Cover image for The story of the blues
The story of the blues
Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Northeastern University Press, c1969, 1997.
Physical Description:
vi, 212 p. : illustrations ; 24 cm.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 784.643 OLI 1 1

On Order



Now available in an updated edition, Paul Oliver's classic history of the blues is widely recognized as the definitive work on the subject.

Author Notes

Paul Hereford Oliver was born in Nottingham, England on May 25, 1927. He trained as a painter and sculptor at the Harrow School of Art, but switched to graphic design because most art materials aggravated his asthma and various allergies. After receiving a diploma from Goldsmith's College in London in 1948, he returned to the Harrow County School to teach art. In 1955, he received an art-history degree from the University of London.

He wrote numerous books on blues music including Bessie Smith, Blues Fell This Morning, The Story of the Blues, Screening the Blues: Aspects of the Blues Tradition, Savannah Syncopators: African Retentions in the Blues, Songsters and Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records, Broadcasting the Blues: Black Blues in the Segregation Era, and Barrelhouse Blues: Location Recordings and the Early Traditions of the Blues.

He was also as an architectural historian. His books on architecture included Shelter and Society, English Cottages and Small Farmhouses: A Study of Vernacular Shelter, Dwellings: The House Across the World, and Built to Meet Needs: Cultural Issues in Vernacular Architecture. He died on August 15, 2017 at the age of 90.

(Bowker Author Biography)