UPDATED  April 12th 2017

The A, B and C of the AMERICA’S Gift book index.

The remarkable American entertainer, singer and exotic dancer, Josephine Baker (1906 – 1975), who was the toast of Paris. Josephine’s in America’s Gift under B. How could we keep her out?

 Talk about a revolution. American music’s evolution into blues and rock & roll.

Just in case you think America’s Gift is a stodgy old history book, it’s been described as a lightening read.
America’s Gift is also a BIG read: 11′ x 8.5′ x 1′ with 367 pages plus 21-page index, the ABC of which is featured below.
banjo

See William Sydney Mount’s 1856 painting The Banjo Player in America’s Gift. Courtesy: Museum of Stoney Brook, New York.

These first three letters of the index are certainly not the half of it. In fact, A, B and C take up just 8.66 percent of the full alphabetical listing in the back of the book.
Included in this first installment of the index are some of the people who feature in the book, old blues performers and their songs, places that are part of the blues story and some of my invaluable sources.
Is your home town there or any of your blues heroes? Perhaps you recognize an old professor or college lecturer. You’ve probably read some of the books listed. You’ll certainly wonder why some bands and people seemingly not connected at all with the blues are mentioned. But, believe me, they are connected, if only in a small way.You can see the full AMERICA’s Gift index when you preview the book on this link:
So please dig in and peruse some of what’s included in AMERICA’S Gift starting with A, B and C. And that’s hardly the half on it. In fact, it’s about one eighth of it. America’s Gift.
On sale at Amazon NOW.
ABC radio (USA): Page 342. A Brief Battering of The Blues: Page 73. Abbott and Seroff: Pages 175-176, 184, 186, 197. Abbott, Lyn: 175-176, 184, 186, 197. Adams, President John: 201. Adams, President John Quincy: 201. Adams, Owen: 358. A Frog He Went A-Courting: 122. Aerosmith: 341. A Flight to America or Ten Hours in New York (play): 56. Africa/African: 15-27, 29, 31-32, 35-36, 38-39, 43, 50, 56, 67, 71, 85, 95, 97, 100-101, 159,175, 279, 312, 357. African-American Registry: 46. Africa And The Blues: 20. African Grove Theatre, New York: 35, 39. Afro-Caribbean: 115. African Tragedian (stage skit): 35, 39, 57, 59. After The Ball Was Over: 110. A Good Man Is Hard To Find: 207, 290-291. Ain’t Nobody’s Business:228. Airdome Theatre, Jacksonville, Florida: 175. ‘Airy Man Blues: 251. Alabama: 86, 94,179-180, 184, 202, 207, 213, 246, 249-250, 269, 279-280, 301, 309, 320, 325-326. Alaskan Roof Garden: 326. Albany, New York: 32. Alberti Bass: 117. Alden, William Livingstone: 96-97, 99. Alexander, Dave: 282. Alexander’s Rag Time Band: 151. Algiers, Africa: 156. Algiers, Louisiana: 156, 313. Alice Fields (tune): 321. A Little Love, A Little Kiss: 259. All About Jazz website: 294.
Also in America’s Gift – All I Want Is A Spoonful cut by Charlie Jackson in 1925.

Allen, Ferdy: 210. All I Want is a Spoonful: 252, 270, 307. All Coons Look Alike to Me: 108,130, 146. All Pimps Look Alike to Me: 108. Alston: 11. American Blues and Folk Festival: 336. American Civil War: 7, 15, 21, 23, 47, 67, 71, 85-86, 91-94, 98-101, 105-108, 139, 145, 158, 249, 327. American Magazine or Monthly View of the Political State of British Colonies: 12. American Quarterly: 108. America’s National Park Service’s ‘A New Orleans Jazz History’ website: 158. American War of Independence: 106. Ammons, Albert: 348-350, 352, 360, 365. Anderson,

Charles: 197. Andrews, Ed: 236, 238-239, 244, 247, 249. Andrews, LaVerne: 348. Andrews, Maxine: 348. Andrews, Patty: 348. Andrews Sisters: 348. Andy Kirk and his 12 Clouds of Joy: 344. Angola,
Africa:  17-18. Angola Prison Farm, Louisiana: 271. Anka, Paul: 343. Appalachians: 119, 121. April Kisses: 258.

