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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


Langston Hughes and the Scandal of Early Blues Poetry

Adam Gussow

in Whose Blues?: Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
September 2021
ISBN:
9781469660363
eISBN:
9781469660387
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660363.003.0007
Subject:
Music, History, American

The history of the blues is, among other things, a history of commentators who lament the appropriation, commercialization, dilution, sexing-up, and other misuse of the blues. Early blues scholar ... More


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