In this Book

summary
The devil is the most charismatic and important figure in the blues tradition. He's not just the music's namesake ("the devil's music"), but a shadowy presence who haunts an imagined Mississippi crossroads where, it is claimed, Delta bluesman Robert Johnson traded away his soul in exchange for extraordinary prowess on the guitar. Yet, as scholar and musician Adam Gussow argues, there is much more to the story of the devil and the blues than these cliched understandings.

In this groundbreaking study, Gussow takes the full measure of the devil's presence. Working from original transcriptions of more than 125 recordings released during the past ninety years, Gussow explores the varied uses to which black southern blues people have put this trouble-sowing, love-wrecking, but also empowering figure. The book culminates with a bold reinterpretation of Johnson's music and a provocative investigation of the way in which the citizens of Clarksdale, Mississippi, managed to rebrand a commercial hub as "the crossroads" in 1999, claiming Johnson and the devil as their own.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-16
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. Heaven and Hell Parties: Southern Religion and the Devil’s Music
  2. pp. 17-73
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. Sold it to the Devil: The Great Migration, Lost Generations, and the Perils of the Urban Dance Hall
  2. pp. 74-106
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. I’m Going to Marry the Devil’s Daughter: Blues Tricksters Signifying on Jim Crow
  2. pp. 107-153
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. The Devil’s Gonna Get You: Blues Romance and the Paradoxes of Black Freedom
  2. pp. 154-192
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. Selling it at the Crossroads: The Lives and Legacies of Robert Johnson
  2. pp. 193-196
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. I. Playing for the Haints: Ike’s Protégé and Crossroads Folklore
  2. pp. 197-230
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. II. I Got a Big White Fella from Memphis Made a Deal with Me: Black Men, White Boys, and the Anxieties of Blues Postmodernity in Walter Hill’s Crossroads
  2. pp. 231-254
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. III. Local and Private Legislation: Branding the Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi
  2. pp. 255-303
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 304-322
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 323-326
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix: Devil-Blues Recordings and Selected Sermons, 1924–2015
  2. pp. 327-336
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 337-362
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 363-388
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Song Credits
  2. pp. 389-390
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 391-404
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

ISBN
9781469633688
Related ISBN
9781469633657
MARC Record
OCLC
1003192778
Pages
416
Launched on MUSE
2017-09-13
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.