Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Country Blues” as Want to Read:
The Country Blues
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Country Blues

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  69 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
From the field cries and work chants of Southern Negroes emerged a rich and vital music called the country blues, an intensely personal expression of the pains and pleasures of black life. This music--recorded during the twenties by men like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Robert Johnson--had all but disappeared from memory until the folk music revival of the ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published August 22nd 1975 by Da Capo Press (first published 1959)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Country Blues, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Country Blues

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Inder
Jul 02, 2008 Inder rated it it was amazing
I relied heavily on this book (but I can't say I read it cover to cover) for a paper I wrote on the blues for an anthropology class now more than ten years ago. I remember thinking that it was excellent. In particular, I loved the textual analysis of blues lyrics.

I found this in my shelf the other day and was struck by a strong desire to reread it. Or actually read it, whichever is applicable.

My sudden interest in re-reading up on the Blues? You could blame it on Zora Neale Hurston & Woody
...more
Pamela
May 28, 2014 Pamela rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
An interesting book, but definitely more of a relic than a history or an analysis. Many of blues musicians he profiles were still alive when Charters wrote this, and he was able to interview them, but everything is romanticized and embellished to the point where it's no more reliable than 3rd-hand reports. The book is most interesting when you look at it as ground zero for all the bullshit spouted by imitators that rolled out in the 60s. (That was a veiled jab at the Rolling Stones, by the way)

T
...more
Mary
Jun 25, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, blues
This is not simply a history of country blues or biographical sketches of important bluesmen. A good portion of it talks about the commercial side of the blues and how the style developed not just from traveling musicians learning from one another while playing for other poor African Americans in the rural South, but from recordings, minstrel shows, urban audiences, white audiences, etc.

Note that it's worth finding a 1975 or later edition which has the preface to the 1975 edition. In that prefa
...more
Carol Jean
Sep 01, 2016 Carol Jean rated it really liked it
I thought I loved this book until I read the history of Robert Johnson. With all due respect to its being a very early work about Blues and Blues artists, that one chapter made me doubt everything else I had read! Still, an important work written at the dawn of Blues research.
Patrick
Feb 10, 2013 Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-music
First study of the country blues. An easy breezy read and a people's history to boot.
Pablo Rodriguez
Nov 20, 2013 Pablo Rodriguez marked it as to-read
read
Allan
Dec 15, 2011 Allan rated it really liked it
Shelves: deep-south, music
A classic survey, including many profiles of favorite artists, written in Charters' personable, affectionate, insightful style.

Terry Wheeler
Terry Wheeler rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2014
Richard Hoffbeck
Richard Hoffbeck rated it liked it
May 20, 2016
Karen
Karen rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2014
Scott
Scott rated it liked it
Mar 03, 2007
Zachary
Zachary rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2012
Mark Stratton
Mark Stratton rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2016
Peter
Peter rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2011
Karsten
Karsten rated it really liked it
Dec 25, 2010
Andrew
Andrew rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2012
Rob
Rob rated it liked it
Nov 28, 2011
Tom Shannon, Jr
Tom Shannon, Jr rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2016
Samuel Briggs
Samuel Briggs rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2016
Ian Stevens
Ian Stevens rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2016
Abby
Abby rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2017
Helen Hart
Helen Hart rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2016
Jeff
Jeff rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2008
Dan Jenkins
Dan Jenkins rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2014
Blue
Blue rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2014
Greg
Greg rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2012
Dearg Glas
Dearg Glas rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2010
Brian Pounders
Brian Pounders rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2008
Jeff
Jeff rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2008
India
India rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Samuel Charters was an American music historian, writer, record producer, musician, and poet.
More about Samuel Charters...

Share This Book