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Queer Blues: The Hidden Figures of Early Blues Music - A Guardian Book of the Year 2023
Queer Blues: The Hidden Figures of Early Blues Music - A Guardian Book of the Year 2023

Queer Blues: The Hidden Figures of Early Blues Music - A Guardian Book of the Year 2023

Omnibus Press
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By Darryl W Bullock

From the very beginning, the blues has had a close connection with the LGBTQ community. There is a long and decorated history of so-called ‘dirty blues’ songs, stretching back beyond the earliest attempts to capture the blues on record. The 1920s and 30s saw the release of dozens of raunchy, bawdy blues recordings aimed at a knowing LGBTQ audience.

Queer Blues tells the story of the pioneering LGBTQ composers and entertainers that wrote, performed and recorded these wonderfully outlandish, life-affirming songs and chronicles, including: Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Josephine Baker to Frankie ‘Half-Pint’ Jaxon and many more.

This is the definitive account of the LGBTQ trailblazers of early blues and a fascinating consideration of the intersection between music and LGBTQ history, from the award-winning Darryl W. Bullock.

'Vividly draws a world of drag balls, rent parties and remarkably explicit homoerotic blues songs flourishing in the face of violent prejudice and illegality.' The Guardian

'Meticulously researched and rich in detail, Queer Blues is fabulous in its debunking of myths and righting of wrongs' 4**** MOJO

'Paints a picture of the blues age where lyrics and titles were coded... with considerable panache and a sackful of anecdotes' Classic Rock, 8/10

'Formidably well researched... adds valuably to our understanding of the Historic LGBTQ experience in America' Rock n Reel magazine

'If you think you know the history of popular music, if you think you are an aficionado of the blues, you need to read this book.' Outside Left

‘Darryl W. Bullock excavates and celebrates the fantabulous intersection of Blues and Queer Culture, highlighting racial struggles, explosive joy and creativity. I love this book!’ Simon Doonan

'Meticulously researched, Bullock's engaging account of the lives and times of the early blues LGBTQ pioneers has the convincing ring of historical truth about it that should invite a rethink on dominant blues histories.' All About Jazz

Publication Date: 06.07.23
ISBN: 9781913172527
Extent: 368 pages
Format: Hardback

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