Chicago has always had a reputation as a "wide open town" with a high tolerance for gangsters, illegal liquor, and crooked politicians. It has also been the home for countless black musicians and the birthplace of a distinctly urban blues,more sophisticated, cynical, and street-smart than the anguished songs of the…
Why read it?
1 author picked Chicago Blues as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This originally came out in 1973 as Chicago Breakdown, and has probably never been out of print. Rowe is an English blues historian and record collector, and his obsessive fascination with the musicians, labels, and clubs that created the blues in Chicago’s golden years drips off every page, from Lester Melrose’s Bluebird label through to the Chess Records giants – Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin Wolf and “the last of the great blues poets”, Sonny Boy Williamson. Much of Rowe’s work has no doubt been superseded by the veritable industry of blues research that has sprung up in the years…
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