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Art By Robert Crumb
Published By Abrams

Reviewed by Cardinal Cox


R. Crumb's Heroes Of Blues, Jazz, And Country available at

Write Dope on Pnuk part 35

Robert Crumb, though an important figure to the sixties counter-culture, has always had an affinity to the music of the nineteen twenties and thirties. As can be evidenced by the compilation that he supervised for the 'EMI Songbook' series in 1999. This book though started as three series of collectors’ cards (think bubble gum cards without the gum) for Yazoo Records around 1980, with texts supplied by experts in the respective genres. This book also includes a twenty-one track CD (seven artists to each genre) from some of the musicians covered.

These then are the authentic early performers of music that are the ancestors of our current scenes. Blues and Country combining in the fifties to form Rock ‘n’ Roll; Jazz marrying Gospel to produce Soul and thus being behind the various types of dance music. The black artists featured would have had close relatives who would have known the slavery that ended only sixty years earlier than their recordings. For these musicians, lynch law was a very real threat if found in the wrong place at the wrong time. The white Country musicians would have lived lives not much better. This was a time of the Depression, dust bowls and aggressive strike breakers in the mining communities.

For those of us who like to expand our musical knowledge, plus lovers of Crumb’s art, a book then that is good to add to the collection.


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