Category Archives: The Blues

They don’t call me “Dr. Excitement” for nothin’, you know! (Be True to Your School, 5)

[Note:  In a previous post in this series, I discussed how certain personal eccentricities helped me construct a “classroom persona,” one “Dr.,” beard, polyester suit, and awful pun at a time.  In this entry, I’d like to offer a few … Continue reading

Posted in "The Race Beat", Age of Jim Crow, American History, Civil Rights Movement, Civil War, Cold War, Dr. Martin Luther King, Elias Boudinot, Historical Reflection, History, History Curriculum, Interdisciplinary Work, Prep School, prep school teaching with a PhD, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, Teaching, The Blues, Uncategorized, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Who was that Masked Man?”: Building a Classroom Persona (Be True to Your School, 4)

[NOTE:  In a previous post in this series, I saluted the two best teachers I’ve ever had, Miss Gertrude Weaver (high school) and Professor James Rabun (graduate school).  In addition to deep knowledge of history and loads of energy and … Continue reading

Posted in "big bucks", American History, building a classroom persona, classroom eccentricities, Delaware, Education, Historical Reflection, History, History Curriculum, History Teaching, jogging, memoir, New Jersey, Prep School, prep school teaching with a PhD, Retirement, Southern (Georgia) History, Teaching, The Blues, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Skip James, “Emotional Hermit” of the Blues (Blues Stories, 26)

A Review of Stephen Calt, I’d Rather Be the Devil: Skip James + the Blues. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2008. His music was the defiant product of an emotional hermit: “I wanted it different all the way—I always have had … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Jim Crow, American History, Books, Delta Blues, History, History of Rock and Roll, Popular Culture, Skip James, Son House, Southern History, Stephen Calt, The Blues, Theology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chasing the Delta Blues: The Mississippi Blues Trail, Part 2 (Blues Stories, 25)

[This is the second and concluding post about the trip the Willowy Bride (AKA, the WB) and I took along the Delta portion of the Mississippi Blues Trail in May 2013.  For Part 1, go here.] * * * * … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Age of Jim Crow, Alan Lomax, B.B. King, Big Bill Broonzy, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Delta Blues, History, History of Rock and Roll, Howlin' Wolf, Interdisciplinary Work, John Lee Hooker, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Muddy Waters, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern History, The Blues, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chasing the Delta Blues: The Mississippi Blues Trail, Part 1 (Blues Stories, 25)

[NOTE:  Anyone who has perused the “Blues Stories” page of this blog will know that, of all the stopping places available to  fans interested in “Blues Geography,” my favorite location is the Mississippi Delta, generally regarded as the “birthplace of the … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Age of Jim Crow, B.B. King, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Delta Blues, History, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Muddy Waters, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern History, The Blues, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On the Trail of Blind Willie McTell (Blues Stories, 24)

A Review of:                      Michael Gray, Hand Me My Travelin’ Shoes:  In Search of Blind Willie McTell.  Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2009.   [NOTE:  For a  new project, I’ve decided to revisit a number of works on the Blues and the men and … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Jim Crow, American History, Blind Willie McTell, Georgia History, Historical Reflection, History, History of Rock and Roll, Piedmont Blues, Popular Culture, Research, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, The Blues, Uncategorized, Urban Blues, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Willie “61” Blackwell, A Blues Performer Without a Wikipedia Entry, 1905-c.1972 (Blues Stories, 23)

[NOTE:  I suppose “obscurity” is a relative concept.  Before the modern era, one would actually have had to “research” a person in various “hard copy” sources, before lamenting his or her “obscurity.” In more recent years, however, with the Internet in general, … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Delta Blues, Historical Reflection, History, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Southern History, The Blues, Uncategorized, Willie '61' Blackwell | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The Mississippi Delta Today, Maybe. . . . (Blues Stories, 22)

A Review of: Richard Grant, Dispatches from Pluto:  Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta (Simon & Schuster, 2015) You’re Richard Grant, a native of Great Britain and a journalist whose writing and documentary film work have shed light on cultures … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Books, Delta Blues, Historical Reflection, History, Popular Culture, Southern History, The Blues, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“The Flags, Daddy, the Flags!”: “Retired But Not Shy” at Six

[NOTE:  I launched Retired But Not Shy: Doing History After Leaving the Classroom a couple of weeks following my retirement, in May 2010, from nearly four decades teaching History in an Atlanta prep school.  I really didn’t know what I was doing, but, as the … Continue reading

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Blues Masters from the Delta (Blues Stories, 21)

 A Review of Ted Gioia, Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. [NOTE: Once upon a time,  I hoped to write a book on the origins … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Age of Jim Crow, Alan Lomax, American History, B.B. King, Bessie Smith, Books, Chicago Blues, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Delta Blues, History, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Popular Culture, Retirement, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern History, The "Great Migration", The Blues, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments