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Where Dead Voices Gather (Paperback)
  • Where Dead Voices Gather (Paperback)
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Where Dead Voices Gather (Paperback)

(author)
£12.99
Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 29/08/2002
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Only Nick Tosches, best-selling author of Dino and The Devil and Sonny Liston, could have woven this irresistible tale: part mystery, part biography, part meditation on the meaning and power of music.

A forgotten singer from the early days of jazz is at the centre of this riveting narrative. For twenty years, Nick Tosches searched for facts about the life of Emmett Miller, a yodelling blackface performer whose songs prefigured jazz, country, blues and much of the popular music of the twentieth century. Beginning with a handful of 78-rpm records and ending at a tombstone in a Macon, Georgia, graveyard, Tosches pieces together a life - and illuminates the spirit of music makers from Cab Calloway to Bob Dylan, from Homer to the Rolling Stones.

This is a brilliant, inspired journey by one of the most original writers at work today.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780224063159
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 214 x 135 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
For Tosches, biographer of Dean Martin and Sonny Liston, writing a life of Emmett Miller - the blackface performer whose yodel, like the cornet of Buddy Bolden, rode across the night sky in the early years of jazz - was like chasing a chimera. Against a background of crackling 78s, those few fellow artistes remaining dredge up their memories to shed light on Miller's forgotten brilliance. What adds another dimension is Tosches' comparison of minstrelsy with the modern world of gangsta rap. "Is the pose of many contemporary rap groups dissimilar in essence to that of the 'coon' acts of the past?", he asks bravely. "Is an exaggerated pretence of being dangerous and lawless anything more than a variation on the exaggerated pretence of being benign, comical and docile...?" This is courageous, controversial writing.

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