The Truman and Eisenhower Blues is a fascinating and exhaustive account of the gospel and blues music of the post-war period (1945-1960). Guido van Rijn studies over 300 songs, many of them rare recordings, from artists including Fats Domino, John Lee Hooker and B. B. King, and usefully transcribes 123 of them in their entirety. Tapping sources which have previously been neglected by historians, musicologists and sociologists, he provides an illuminating examination of the themes at the heart of this Cold War music: the reconversion, the atomic bomb, the Korean War, civil rights, Presidential elections, the economy and the space race. This is a companion volume to the author's award-winning book Roosevelt's Blues (1997).
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"... an invaluable key to understanding this group which otherwise seems inarticulate, inscrutable, or threatening. These songs not only provide insight into another social world, but they entertain and please the ear with their artistry. Unitentionally perhaps, they bridge some of the great social and racial divides that America has created, as well as providing spiritual and artistic nourishment for the victims of these divides". --David Evans, University of Memphis, from the Foreword.About the Author:
Guido van Rijn teaches English at Kennemer Lyceum in Overveen, the Netherlands. He is a widely published writer and music journalist, has run his own record label, Agram Blues, and is co-founder of the Netherlands Blues and Boogie Organisation.
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