In this Book

Cross the Water Blues
summary
This unique collection of essays examines the flow of African American music and musicians across the Atlantic to Europe from the time of slavery to the twentieth century. In a sweeping examination of different musical forms--spirituals, blues, jazz, skiffle, and orchestral music--the contributors consider the reception and influence of black music on a number of different European audiences, particularly in Britain, but also France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The essayists approach the subject through diverse historical, musicological, and philosophical perspectives. A number of essays document little-known performances and recordings of African American musicians in Europe. Several pieces, including one by Paul Oliver, focus on the appeal of the blues to British listeners. At the same time, these considerations often reveal the ambiguous nature of European responses to black music and in so doing add to our knowledge of transatlantic race relations. Contributions from Christopher G. Bakriges, Sean Creighton, Jeffrey Green, Leighton Grist, Bob Groom, Rainer E. Lotz, Paul Oliver, Catherine Parsonage, Iris Schmeisser, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Robert Springer, Rupert Till, Guido van Rijn, David Webster, Jen Wilson, and Neil A. Wynn Neil A. Wynn is professor of twentieth-century American history at the University of Gloucestershire. He is the author of Historical Dictionary from Great War to Great Depression, From Progressivism to Prosperity: American Society and the First World War, and The Afro-American and the Second World War.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. v-vii
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  1. PREFACE
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. 1. “Why I Sing the Blues”: AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE IN THE TRANSATLANTIC WORLD
  2. pp. 3-22
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  1. 2. Taking the Measure of the Blues
  2. pp. 23-38
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  1. 3. Even Philosophers Get the Blues: FEELING BAD FOR NO REASON
  2. pp. 39-50
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  1. 4. Spirituals to (Nearly) Swing, 1873–1938
  2. pp. 51-65
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  1. 5. Black Music Prior to the First World War: AMERICAN ORIGINS AND GERMAN PERSPECTIVES
  2. pp. 66-88
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  1. 6. Fascination and Fear: RESPONSES TO EARLY JAZZ IN BRITAIN
  2. pp. 89-105
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  1. 7. “Un Saxophone en Mouvement”?: JOSEPHINE BAKER AND THE PRIMITIVIST RECEPTION OF JAZZ IN PARIS IN THE 1920S
  2. pp. 106-124
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  1. 8. Paul Robeson’s British Journey
  2. pp. 125-144
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  1. 9. Preaching the Gospel of the Blues: BLUES EVANGELISTS IN BRITAIN
  2. pp. 145-166
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  1. 10. Whose “Rock Island Line”?: ORIGINALITY IN THE COMPOSITION OF BLUES AND BRITISH SKIFFLE
  2. pp. 167-182
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  1. 11. The Blues Blueprint: THE BLUES IN THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES, AND LED ZEPPELIN
  2. pp. 183-201
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  1. 12. “The Blues Is the Truth”: THE BLUES, MODERNITY, AND THE BRITISH BLUES BOOM
  2. pp. 202-217
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  1. 13. Lowland Blues: THE RECEPTION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN BLUES AND GOSPEL MUSIC IN THE NETHERLANDS
  2. pp. 218-234
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  1. 14. The Blues in France
  2. pp. 235-249
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  1. 15. Cultural Displacement, Cultural Creation: AFRICAN AMERICAN JAZZ MUSICIANS IN EUROPE FROM BECHET TO BRAXTON
  2. pp. 250-265
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  1. CONTRIBUTORS
  2. pp. 266-270
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  1. INDEX
  2. pp. 271-289
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