Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues

By William Ferris | Go to book overview

WILLIE DIXON

I met Willie Dixon in 1976 when I attended his concert at Toad’s Place, a music club at 300 York Street in New Haven, just off the Yale campus. Toad’s Place has hosted blues musicians for over thirty-three years and was a favorite venue for my students.

Dixon and I both grew up in Vicksburg, and I had long admired his career as a blues composer and performer. The morning after his concert, Dixon came to the apartment where I lived as a resident fellow in Calhoun College at Yale, and we spoke there about his life. It was especially moving to share our memories of Vicksburg as we spoke in New Haven.

Willie Dixon was born on July 1, 1915. He first discovered the blues in Vicksburg and composed songs such as “Sweet Louise” while he was in high school. After graduating from high school, he moved to Chicago in 1927, where he launched his prolific career as a blues performer and composer.

Compositions such as “Hoochie Koochie Man,” “Spoonful,” “Wang Dang Doodle,” “Little Red Rooster,” and “Evil” established Dixon as America’s foremost blues composer. His education in Vicksburg and his early decision to compose blues songs underscore the importance of literary expression within the southern black community. Dixon’s work also helps us understand the crucial link between the oral tradition of the blues and writers like Richard Wright, who captured these worlds through his fiction. Wright’s literary career and Dixon’s musical career reflect the power of black worlds that moved from Mississippi to Chicago during the first half of the twentieth century.

In folk tradition the blues performer and his music are associated with the devil. Delta bluesman Robert Johnson is reputed to have traded his soul to Satan for musical skills that gave him special power over women. Links

-177-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 302

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.