Naturally Kokomo Arnold features in AMERICA’S Gift

Arab/Arabic: 19-20, 23. Argall, Samuel: 16, 18. Arkansas: 281, 297, 307, 317, 326, 352, 356. Armour Avenue (tune): 325. Arnold, Eddie: 343. Arnold, Kokomo: 96, 255, 298. A Spoonful Blues: 252, 270. Armstrong, Louis: 156, 159, 228, 257-258, 270, 298, 312, 330, 343-344, 356. Arto (record label): 327. Association for Cultural Equity website: 357. Asquith, Lord: 210. Atkins, Chet: 343. Atlanta Blues: 321. Atlanta, Georgia: 172, 215, 223, 227, 236, 238, 240, 298, 309-310. Atlantic City: 225. A Trip To America: 39. A Trip To Coontown: 111. Aunt Hagar’s Blues: 216. Aura Lea: 92. Australia/Australian: 57, 87, 109, 123-124, 227, 334-335, 357. Austria/Austrian: 20. Autophone (record label): 327. Autry, Gene: 272. A Way of Being Free: 20.

Baby Seals Blues: 193, 195-198. Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home: 241. Bach: 63, 344. Backside Albany: 32. Backus, Charley: 78. Badfinger: 283. Bad Land Blues: 216. Baker, Fanny: 216. Baker, Josephine: 225. Ballard opera: 105. Baltimore: 35, 37-38, 45, 49, 131, 150, 325, 328. Baltimore Patriot newspaper: 38. Banner (record label): 327. Baptiste,

René: 160. Barasso, Fred: 320. Barbershop quartet: 72. Barbour, J. Bernie: 227. Barlow, William: 240-241. Barocco, Dominick: 160. Barnes, Evelyn: 342. Barnes, George: 334, 339-344, 357. Barnes, George Octet: 342. Barnes, George Quartet: 340. Barnes, Reggie: 340. Barrelhouse (piano music): 13, 104, 170, 183, 310, 315. Barrel House Blues (song): 238. Barrelhouse Tom: 309. Bayes, Nora: 112, 206-207. Basie, Count (Bill): 199, 260-261, 288-289, 293-294, 309. Basinstreet.com: 240. Bates, Deacon L.J: 265. Bates, Ellas Otha: 21. Bat the Hummingbird: 309. Battle, Edgar: 287. Battle of New Orleans, Louisiana: 53, 61. Battle of New Orleans, song: 53. Battle of Plattsburg: 32. Battle of the Bulge: 352. Bates, Nora: 112, 206, 217. Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana: 329. Beauchamp, George: 285-286, 289-290. Beale Street, Memphis: 183, 265. Beale Street Sheiks: 265. Beefheart, Captain: 335. Beggars Banquet (album): 263. Beiderbecke, Bix: 258. Believe It or Not (radio show): 319-320, 324. Belmont Street Theatre, Pensacola: 184. Benedict, Lew: 78. Benin: 20. Berlin, Irving: 151, 206, 322. Berlin, Germany: 352. Beasley, Walter: 260. Beatles: 119, 159, 167, 171, 302-303, 362. Beauchamp, George: 285-286, 289, 290. Beauregard cemetery, Mississippi: 279-280.

Even the outlaw Billy The Kid gets a mention

Beautiful Dreamer: 86. Bechet, Sydney: 156, 231, 242, 322, 345. Beiderbecke, Bix: 258. Belcher, W. H: 78. Belgian Congo: 312. Beggars Banquet: 263. Benedict, Lew: 78. Ben Harney’s Ragtime Instructor: 120. Benin: 20. Berber(s): 15, 19, 23. Berlin, Germany: 352. Berlin Irving: 151, 206. Bernard, Al: 207, 218. Berry, Chuck: 199, 352, 355-356, 367. Bickerstaffe, Isaac: 27. Big Bill and his Memphis Five: 350, 364. Big Broadcast (film): 259. Billboard magazine: 233, 245, 316, 352-355, 364. Bill Hayley and his Comets: 363. Billingham, Valentine: 287. Billy the Kid: 133. Birch, Billy: 78. Bishop of Oxford and Norwich: 11. Blackbeard: 105. Black Butts: 321. Blackface blog: 49-50. Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth Century America: 85. Black Like You: 54. BlackPast.org: 219. Black Patti, The (Sissieretta Jones): 111, 171. Black Patti Records: 297. Black Patti Troubadours: 111. Black Sea: 236. Black Swan Records: 218-221, 223-227,  233, 274. Black Swan Records: 218-221, 223-227, 233, 274. Blackwell, Scrapper: 309, 334. Blake, Blind: 165, 252, 265, 333. Blake, Eubie: 122, 150, 202. Blesser, Gustave: 13. Blind Boy Fuller: 352. Blind Gary Davis: 352. Blind Lemon (Henry) Jefferson: 171, 233, 257, 263-266, 297, 329, 351-352.

