Samuel Charters, Blues Hall of Fame 2011 Inductee

The Blues Foundation will be holding their annual Blues Hall of Fame induction on May 4, 2011. It’s part of their annual Blues Music Awards event.  I would love to go to Memphis, Tennessee some day with Rosemary and be an active part of this event. So yes, this is a bucket list item for me 😉

The Blues Hall of Fame Inductee who I am writing my daily blog post about is Samuel Charters.  I was conducting research for a future daily blog post about the Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughn In Session CD/DVD recording when I happened upon Samuel Charters name as the person who wrote the liner notes for this auspicious blues event.

I pride myself as an amateur ethnomusicologist.  I graduated from the University of New Haven, minoring in music and ethnomusicology was my heart of hearts goal in 1974. I haven’t let go of staying in league with music study. I value music historians such as Alan Lomax and music journalists such as Peter Guralnick , Paul Oliver and Robert Palmer. It stands to reason that Samuel Charters would be on my radar screen as a blues music subject matter authority.

Samuel Charters (81 years young)  is being deservedly recognized for his vast contribution to the study and promotion of the blues music idiom. Samuel Charters has written seven books about the blues. He is also a noted subject matter authority on jazz and has written six titles about jazz.

His book The Country Blues is a definitive publication that sews together the threads of blues history in a musical and cultural quilt. It was, in his words, “an effort to force the white society to reconsider some of its racial attitudes, although it was a cry for help” for the blues artists.

What I find very fascinating is the contribution Samuel Charters, along with his wife Ann Charters have made to the legacy of music and literature. The Charters have collected substantive information about the blues, jazz, and African diaspora music. Ann is a noted subject matter authority on the Beat Generation which is another developing interest of mine. She wrote the first Jack Kerouac biography (which received co-operation from Kerouac himself).

Ann Charters is  a professor of American Literature at UCONN. Please take note of her illustrious curriculum vitae. http://english.uconn.edu/directory/uploads/cvs/charters.pdf

Samuel and Ann Charters split their time today between Sweden where they live (they grew disenchanted with the American political landscape and who could blame them) and the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. They have unselfishly donated several large collections to UCONN’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center for ongoing scholarly research.

I plan to spend some quality time researching a book I want to write at this facility. I can’t wait to pour through their exhaustive collection. Samuel and Ann Charters Archive of Blues and Vernacular African American Musical Culture

Thank you Ann and Samuel Charters for your devotion to the preservation of arts and literature! You enhance scholarly pursuit of the origins of music and the beat generation with very skillful detail.


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