Click the links below to see some of what we have to offer. Explore the library's collection by trying your own searches as well.
In addition to performing keyword or subject searches, you can also try searching for popular blues authors such as Samuel Charters, Paul Oliver, William Ferris, or Peter Guralnick.
If you need a book about the blues, search our online catalog.
Tip: Use "Subject" searching to produce more focused search results.
If you are browsing for a book, use the call numbers below as a guide.
|ML 1-3930||Literature on Music|
|ML 100-109||Dictionaries and Encyclopedias|
|ML 198-360.6||By Region on Country|
|ML 459-1380||Instruments and Instrumental Music|
|ML 3469-3541||Popular Music|
|ML 3544-3776||Folk, National, and Ethnic Music|
|ML 3800-3923||Philosophical and Societal Aspects of Music|
Please note that the subclasses above are not specific to the blues genre alone. For instance, in the ML 385-429 range, you will find biographies on such blues legends as Howlin' Wolf or Bessie Smith, but you will also find bios on Beethoven and Mozart in the same area. Similarly, the ML 3469-3541 range contains plenty of great books on the blues, but you'll also find books on country, rap, reggae, jazz, and other styles of popular music.
Also be aware that not all books relating to the blues will necessarily be in the same area. Depending on the book's primary subjects, it can be classed in E (American History), F (Local History), or even in HM or HN (Sociology and Social History, respectively). Therefore, while browsing is a great way to find books, you should search the catalog to ensure that you find everything on your topic.
Click here for more catalog search tips.
You can also find biographic profiles of blues musicians in most of the library's music encyclopedias:
In addition to the reference works listed above, you can also search the catalog for biographies on individual artists or bands (e.g. Big Mama Thornton, Buddy Guy, Little Walter, etc.). Furthermore, the library owns a number of invaluable biography collections. To locate these collections, perform a subject search in the catalog for blues musicians and biography. Two examples of many are The Bluesmen by Samuel Charters and Blues Singers by David Dicaire.
History and Influences
It is impossible to list in this guide all relevant books on the influences of blues music -- not to mention the wealth of information on the impact and influence that blues has had on modern society and other musical genres. To dig deeper into the collection, try searching for the Subject Blues (Music) -- History and criticism or just try some general keyword searches like minstrelsy or gospel music; or, if you're looking for modern influences of the blues, try looking for popular bands like The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin.
Lyrics and Meaning
The DSU Archives holds hundreds of 78 RPM records donated by Steve LaVere. Genres include country, popular music, pre-war blues, post-war blues, and jazz. According to the inventory, this collection includes:
For more information on these recordings, please contact the DSU Archives at 662-846-4781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click the icons below to read these popular ebooks (you must login with your Delta State Username/Password to view ebooks):
The Blues: A Very Short Introduction by Elijah Wald
Blues Music in the Sixties: A Story in Black and White by Ulrich Adelt
Jim Crow's Counterculture: The Blues and Black Southerners, 1890-1945 by R.A. Lawson