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How Blue Can You Get? "It's Tight Like That" and the Hokum Blues

How Blue Can You Get? "It's Tight Like That" and the Hokum Blues r ober Ta Freu ND SCHWar TZ How b lue Can You Get? “It’s Tight l ike That” and the Hokum b lues Thomas a . Dorsey, the “father of black gospel music,” was interviewed numerous times in 1960 and 1970s, when gospel music became a subject of serious inquiry. While he was asked about his sacred works, inter- viewers frequently also inquired about a rather less devotional number: his influential hit record from 1928, a suggestive little ditty called “It’s Tight l ike That.” The song, which influenced legions of imitations and dozens of cover versions, was the urtext of a new style of blues that reflected the new cultural landscape and urban black culture created by the Great m igration. The urban blues, most commonly associated with artists like m uddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and e lmore James, has received a fair amount of scholarly attention. However, comparably little has been devoted to its immediate and influential predecessor, the “city” style, which was forged during the Great m igration and Great Depression and comprised the largest market segment of recorded blues until after World War II. many commentators, beginning in the 1940s, have argued that little of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

How Blue Can You Get? "It's Tight Like That" and the Hokum Blues

American Music , Volume 36 (3) – Dec 5, 2018

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

r ober Ta Freu ND SCHWar TZ How b lue Can You Get? “It’s Tight l ike That” and the Hokum b lues Thomas a . Dorsey, the “father of black gospel music,” was interviewed numerous times in 1960 and 1970s, when gospel music became a subject of serious inquiry. While he was asked about his sacred works, inter- viewers frequently also inquired about a rather less devotional number: his influential hit record from 1928, a suggestive little ditty called “It’s Tight l ike That.” The song, which influenced legions of imitations and dozens of cover versions, was the urtext of a new style of blues that reflected the new cultural landscape and urban black culture created by the Great m igration. The urban blues, most commonly associated with artists like m uddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and e lmore James, has received a fair amount of scholarly attention. However, comparably little has been devoted to its immediate and influential predecessor, the “city” style, which was forged during the Great m igration and Great Depression and comprised the largest market segment of recorded blues until after World War II. many commentators, beginning in the 1940s, have argued that little of

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Dec 5, 2018

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