From the list on the blues, Chicago, and the Chicago blues.
Who am I?
Call me contrarian, but when most of my school friends were into Bowie, Zeppelin, and Genesis, I was saving up for Muddy Waters’ Greatest Hits and discovering how a single note from Albert King’s guitar could send chills down your spine. The music inspired me to spend a summer in Chicago in 1979, aged 20, and I went back in 1982. It took me 30-odd years to get round to writing it, but this book is the result of those adventures, when a guileless British youth found himself welcomed into the noisy, friendly, creative, chaotic, nurturing, and overwhelmingly black world of the Chicago blues, a long time ago.
Alan's book list on the blues, Chicago, and the Chicago blues
Why did Alan love this book?
A series of profiles of the author’s musical heroes, along with erudite essays on blues, rock’n’roll, and Chess Records, this is an essential primer. You cannot understand the place of the blues in modern culture without also understanding Little Richard, Elvis Presley, the relationships between white label bosses and their black artists, and the ever-present, inescapable fact of musical cross-pollenation. Chess had Muddy Waters on its roster, and Howlin Wolf, but also Chuck Berry, Ramsey Lewis, and The Moonglows. Guralnick’s writing is elegant, informed, and self-aware, and from Skip James to Jerry Lee Lewis, in the 50 years since its publication, the reputations of his book’s iconic subjects have rocketed in value.