America’s Gift’s index – A, B and C.

Above is the Fabulous Baker Girl – Josephine Baker – and this is how she appeared in Paris in the 1920s. Josephine’s in America’s Gift and thus in the index under ‘B’.

In case you think America’s Gift is a stodgy old history book, the eBook version has been described as a lightening read, a bit like the Matrix, I’m told.
At 11 inches by eight and a half inches and an inch thick, America’s Gift is bigger than your average book, with 367 pages and a 21-page index, the ABC of which is featured below.
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. People not known for the blues are also in the book, like the irrepressible Josephine Baker (right), the American dancer whose banana dance was an iconic symbol of the jazz age, the 1920s and 30s.
Check the index and see if your home town is there, or any of your blues heroes? Perhaps you recognize an old professor or college lecturer whom I’ve quoted. You’ve probably read some of the books listed.
You’ll certainly wonder why some bands, and other 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:

 

Let’s get started…

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.

 

The song below is from 1934. It’s since been covered by countless artists including The Kinks, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith and Willie Nelson.

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.

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.

The Rolling Stones album, Beggars Banquet, is in America’s Gift. Listen to Mick Taylor’s lead guitar on the track below. No wonder Mick and Keith didn’t want him to leave.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Below is one of the forerunners of rock ‘n’ roll, cut in 1947, and in America’s Gift’s list of 20 rocking blues songs predating rock ‘n’ roll.

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.

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.

Cream didn’t just kick start heavy metal, they spearheaded the UK’s blues invasion of America, helping make a forgotten genre popular again. Get a taste below.

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 – the D, E and F of the AMERICA’s Gift index.

The Untold Story?

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? America’s Gift examines 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. It tells how the musical rhythms of old Africa absorbed the melodies of white America, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It explains how various musical strands intertwined over those centuries, to finally create a music only named as 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 shameful minstrel and coon song periods. Air-brushed from many blues histories these days, these distasteful genres are vitally essential to blues’ evolution. Without them, we would not have blues. 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 195

Finally

Why are the Mississippi Sheiks on this page? They start with ‘M’. Well, the Sheiks were mainly made up of the Chatmon brothers who you’ll find under ‘C’ of course. They recorded from 1930 onwards.