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“Shoot Myself a Cop”: Mamie Smith's “Crazy Blues” as Social Text

Adah Cussow

in Seems Like Murder Here: Southern Violence and the Blues Tradition

Published in print:
2002
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226310978
eISBN:
9780226311005
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226311005.003.0005
Subject:
Literature, American, 20th Century Literature

This chapter considers retributive violence as imaged in Mamie Smith's recording of Perry Bradford's “Crazy Blues” (1920). It also reports a new theory of what is called “abandonment blues.” ... More


Forward to the Past: Race Music in the 1920s

David Brackett

in Categorizing Sound: Genre and Twentieth-Century Popular Music

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
May 2017
ISBN:
9780520248717
eISBN:
9780520965317
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520248717.003.0003
Subject:
Music, Popular

This chapter charts the emergence of “race music”: the earliest music industry category associated with African Americans. This emergence is set against “presentist” histories of blues and jazz, in ... More


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