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Chicago Blues Portraits and Stories by David G. Whiteis

Chicago Blues Portraits and Stories

Part of the Music in American Life Series


Chicago Blues Portraits and Stories by David G. Whiteis

Through revealing portraits of selected local artists and slice-of-life vignettes drawn from the city's pubs and lounges, Chicago Blues encapsulates the sound and spirit of the blues as it is lived today. As a committed participant in the Chicago blues scene for more than a quarter century, David Whiteis draws on years of his observations and extensive interviews to paint a full picture of the Chicago blues world, both on and off the stage. In addition to portraits of blues artists he has personally known and worked with, Whiteis takes readers on a tour of venues like East of Ryan and the Starlight Lounge; home to artists, such as Jumpin' Willie Cobbs, Willie D., and Harmonica Khan. He tells the stories behind the lives of past pioneers, including Junior Wells, pianist Sunnyland Slim, and harpist Big Walter Horton, whose music reflects the universal concerns with love, loss, and yearning that continue to keep the blues so vital for so many.


David Whiteis
refreshingly lively Chicago Blues is an inside job, a first

-hand account that treats the music not as a pile of dusty old records but as a living breathing art form. --MOJO, August 2006

About the Author

David G. Whiteis is an independent scholar living in Chicago. He has written many articles on the blues and, in 2001, won the Blues Foundation's Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Achievement in Journalism.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th April 2006


David G. Whiteis

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University of Illinois Press


344 pages


Folk & traditional music



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