Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This is a quick post repeating the three very important points in the last post.

1. The musicians in Devil At The Confluence are all St Louisans.  
Lonnie, his wife Mary, Edith Johnson, Moore, Wheatstraw, Williams, Davis, Sykes, Jordan, Gibson, Townsend and all of the rest were not migrating. They lived in St Louis.
Others like Kokomo Arnold, Yank Rachel or Leroy Carr were not migrating, but they visited often or lived in St Louis. And it could be argued that they were a part of the St Louis community of musicians, but to stay strictly to those that recorded in St Louis, they aren't profiled in Devil At The Confluence. After WWII there was a lot of travel and relocating and possibly that's where the idea of St Louis, located in the middle of the country on Route 66, was a place to visit or pass through. 

2. The Southern birth theory of blues music history is inaccurate. 
W C Handy and Rainey first heard the music they called blues in St Louis while ragtime was still big and Joplin had a new hit with The Entertainer. Easily before Son House was born and even before Mississippi John Hurt was born.

3. In Devil At The Confluence, the definition of what is "blues" is based on what the pre-war artist's themselves said and what they called blues. Not what record companies, authors, critics or fans decided. 

The next post will continue with the most asked questions and more on Lonnie Johnson.

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