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Beyond the Crossroads – The Devil and the Blues Tradition - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition

Adam Gussow


This book explores the role played by the devil figure within an evolving blues tradition. It pays particular attention to the lyrics of recorded blues songs, but it also seeks to tell a story about blues-invested southern lives. The first four chapters investigate, in sequence, the origins and meaning of the phrase "the devil's music" within black southern communities; the devil as a figure who empowers and haunts migrant black blueswomen in the urban North of the Jazz Age; the devil as a symbol of white maleficence and an icon for black southern bluesmen entrapped in the "hell" of the Jim Cr ... More

Keywords: devil, blues, devil's music, hell, Jim Crow, Jazz Age, Robert Johnson, crossroads, Clarksdale, blues tourism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9781469633664
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469633664.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Adam Gussow, author
University of Mississippi