List of illustrations; Author's note and acknowledgements to the first edition; Foreword by Richard Wright; Preface to the revised edition; Introduction; 1. Got to work or leave; 2. Railroad for my pillow; 3. Pains in my heart; 4. I'm a rooster, baby; 5. The jinx is on me; 6. Let the deal go down; 7. Evil and mean and funny; 8. Goin' to take a rap; 9. World black as midnight; 10. Going down slow; 11. Blues like showers of rain; Bibliographical references; Discography of quoted blues; Acknowledgements to discography; Index of quoted blues singers; General index.
A new, revised edition of Paul Oliver's classic study of the blues, first published in 1960.
' ... remarkable ... a definitive study in breadth and depth of the themes, backgrounds, imagery and motivation of the blues.' The New York Times