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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Jerome Clark Stephen Calt's biography of Skip James (106* d) RE: Stephen Calt's biography of Skip James 07 Sep 17


I have to say that I have not only enjoyed this thread but found vindication in it.

Till now, I hadn't encountered anybody else who'd read Calt's strange book, though I had some sense that among hard-core blues types his reputation was not exactly stellar. It's good to know that others found the James biography as hard to take as I did. Maybe it will encourage those curious about blues scholarship to seek out the more worthy books, of which there are many, and also to hope that a more able chronicler of James's life, times, and music surfaces eventually.

I remember, by the way, reading a piece some years ago in which a New York Times music critic expressed dismay on learning that Calt planned to write a Robert Johnson biography. Calt died (at the relatively young age of 62, as I recall) before that happened,

On another matter I think it is a mistake to think of Mississippi John Hurt as a blues performer. Rooted in pre-blues Southern folk music, he is more accurately characterized as a songster, and justly celebrated as a unique and interesting figure.


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