Minstrelsy | MyBlues

Category Archives: Minstrelsy

– The blackface lumpenproletariat and American popular culture

PDF-version here ___________________ In a previous essay on African-American music[i], I subscribed to the thesis that its study is most fruitful when it is seen as a dynamic cultural evolution resulting from the complex interaction between the black and white populations.  African-American music is not a survival that erodes over time, but a generative force […]

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– Marketing Patent Medicine Folk and Blues

Acknowledgements I am grateful to Willem van Dullemen, who in his passion for folk (music) helped me in getting at my disposal part of the reading material. I also owe a great deal to watching the documentary “Free Show Tonight” produced, in 1983, by Paul Wagner, Steven J. Zeitlin, and Barr Weissman. It is a […]

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– Blues from the circus tent

Acknowledgements The credits for the essay below go completely to Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff whose invaluable research in the historical archives have permitted to unearth the role of the circus side show in the spread of the popular music (Ragged but Right, 2007) ________________________________ The circus brings to mind feelings of joy, laughter and […]

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– Jim Crow and black music: from cheerful stable boy to despised symbol of institutionalized racism

Do you have a spare minute for me, yes? I would like to tell you briefly the tragic story of a poor black stableboy who happily jumped through life but ended up, against his own will, to be an icon of structural and institutionalized racism, up until today. Once upon a time in America, around […]

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– The Irish African and the African Irishman

Abstract: It is commonly said that black face minstrelsy is the first popular-professional musical business in America. I am only at the beginning of grasping its full impact on later music evolution as the blues. But before starting this exercise it is essential to understand that black face minstrelsy was not a one dimensional phenomenon. […]

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