An Excursion into the Lower Depths: Hollywood, Urban Primitivism, and St. Louis Blues, 1929-1937
Abstract

This essay considers how Hollywood presented the song St. Louis Blues in a number of movies during the early to mid-1930s. It argues that the tune's history and accumulated use in films enabled Hollywood to employ it in an increasingly complex manner to evoke essential questions about female sexuality, class, and race.


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