Jazz great Eddie Lang recorded blues in the 20s as Blind Willie Dunn – under B in the America’s Gift index.

Blind Willie Dunn (Eddie Lang): 258, 330. Blind Willie Johnson, 352. Blind Willie McTell : 333-334, 352. Bluebird Records: 272, 301, 303-305, 317-318, 334, 341. Bluebird Sound: 301. Blue Devil Blues: 231. Blues: 1-363, 367. Bobby Sox Blues: 354. Boggs, Moran Lee ‘Dock’: 144. Bolden, Buddy: 144, 154-160, 179, 202, 211, 298, 305. Bolten, Hattie: 341. Bolton, Ms: 161-162, 268. Bonaparte, Napoleon: 23. Boogie Woogie Stomp: 348, 350, 360, 364. Boogie woogie: 13, 77, 98, 104, 170, 241, 269, 309, 312, 321, 348-349, 350, 360, 363. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy: 348. Boogie Woogie Stomp: 348, 350, 360, 364. Boston, Mass: 30-31, 106. Boston Minstrels: 75. Boston Post: 51. Boswell Sisters: 357. Bower, Frank: 73. Bowery, (New York) The: 32, 51, 74. Bowman, Elmer: 191. Bradford, Andrew: 12. Bradford, David K: 143-144. Bradford, Perry: 211, 213, 241. Braff, Ruby: 344. Bragg, Dobby: 315. Brand, William: 322. Brass band/bands: 46, 66, 69, 92, 115, 145, 150, 159-160. Brazil: 16. Brenston, Jackie: 363. Brewer, Gage: 290.

One of the most influential of them all is in the book – Big Bill Broonzy

Britain: 18, 27, 29, 31, 35, 52-53, 57, 67-68, 71, 74, 76-77, 87, 91, 99, 102, 106, 112, 123, 131, 167, 199, 209-210, 248, 270, 294, 307-308, 333, 349, 357-358, 361-362. British East India Company: 92. British Library: 28. Broadway: 32, 45, 81, 111-112, 151, 207, 225, 241, 328. Brooker & Clayton’s Georgia Minstrels: 106. Broonzy, Big Bill: 141, 251, 253, 255, 299-301, 304, 307-308, 312-313, 317, 329, 339, 341, 350, 352, 357-358, 360-361. Brown, James: 359. Brown, Lillyn: 172, 215. Brown, Richard ‘Rabbit’: 169. Brown, Robert: 317. Brown, Roy: 365. Brown Skin, Who You For: 240. Brown, Thomas Allston: 57, 64, 66-67. Brown, William: 43. Brown, Willie: 162, 273. Brudder Bones, 79. Brudder Tambo: 79. Bruner Greenup: 121. Bruno, Harry O: 155. Brunswick Records: 258, 275, 297, 326. Bruynoghe, Yannick: 300. Bruynoghe, Yannick & Margo Collection: 300. Bryant, Dan: 78. Bryant, Jerry: 78. Bryant’s Minstrels: 96. Buddy Bolden’s Blues: 94, 157-158. Buddy Bolden Stomp: 156. Buckingham County, Virginia: 44. Buckley, Jeff: 318. Buckley, Wayne: 78. Buffalo, New York: 76. Bumble Bee Slim (Amos Easton): 298. Bunny Hug: 199. Burgess, Freddie: 87. Burlesque/d/s: 39, 76, 81, 106-107. Butler, Ed: 310. Butler, John B: 67. Butler, John ‘Picayune’: 66-67. Butterbeans and Susie: 269. BVDs: 250.

Under C. Jump blues doubling as early rock & roll: from 1947

 

Cadillac Boogie: 366. Cakewalk/walks: 108, 111, 131, 150, 167-168, 254. Caldonia (song): 364. California/Californian: 49, 68, 82, 91, 183, 242, 286, 289, 350-351, 353. Californian Gold Rush: 82.Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad): 354. Calloway, Cab: 294, 347, 349, 353. Campbell, E. Simms: 104. Campdown Races: 82. Campeche: 18. Canada/Canadian: 57, 71, 87, 97, 127, 260, 325, 336. Canned Heat (band): 171, 248, 268, 282. Canned Heat Blues: 267. Canterbury Cathedral: 11. Captain Beefheart: 335. Cardinal Records: 223. Caribbean: 43-44, 57, 95, 115. Carmichael, Hoagy: 259. Carnegie Hall: 350. Carolina/Carolinas: 13, 82. Carr, Leroy: 297, 309, 362. Carson, Johnny: 265. Carter, Alice: 216. Carter, Alice Leslie: 216, 227. Carter, Bo: 162-163, 268. Carter, Goree: 355-356, 366. Carter, Josephine: 226-227. Carter, Paul: 176-177. Carthage: 16. Carve Dat Possum: 106. Catfish Blues: 312. Catholic Church: 16. Century magazine: 24. Cervantes: 29. Champion Jack Dupree: 312, 358. Champion Records: 272.

Also under C – Gene Autry with Champion his Wonder Horse. 

Chinese Blues: 210. Choktaw: 240. Christian/Christianity: 16, 22, 53, 69-71, 282, 336. Christian, Charlie: 259, 293-294, 342, 344. Christy Minstrels: 86-87. Christy, Edwin (Ned): 77-82, 86. Christy, George: 78, 83, 85-86. Christy’s Minstrels: 76-78, 80-83, 86, 91. Christy’s Opera House: 86. Churchill, Sir Winston: 112, 210. Church Of The Cosmic Guitar: 355. Cincinnati, Ohio: 67, 211. Champion The Wonder Horse: 272. Chapman, James: 191. Chapman, John: 313. Chapman, Peter: 313. Chappelle and Stinnette Records: 227. Chappelle, Juanita Stinnette: 227. Chappelle, Thomas E: 227. Charles Prince’s Band: 199, 201. Charles, Ray: 184, 269, 309, 313, 359. Charlotte, NC: 365. Charters, Samuel: 189Chatham Street, New York: 32, 74. Chatham Street Theatre, New York: 74. Chatmon, Armenter: 162, 268. Chatmon boys/family: 162. Chatmon, Harry: 162, 268. Chatmon, Henderson: 162-163, 268. Chatmon, Lonnie: 268. Cherokee: 161, 263, 286, 312, 351. Chesapeake Bay: 18. Chess,
Leonard: 305. Chess, Phillip: 305. Chicago: 5, 8, 62,108, 119, 120, 123, 124, 127, 131, 135, 153, 171-173, 181, 184, 194, 215- 216, 223, 227, 233, 241, 250, 256- 257, 265, 269, 270, 272- 273, 277, 286, 288, 289, 297-305, 307-310, 311-313, 315, 317, 318-319, 325, 330, 332-334, 336, 339-342, 347-348, 350, 352, 357, 361, 364-365, 367.

Many mentions. The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair had quite an impact on the blues

Chicago Blues: 5, 8, 233, 256, 298, 301-302, 305-305, 307, 313, 318, 332-334, 336. Chicago Defender newspaper: 226, 257. Chicago Exposition: 62, 171. Chicago Five (band): 317. Chicago Record newspaper: 123. Chicago World’s Fair: 119, 127, 135, 153, 171, 181. China: 107, 214. Circus Roots of Negro Minstrelsy (blog): 57. Ciro’s Club: 210. Ciro’s Club Coon Orchestra: 209-210, 247. Clapton, Eric: 277-278, 280, 308, 313, 318, 357. Clark, Jimmy: 301, 304. Clark Smith, N: 227. Clarke, C. Carroll: 220. Clarke, Donald: 81-82, 275. Clarksdale, Mississippi: 278. Clark Smith, N: 227. Classic ragtime: 131. Cleveland, Mississippi: 162, 181-182. Cleveland, Ohio: 309, 311, 332, 357.

 You’ll find the Coasters in America’s Gift.

Clever Yankee (skit): 35. Cline, Patsy: 343. Clorindy; or, the Origin of the Cakewalk, Broadway show: 111. Coal Black Rose (skit): 59. Coasters (singing group): 343. Cobain, Kurt: 283. Cole, Bob: 107, 110-111. Coleman, Jaybird: 245. Cole, Nat King: 309. Collins, Crying Sam: 352. Collins, Wallace: 115, 155. Colored Folks Opera: 213, 217. Columbia Journal of American Studies: 106. Columbia Records: 210, 215, 241, 298,303-304, 326. Columbus, Christopher: 119, 172. Come into My Kitchen: 275. Comic opera: 56. Como, Perry: 343. Compton, Los Angeles: 281. Confederate Army: 92-93, 105, 139. Confederate Navy: 94. Conforth, Professor Bruce: 279. Congo: 20, 83. Congo Square: 23-24. Conner, Edmon S: 49. Contradanza: 202. Cooder, Ry: 165. Cook, Will Marion: 111. Cooke, Sam: 343. Coon song(s): 7, 38, 106-112, 115, 117, 128, 131, 145-147, 167-168, 191, 193, 209, 361. Corbet, Richard, Bishop of Oxford and Norwich: 11. Cormeali, Signor: 65.

The great Sam Cooke. He’s in America’s Gift, too. 

Cornish, Willy: 156-158. Corrina Corrina: 268. Corrine Corrina: 268. Cotton Club: 247. Cotton Fields: 170. Count (Bill) Basie: 199, 260-261, 288-289, 293-294, 309. Country Blues: 23, 171, 189, 244-245, 263, 265, 268-270, 335, 361. Country Music: 107, 143, 235, 343, 362. Courted into Court (stage show): 127. Cow Cow Boogie: 309. Cox, Ida: 228, 245, 248, 252, 297. Cox, Jimmy: 271. Crappy Dan (song): 130. Crawdad Song: 122. Crazy Blues: 205, 209, 211-215, 218, 241, 247. Cream (band): 27, 165, 252, 270, 276-277, 307, 362. Creole: 26, 153, 197, 202, 231, 240, 242, 298, 314, 330, 340. Creole Jazz Band: 298, 330. Crippen, Katy: 221. Crosby, Bing: 199, 259, 277, 348. Cross Cut Saw Blues: 312. Cross-Eyed Blues: 260. Crossroads: 277-278. Cross Roads Blues/Crossroads Blues: 276-277, 280. Crow, Jim: 49-52, 55-61, 65, 116, 139. Crowdus, Ernest: 108. Crudup, Arthur ‘Big Boy’: 302-303, 305, 352-353, 360, 365, 367. Crump, Mayor Edward (E. J.): 183, 189. Crying Sam Collins: 352. Cuba/Cuban: 91, 179, 202, 315, 325. Curb Your Enthusiasm: 81. Czyz, Fiszel: 305. Czyz, Lejzor: 305.

Coming next time time. D, E and F of the  AMERICA’s Gift index.

The untold story of blues’ evolution? How come untold?

Why untold? Most blues histories, outstanding as they are, take us back to the late 1890s but rarely further. As South Carolina’s Cradle of Jazz Project wrote: “From the end of the dances at Congo Square (c. 1820) to the beginning of jazz, there is a black hole … when the old West African music slowly turned into the new music of America.” America’s Gift was written expressly to illuminate that ‘black hole’, to discover exactly what happened to America’s slave music in the 19th century, and how it evolved during the centuries before.

Why untold? First we examine the origins of Africa’s ancient slave trade, the West’s involvement with slavery from the 1400s, and how America’s first Africans were pirated from Portuguese slavers. We tell how the musical rhythms of old Africa absorbed the melodies of white America, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We explain how various musical strands intertwined over those centuries, to finally create a music only named blues in 1912.

Why untold? Such historical information is usually only available in isolation. America’s Gift pieces the story together like a jigsaw puzzle, yet avoids the blues minutia and academic intensity often found in histories of twentieth century blues. Not avoided are the nineteenth century’s distasteful minstrel and coon song periods. Often cut from blues histories these days, these genres are so essential to blues’ evolution. In America’s Gift, facts are not overruled by political correctness.

Why untold? Discover how and where the term ‘blues’ evolved and how it reached America. Find out how only white singers recorded blues in America, from 1914 to 1920, and why black singers didn’t want to sing blues. America’s Gift tells you who-did-what-first in the years leading up to and into the blues era, and the genres they did it in. It is the first book, to our knowledge, to link American sea shanties to the evolution of the blues.

Why untold? America’s Gift discovers blues recorded in London by African Americans three years BEFORE the generally-accepted date of 1920. It tracks down the earliest known African Americans playing the folk music later called blues, and what they sang. It discloses who published and recorded what blues song first, who recorded the first blues guitar, first guitar solo, first slide guitar, first harmonica, first country blues and first electric guitar blues, even earlier sometimes than previously thought.

Why untold? Read about the great blues dispute of 1938 where two blues giants argued over the genre’s past. America’s Gift gives you the full blues story up to the 1950s. On the way it selects 20 rocking blues tracks that pre-empted rock ‘n’ roll. These date from 1936 to 1949, years before the oft-cited Rocket 88 in 1952.

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