Invisible Giants: Fifty Americans Who Shaped the Nation but Missed the History Books

By Mark Carnes | Go to book overview

SOURCES AND FURTHER READINGS

Johnny Ace

The most complete accounts of Johnny Ace's career and contributions to American popular music may be found in James M. Salem, “Death and the Rhythm-and-Bluesman: The Life and Recordings of Johnny Ace, ” American Music (Fall 1993): 316–67, and “Johnny Ace: A Case Study in the Diffusion and Transformation of Minority Culture, ” Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies 17 (1992): 211–41. In addition, Galen Gart and Roy C. Ames, Duke/Peacock Records: An Illustrated History with Discography (1990), provides valuable information about Ace and his relationship with record owner Don D. Robey. For an account of the beginning of his career by Duke Records founder David James Mattis, see George A. Moonoogian and Roger Meeden, “Duke Records—The Early Years: An Interview with David J. Mattis, ” Whiskey, Women, and …, June 1984, pp. 18–25. For overviews of Ace's life and death, see Nick Tosches, Unsung Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll (1984); Peter Grendysa, “Johnny Ace, the ‘Ace’ of Duke, ” Goldmine, 25 Sept. 1987, pp. 28 and 91; and Colin Escott, “Johnny Ace: The First Rock 'n' Roll Casualty, ” Goldmine, 21 Nov. 1986, pp. 16–17. Excellent photographs of Ace and his associates can be found in “Strange Case of Johnny Ace, ” Ebony, July 1955, pp. 63–68. The most complete and accurate discography of Ace's twenty-one recorded sides may be found in American Music (Fall 1993): 353–57. Useful obituaries are in the Tri-State Defender, 8 Jan. 1955; the Pittsburgh Courier, 1, 5, and 15 Jan. 1955; the Chicago Defender, 8 Jan. 1955; and the Houston Informer, 1 and 8 Jan. 1955. Newspaper coverage about his death and career is in the Cleveland Call and Post, 15 Jan. 1955; the Pittsburgh Courier, 5 Feb. 1955; and the Tri-State Defender, 5 Mar. 1955.


James Agee

Most of Agee's manuscripts and letters are in the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. Other libraries and individuals with Agee manuscripts and letters are listed in Laurence Bergreen, James Agee: A Life (1984). Bergreen's biography, the most complete yet published, is unsympathetic to Agee and raised a storm of criticism when it appeared. Ross Spears, whose documentary film Agee (1979) contains interviews with Agee's wives and friends, points out many errors in Bergreen's book in “Fiction as Life, ” Yale Review 74 (Winter 1985): 296–306. See also Alan Spiegel, James Agee and the Legend of Himself: A Critical Study (1998). Five of Agee's film scripts are collected in Agee on Film, vol. 2 (1960). Remembering James Agee,

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