Essays prove the Blues was an African American invasion of European music.
The impact of African American music on western, white popular music is well documented. But while much has been written about the influences of black music on early rock n’ roll and the explosion of British popular music in the 1960s, little has been said about the earlier, and broader, effects.
Cross the Water Blues: African American Music in Europe (University Press of Mississippi) is a unique collection of essays examining the flow of African American music and musicians across the Atlantic to Europe from the time of slavery to the 20th century.
Editor Neil Wynn has assembled a broad exploration of different musical forms such as spirituals, blues, jazz, skiffle, and orchestral music. The contributors consider the reception and influence of black music on a number of different European audiences, particularly in Britain, but also France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The essayists approach the subject through diverse historical, musicological, and philosophical perspectives. A number of essays document little-known performances and recordings of African American musicians in Europe. Several pieces, including one by Paul Oliver, focus on the appeal of the blues to British listeners. At the same time, these considerations often reveal the ambiguous nature of European responses to black music and in so doing add to our knowledge of transatlantic race relations.
Contributions from Christopher G. Bakriges, Sean Creighton, Jeffrey Green, Leighton Grist, Bob Groom, Rainer E. Lotz, Paul Oliver, Catherine Parsonage, Iris Schmeisser, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Robert Springer, Rupert Till, Guido van Rijn, David Webster, and Neil A. Wynn
Neil A. Wynn is professor of twentieth-century American history at the University of Gloucestershire. He is the author of Historical Dictionary from the Great War to the Great Depression, From Progressivism to Prosperity: World War I and American Society, and The Afro-American and the Second World War.
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Read more about Cross the Water Blues: African American Music in Europe at: http://www.upress.state.ms.us/catalog/spring2007/cross_the_water_blues.html