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Heroes of Blues, Jazz, and Country

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  476 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Anyone who knows R. Crumb's work as an illustrator knows of his passion for music. And all those who collect his work prize the "Heroes of the Blues, Early Jazz Greats," and "Pioneers of Country Music" trading card sets he created in the early to- mid-1980s. Now they are packaged together for the first time in book form, along with an exclusive 21-track CD of music selecte ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (first published November 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 28, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing
When you consider that this book is accompanied by a great CD album of great early jazz, blues, and country greats, it's a terrific deal. The book itself consists of a series of annotated trading cards designed by cartoonist R. Crumb for Yazoo Records releases some thirty years ago. Crumb's art is, as usual, wonderful; and the short descriptions remind us about how much great old music from the 1920s and 1930s is forgotten today.
Richard Dees
Aug 22, 2009 Richard Dees rated it really liked it
skip james "hard time killing floor blues" is on the cd that comes with the book and instantly became one of my favorite blues songs
May 29, 2012 Joshlynn rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with R. Crumb around the same time I got interested in blues music, and I found out about his love for blues when I stumbled upon a Son House greatest hits with Crumb's portrait of House on the cover. It's a perfect drawing; the tilt of the head, the gauche coloration vs. the black and white of the original photo, and the wrinkles - oh, the wrinkles! R. Crumb made the music make sense. Were it not for that particular rendering of Son House, blues may have remained a historical odd ...more
Jeff Song
Jul 05, 2010 Jeff Song rated it really liked it
Shelves: music-art
Crumb put together a great collection of music on the CD that accompanies this book of his portraits of his Heroes of Blues, Jazz, & Country.
I think he is one of the masters of pen and ink portraiture.
Nick Bennett
Sep 25, 2014 Nick Bennett rated it really liked it
Great stuff, the country section was particularly interesting.
Feb 15, 2014 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three sets of cards: Heroes of the Blues, Early Jazz Greats, and Pioneers of Country Music first published in the 1980s by Yazoo Records/Shanachie Entertainment are reproduced in this compilation. The Blues and Country sets were drawn in Crumb’s distinctive style and then colored. The Jazz set was painted by him. The portraits taken from existing photographs represent the musical passions of Crumb. The accompanying notes by Calt, Jasen and Nevins give brief information about the musicians, their ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Crotijak rated it really liked it
Crumb is extrodinary artist, and although I don't personally like the style this book is drawn, I liked the theme of the book very much. It's cery interesting and gives insight in early stages of blues, jazz and rock music.
Jerry Oliver
Apr 19, 2013 Jerry Oliver rated it it was amazing

This was a very cool little book. This book brings together all of R. Crumb's illustrations he did for three early 1980's sets of trading cards featuring the Heroes Of The Blues, Early Jazz Greats and Pioneers Of Country Music. These excellent illustrations are accompanied by short bios of these intriguing musician and groups from first days early recorded American music. This is a fun collection for enthusiasts or a great introduction to artists like Son House, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rogers
East Bay J
Jan 12, 2008 East Bay J rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music-bios
This beautifully put together book is really and truly outstanding. The combination of Robert Crumb's art with single page bios of various old time blues, jazz and country stars is a major success. If you want to learn a little about a whole lot of singers and musicians from the 20's and 30's, this is your source. Even better, the included CD contains 21 awesome songs from the catalog of Yazoo Records, recorded between 1927 and 1931. Listen while you learn! R. Crumb's Heroes Of Blues, Jazz & ...more
Jun 07, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing
You take a provocative artist like Robert Crumb and pair him with a controversial topic like early Blues and you get a masterpiece. This is just small bios of famous artists, which is similar to his "Little Blues Book" - key difference though is LBB offers even more depth on the Blues history and certain artists/lyrics which is really enjoyable - but unlike that book which is in B&W, this is in lovingly created color!!. Read them both together if you love the blues - the lyric component of L ...more
Jul 22, 2007 Tom rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: old music fans / cartoon fans
a splendid collection of Crumb's trading card sets, in easily-accessible "book" format, with a cracking CD of scratchy gems, like the Weems String Band, who all look like each other's cousins.

his craft - drawing old photos in his own cartoon style - gives these old time musicians the slightly weird depth that suits them.

if you don't like Crumb's world, you won't like this - but if you don't know him, it's a pretty good place to start
Feb 03, 2009 Eric rated it it was amazing
A Christmas gift from my sister, this is an exceptional collection of single-panel renditions of unheralded musical legends by the brilliant (if eccentric) R. Crumb. The collection was originally intended to be published as a set of trading cards--which tells you something of the book's format: the artist appears on one page, and a short paragraph about his or her life appears opposite.

It's a lovely book.
Feb 18, 2009 thom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic, non-fiction
A great introduction to old blues, country and jazz records which even includes a CD to get you started. Some of the music is captivating, other more a little strange to modern ears. Crumb's illustrations are, of course, fantastic, but some of the anecdotes about the various bands are just as great. Altogether it's a great book - wonderful to flick through listening to the CD.
Aug 25, 2009 Bobby rated it liked it
Shelves: music
I've never been very attracted to Crumb's work although I understand his importance in the history of graphic novels & comics.

This book however was the perfect combination of art, music, and history. I was unaware of these card he originally created, but found the book interesting and it introduced me both in music and text to a variety of musicians.
Tim Niland
Jan 16, 2008 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
This delightful little book collects reprintings of collectible cards that the comic R. Crumb drew in the 1980's. Crumb is a longtime collector and aficionado of early 20th century American music, and this drawings with very brief biographical accompaniment make a colorful statement about the characters that built American music.
Paul Secor
Sep 20, 2012 Paul Secor rated it it was ok
Used to have the trading cards. Actually never bothered with the book. Seemed to me like Crumb just copied old photographs and didn't put much of himself into the drawings, so they didn't interest me.
I seem to be in a minority here with my rating, but that's ok.
Jim Wilson
Nov 10, 2013 Jim Wilson rated it it was amazing
R. Crumb drawings of mostly forgotten early blues, jazz and country musicians with brief biographical notes. Typical R. Crumb drawings. There is a music CD included. Nice book for those interested in early music.
Dave Peticolas
A fine collection of r.crumb drawings of blues and country musicians from the 20's and 30's. Each sketch includes a short bibliography and the book comes with a CD of selected music.
Oct 21, 2007 Tyler rated it really liked it
Crumb's illustrations are great, the band and artist synopses that they accompany are surprisingly informative for their length, and the attached bonus CD is killer.
May 11, 2013 Carrie rated it really liked it
Fantastic little book. As wonderful as the trading cards are, though, the music itself is the real draw - listen to the CD, make yourself a radio station online, enjoy.
May 01, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
Fun book, great illustrations and great recordings. I wish he'd given as much space to the blues musicians as he gave to the old-time/country ones.
Feb 18, 2012 Lee rated it really liked it
A pretty fine little Xmas present. Like baseball cards that come with ideas about music to download instead of stale chewing gum.
Mary Louise
I am a big fan of the graphic genre, and this book, about all the music superstars, is fantastic. Educational and entertaining.
Kayla Rae
Jan 16, 2009 Kayla Rae rated it really liked it
The music compilation is excellent. So is the rendering of the Carter Family. I'm very glad this is a part of my library now.
David Allen
Jul 20, 2008 David Allen rated it liked it
The CD, collecting 21 songs from 1927-1931 chosen by Crumb, is worth the $20 cost all by itself. The book is a nice bonus.
Jul 10, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, comics
A fun, beautifully drawn and surprisingly brilliant guide to blues, jazz and country by the always remarkable Crumb.
Ariel Kotzer
Jan 10, 2016 Ariel Kotzer rated it it was ok
drawings are beautiful, writing meh, not what i expected at all and def not worth the hefty pricetag
Jun 12, 2011 Greg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bathroom
Is it wrong that I want to get this for my six-year-old niece?
Feb 08, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing
kinda fuckin' beautiful.
Oct 17, 2007 Rosebud rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with soul
this is a true treasure.
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Robert Dennis Crumb (born August 30, 1943)— is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.

Crumb was a founder of the underground comix movement and is regarded as its most prominent figure. Though one of the most celebrated of comic book artists, Crumb's entire career has
More about Robert Crumb...

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