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The World Don't Owe Me Nothing: The Life and Times of Delta Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards Hardcover – 1 Nov 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (1 Nov 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556522754
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556522758
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"A valuable record of a way of life that has all but disappeared." -- Washington Post "Magnificent! I've been waiting for this book since I was a kid." --Taj Mahal "The most central contribution to blues history." --Boston Globe "A deeply moving memoir...one of the last true country blues musicians...[a]story of a troubadour and of survival." --Studs Terkel

From the Author

Sharing praise for The World Don't Owe Me Nothing
Helping Honeyboy Edwards tell his story has been the greatest experience of my life, so it has been especially gratifying to see the positive acclaim The World Don't Owe Me Nothing has received. Sing Out! called this book "The most central contribution to blues history." A review in Living Blues said it "makes a bygone era come alive as no book has done before." Blues Access praised it as "A godsend for blues fans. An unflinching portrayal of a bluesman's life." In addition to praise from the blues community, Honeyboy's story has received kudos from historians and sociologists. Multicultural Review stated that "This wonderful oral history, with its in-depth appendices, should be required reading." The Library Journal called it "Essential reading: a seldom-seen look at the social mores of poor, rural Southern African Americans from the Depression through World War II." What do I think? I agree with a Southland Blues reviewer, who said it was "lucky for the blues world, sociologists, and historians that David Honeyboy Edwards told the incredible story of his life and times." I would just add that it was very lucky for me that I was there to hear it.

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Henry. I remember in 1920 when the man come around taking up census. Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Mar 1999
Format: Hardcover
What a life! 82 years old Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards is one last Bluesmen alive that knew Robert Johnson but that is not the basis of the book. Edwards has lived a life that makes anyone really understand what the Blues is all about and other bluesmen back in the 1930's and 40's who shaped blues music.
Honeyboy's tales gives the reader his firsthand accounts of plantation life, the 1927 Mississippi River flood, vagrancy laws, makeshift courts, the racial problem and economics of southern blacks and the Depression.
This book came about because of the stories that Honeyboy told his manager of 25 years, Michael Robert Frank, who is also the founder of Earwig Records and Janis Martinson, a freelance writer. Martinson did the transcribing and left Honeyboy's speech patterns intact. My friend, Travis Brown is from Tennessee and after reading this book remarked that reading the words of Honeyboy took him back "home". Martinson also did the research and wrote the three appendices that appear in the back of the book. Want to find out what the "killin' floor" is (was) than buy this book.
Earwig has also issued a CD with the same title, I had that CD and Robert Johnson's in my changer while I read the book, they provided the perfect soundtrack to the theater of the mind.
Tony Houston, 1999
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Wraith on 10 Sep 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you have heard Dave Honeyboy Edwards in an interview, then you can hear Honeyboy telling his story as the authors have remarkably kept the stories just as Honeyboy told it to them in interviews etc.. This makes the stories come to life, and honeyboy goes into great detail about his upbringin, how life was back in the delta both pre and post the depression, his travelling from town to town earning a living playing not just blues, but also any other music that was popular at that time. Playing not just for black audiences, but for whites as well at dances and house parties by day and then the juke joints by night.

Its a remarkable story for a remarkable man who is still touring the world today at the age of 94, he is the last living legend of the delta beginnings and a contact to a life that is almost confined to the history books, honey's story takes you back there as though it was today, his travels with all of the great players from Robert Johnson, to Big Walter and Little Walter etc....

A great read for anyone who loves the blues, i promise you, you will not put this book down....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Sep 1997
Format: Hardcover
Janis Martinson should be congratulated on a remarkable achievement. She has woven seamlessly Honeyboy Edwards' recollections and ruminations into a deeply affecting but wholly unsentimental account of his life and his career. What emerges are a beautiful portrait of an extraordinary man, an informative history of blues music, a subtle indictment of racism and injustice, and a moving testament to the resilience of the human spirit. I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in blues, history, biography or just a good story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Leslie J. Moore on 23 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a life Honeyboy has led.Like so many other bluesmen,he has travelled so far in experiences and miles From a childhood that sounds like something Mark Twain would have written about, his association with and travelling companion to people who seem like characters from another age,larger than life, which I suppose some of them were.
If you want a taste of life in the Deep South (without actually going) then read this book.
No chest beating woe is me from this guy, just telling like it is,with a touch of humour that comes from living life.
An absolute gem. I love it, one of those books you don't want to get to the end of.
Boogie chillun, to coin a phrase from somewhere
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