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R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz, & Country…
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R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz, & Country

by R. Crumb, Stephen Calt (Writer), David Jasen (Writer), Richard Nevins (Writer)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This is a great graphic history, I am so happy I stumbled across it. The CD at the end was a surprise bonus. ( )
  kcshankd | Jan 28, 2017 |
This delightful book is a fantastic read for those interested in the history and early pioneers of American music. The book collects three trading card sets that Crumb drew and painted around 1980. Crumb used historical photos to create his works, and true to the "trading card" aesthetic each picture card is accompanied by a paragraph or two about the performers.

The drawings are great, and the info accompanying them is super--especially for those who like to learn about the history of music. You get plenty of excellent biographical info about the featured performer and a lot of "color". That's what makes this book so fun--I pick it up while listening to Bix Beiderbecke and read "his tone, characterized by perfect pitch and spare, well-placed notes, was clean and bell-like". It's not a lot of info, but it's the kind of tidbit that makes listening more fun, especially for someone who's just digging into early American music.

The book really shines when it comes to the roots of country. The entries in that section are a little longer and allow for more exploration of how the music evolved. While reading the entry on the Ray Brothers you'll learn about the regional differences in fiddling in Mississippi and Alabama and how that affected the guitar accompaniment. A wealth of information buried in two short paragraphs!

While flipping through the pictures you may be surprised at how many of the bands had women guitarists. Read the entry on Fiddlin' Powers and Family to learn that the guitar was originally "scorned by most rural performers" and "stigmatized in its early days as a polite parlor instrument" that was fit for young girls to play. Now that's a cool little bit of cultural history that I didn't expect to learn from a book of drawings of musicians--and it's emblematic of what you get with this book, and why I loved it. ( )
  pdever | Mar 1, 2015 |
Three sets of cards: Heroes of the Blues, Early Jazz Greats, and Pioneers of Country Music first published in the 1980s by Yazoo Records/Shanachie Entertainment are reproduced in this compilation. The Blues and Country sets were drawn in Crumb’s distinctive style and then colored. The Jazz set was painted by him. The portraits taken from existing photographs represent the musical passions of Crumb. The accompanying notes by Calt, Jasen and Nevins give brief information about the musicians, their careers, influences, playing styles and when available their birth and death dates. ( )
  MaowangVater | Feb 15, 2014 |
I was about to wrap this as a Christmas gift for my son and was lured into the pages. R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country is an illustrated compendium of America's early 20th musicians. R. Crumb started to draw and paint the musicians and bands for trading cards that would be included with LP recordings reissued (from pre-WWII 78s) by Yazoo Records. Eventually they were boxed into a set sold by record stores. This book reproduces the paintings along with biographical sketches of the artists and bands. While I appreciate the music of this era, I am certainly not an expert, or even a student, of the music. That said, I found the text fascinating (especially the highly descriptive information on Country String bands of which I knew nothing), and Crumb's illustrations evoke the period and whet an appetite for more. The text is by Stephen Calt, David Jasen and Richard Nevins.

The book is accompanied by a 21 song CD with recordings from 1927-1931, I can't comment on these since breaking into the CD pack would spoil the newness of the gift,

The book definitely whet my taste to learn more about the musicians of the era. ( )
  janeajones | Dec 19, 2009 |
This delightful little book collects reprintings of collectible cards that the comic R. Crumb drew in the 1980's. Crumb is a longtime collector and aficionado of early 20th century American music, and this drawings with very brief biographical accompaniment make a colorful statement about the characters that built American music. ( )
  blueslibrarian | Jan 16, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Crumb, R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Calt, StephenWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Jasen, DavidWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Nevins, RichardWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Zwigoff, TerryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0810930862, Hardcover)

Anyone who knows R. Crumb’s work as an illustrator knows of his passion for music. And all those who collect his work prize the Heroes of the Blues, Early Jazz Greats, and Pioneers of Country Music trading card sets he created in the early to- mid-1980s. Now they are packaged together for the first time in book form, along with an exclusive 21-track CD of music selected and compiled by Crumb himself (featuring original recordings by Charley Patton, “Dock” Boggs, “Jelly Roll” Morton, and others). A bio of each musician is provided, along with a full-color original illustration by the cartoonist. A characteristically idiosyncratic tribute by an underground icon to the musical innovators who helped inspire him, R. Crumb’s Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country is a must-have collection for Crumb aficionados, comics fans, and music lovers alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:45 -0400)

Presents brief biographies of musical innovators in blues, jazz, and country music along with original illustrations by R. Crumb.

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