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Leroi Jones: Blues People

Tony Russell, MOJO, July 1995

WHEN BLUES PEOPLE WAS PUBLISHED in 1963, LeRoi Jones became the first black American to have written a book about the blues. It did not lead to black writers reclaiming the music: his successors have not only been outnumbered by white commentators but largely ignored by them. Inquisitive students will soon be directed to Paul Oliver’s Blues Fell This Morning or Sam Charters’ The Country Blues, but almost certainly no-one will tell them about, say, Julio Finn’s The Bluesman.

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