
Never before has there been such a comprehensive guide to the great music corridor of the South to the Midwest. Award-winning travel writer Richard Knight has written the definitive travel guide exploring the roots of jazz and blues in the US by following Highway 61 and the Mississippi River from Congo Square in New Orleans and the Delta blues joints, through Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, Davenport to the South Side of Chicago.
The Blues Highway looks at the music history of this famous stretch that many black musicians journeyed from the cotton fields of Mississippi to Chicago in search of work which led to the spread of jazz and blues across the country. New and exclusive interviews with such ground-breaking legends as Sam Phillips, founder of Sun Records in Memphis; R&B great Wilson Pickett; legendary performer Ike Turner; the great Stax artist, Little Milton Campbell; blues great Rufus Thomas, who is still going strong in his eighties, and more are featured. Text by Amazon
Keith Richards: Life
Keith Richards, one of the greatest rock ´n roll personas. In his biography he takes you by his hand and tells extensively about his youth, the start of the Stones, writing songs and of course sex, drugs and rock ´n roll. absolute a recommendation.
Legends of the Blues
William Stout made a great book about the Legends of the Blues. What I like about the book is the great portraits that he makes. A crazy Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, a beautiful Billy Holiday and a by the devil possessed Robert Johnson.
Heroes of the Blues
Heroes of the Blues is a fantastic collection of Rubert Crumbs trading card sets he created in the early to- mid-1980s. Crumb is a bluesfan. The heroes of the blues is in contrast to Williams Stouts Legends of the blues a package of the work he made. Fun thing is± you receive a 21-track CD of music selected and compiled by Crumb himself.
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