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Transatlantic Roots MusicFolk, Blues, and National Identities$
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Jill Terry and Neil A. Wynn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617032882

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617032882.001.0001

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date: 20 April 2019

Dreaming Up the Blues

Dreaming Up the Blues

Transatlantic Blues Scholarship in the 1950s

(p.37) 3 Dreaming Up the Blues
Transatlantic Roots Music

Christian O’Connell

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter considers Paul Oliver’s writing in Britain during the 1950s for magazines such as Music Mirror and Jazz Monthly in order to understand the nature of the engagement between scholar and music during the early period of transatlantic interest in blues. Oliver’s interpretations in the 1950s indicate a great deal about the transatlantic reception of the blues in the postwar era. By focusing on what Jeff Todd Titon refers to as “interpretive acts” and Oliver’s engagement with the music, the chapter shows the ways in which transatlantic visions of the blues emerged in the 1950s. Moreover, it argues that romanticism was part of the process of analyzing and understanding the music and, importantly, not limited to white American revivalists but to some extent predated by the leading British blues scholar.

Keywords:   Paul Oliver, blues music, interpretive acts, transatlantic reception, romanticism

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