9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Groundbreaking Piece Of History,
By A Customer
This review is from: I'd Rather be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues (Paperback)
In this book, Stephen Calt uses Skip James as a case-study to show the guts of the popular music industry from completely new angle. In the 1960s, a generation of British musicians suddenly became Blues aficionados after hearing that music on records. The recordings they heard were new reissues of old forgotten 78rpm discs from the 1920s and 1930s. Calt traces the story of how the reissued records came to be, and the new market they ultimately created. The story is not a pretty one. For fans of most popular music--especially the line which runs through the Stones, Clapton, and Led Zeppelin--this is fascinating and disturbing stuff. Skip James, the unlikely intellectual with many moral faults of his own, turns out to be a perfect lens through which to view the ugly business of some incredible music.
Calt is often accused of being "mean spirited" and pompous and such. Any writer whose purpose it is to shatter baseless myths is certain to ruffle some feathers. And that is the point.