Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues

By William Ferris | Go to book overview

SACRED
AND
SECULAR
WORLDS

The church and the blues joint are pivotal worlds within the black community. Each weekend the preacher and the blues singer gather their followers together to celebrate with familiar rituals that have much in common. Both speak to black families with a deep knowledge of their needs and aspirations. Bluesmen perform at clubs and house parties on Friday and Saturday nights, and the preacher leads his church service on Sunday morning. This cycle of sacred and secular worlds has existed for more than a century and is a familiar part of the life of each speaker in this book. The blues cannot be understood apart from the church. Music, stories, and call and response define both the blues singer and the preacher as they reach out to the people of their community.

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Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents viii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Blues Roots 11
  • Rose Hill 13
  • Lake Mary 29
  • Lorman 47
  • Centreville 57
  • Gravel Springs 67
  • Parchman Penitentiary 77
  • Tutwiler 89
  • A Delta Road in Coahoma County 98
  • Blues Towns and Cities 103
  • Leland 105
  • Clarksdale 143
  • Wokj, Jackson 160
  • Beale Street 170
  • Looking Back 175
  • Willie Dixon 177
  • B. B. King 185
  • Sacred and Secular Worlds 203
  • Rose Hill Church 205
  • Clarksdale 222
  • Epilogue 255
  • Selected Bibliography, Discography, Filmography, and Websites 259
  • Index 291
  • H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series 299
  • CD and Dvd Notes 301
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