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Blues: An assessment of scholarship, reference tools, and documentary sources

Patrick Ragains (Assistant professor and government information librarian, at Montana State University in Bozeman)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 1 April 1993



Blues music is in the midst of its second revival in popularity in roughly thirty years. The year 1960 can be identified, with some qualification, as a reference point for the first rise in international awareness and appreciation of the blues. This first period of wide‐spread white interest in the blues continued until the early seventies, while the current revival began in the middle 1980s. During both periods a sizeable literature on the blues has appeared. This article provides a thumbnail sketch of the popularity of the blues, followed by a description of scholarly and critical literature devoted to the music. Documentary and instructional materials in audio and video formats are also discussed. Recommendations are made for library collections and a list of selected sources is included at the end of the article.


Ragains, P. (1993), "Blues: An assessment of scholarship, reference tools, and documentary sources", Reference Services Review, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 13-66.




Copyright © 1993, MCB UP Limited

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