Mudcat Café message #3944409 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157325   Message #3944409
Posted By: GUEST,Joseph Scott
16-Aug-18 - 01:37 PM
Thread Name: Who started the Delta blues myth?
Subject: RE: Who started the Delta blues myth?
"gave way to the later 'folklorist' approach" Huh? Odum _was_ a folklorist. People were talking about black American folk music in the late 1800s.

The idea that a white guy born about 1885 who hung out with black street guitarists because he wanted their music to be appreciated and preserved "exemplifies" racism, if that's what you really believe, is very misguided.

"well-researched" Paul Vernon, the founder of Blues & Rhythm, called H-M's book as a whole offensive "bilge," and when I read that, I had independently come to the same conclusion as him, it's offensive bilge. He wrote that H-M employed "selective use of quotes to support pre-determined views," and it's worthwhile to compare that to e.g. the paragraph in my review that includes a mention of the Reader's Guide To Literature. H-M (unlike e.g. Alan Lomax) writes clean, pretty sentences, so when he looks through newspaper articles and finds articles that line up with what he has in his head (however contrary to reality that is), and doesn't give us the articles that don't, it's like a Trojan horse, you might look at how well those sentences read and actually believe him.

Writing "Academic collectors were particularly slow to associate the blues with folklore" is preposterous and "Prior to the mid-twenties, practically every commentator, with some minor exceptions, understood the blues as a commercial style" is preposterous and "The blues were a successful, almost viral, product of the music industry and professional songwriters" is preposterous, as it happens, really. You would be wise to not trust someone willing to write the preposterous. Including trusting him about e.g. Odum.