Tag Archives: WP Longform

The Voice of the Urban Blues–Bobby “Blue” Bland,1930-2013 (Blues Stories, 13)

A Review of Charles Farley, Soul of the Man: Bobby “Blue” Bland. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2011. Throughout his long career, Bobby Bland was introduced as “the world’s greatest blues singer,” and, according to biographer Charles Farley, this was … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Jim Crow, B.B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Civil Rights Movement, Delta Blues, History, Research, Retirement, Southern History, The Blues, Uncategorized, Urban Blues | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

B.B. King, “King of the Blues” (Blues Stories, 12)

[NOTE:  There is a generic career arc for many twentieth-century Blues performers: a poverty-stricken background in the Jim Crow South, especially the Mississippi Delta; “escape” to the “land of opportunity” somewhere in the North or Midwest; early career success, followed … Continue reading

Posted in American History, B.B. King, Books, Civil Rights Movement, Delta Blues, Historical Reflection, History, Interdisciplinary Work, John Lee Hooker, Research, Retirement, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, Teaching, The Blues, Urban Blues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaching Prep School With a PhD, 2–Survival Skills

[NOTE: In 1973, I earned a PhD in American History. Then, given the grim realities of the job market for a would-be college professor, I made a leap in the dark, signing on at a “prep school” until “something better … Continue reading

Posted in "Education Courses", American History, Current Events, History, History graduate school, prep school teaching with a PhD, Research, Retirement, Teaching | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Big Bill Broonzy–The Blues Man as Pragmatist (Blues Stories, 9)

A Review of Robert Riesman, I Feel So Good:  The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy.  Chicago and London:  The University of Chicago Press, 2011. [NOTE:  2011 was a very good year for Blues biographies:  three reputable university presses … Continue reading

Posted in Alan Lomax, Big Bill Broonzy, Books, Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, History, Muddy Waters, Research, Retirement, Southern History, The Blues | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Never Get Out of These Blues Alive”–John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) [Blues Stories, 8]

John Lee Hooker was a true survivor. A native of the Mississippi Delta, he fled that region’s endless toil and painful, humiliating racism during the Great Depression, eventually settling in 1943 in Detroit, which remained his base until the early … Continue reading

Posted in Delta Blues, History, John Lee Hooker, Research, Retirement, Southern History, The Blues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Race–and History–Matter

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past” (William Faulkner) [NOTE:  Perhaps it’s because I live in the South; or maybe it’s because February was Black History Month; or I suppose it could be because the Republican Party is … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Constitution of 1787, Current Events, Georgia History, History, Interdisciplinary Work, Nullification, Philadelphia Convention (1787), Retirement, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting Right With Spielberg’s “Lincoln”

I have never liked the “docudrama,” whether on television or in films–“too much ‘drama,’ not enough ‘docu,’” the historian in me grumped. And yet, without question the modern master of the epic “docudrama”/message movie is Steven Spielberg (“Amistad,” “Saving Private … Continue reading

Posted in "Lincoln"--the movie, Civil War, History, Retirement, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Teaching Prep School With a PhD: Is It For You?

[Note:  Several times over the past few years, I’ve been asked by My Old Graduate School (MOGS) to speak to interested students about “prep school” teaching as an alternative to a career in the traditional professoriate (because, of course, those jobs are as scarce … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Current Events, History, Interdisciplinary Work, Research, Retirement, Southern History, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

High School, Now–and Then: Reflections on a 50th Reunion

Unless your formal education terminated with twelfth grade, you probably feel warmer and fuzzier about your college or university than your high school.  I’m one of those fortunate enough to have spent time in “higher education,” but, after college and grad school, I … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Civil Rights Movement, Cold War, Current Events, History, Newark (Del.) High School Class of 1962, Retirement, Teaching | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

20th-Century Blues Men (Blues Stories, 5)

[Note:  This post is the companion piece to “20th-Century Blues Women.”  A slightly different format this time, without an introductory essay (for those interested in one, go here.); instead, I offer biographical sketches of some favorite 20th-century Blues men and a song or two that capture the essence … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Alan Lomax, American History, Blind Willie McTell, Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, History, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Piedmont Blues, Research, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, The Blues | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment