Cousin Joe: Blues from New Orleans

Joseph Pleasant, Author, Pleasant Joseph, Author, Harriet Joseph Ottenheimer, With University of Chicago Press $23.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-226-41198-9
In this life-story narrative, taken down, shaped and edited by a Kansas State University anthropologist, 80-year-old Pleasant Joseph of New Orleans, a well-known composer and performer of blues, recalls his experiences as a plasterer's helper, sack-turner in a sugar factory, dishwasher, shoe shiner and lover of many women. Self-taught as a pianist and tap dancer, ""Cousin Joe'' began his musical career as a singer at fish fries and started recording in 1945. Eventually he gained international recognition, and for the past decade he has performed abroad as often as in America. Cab Calloway, Leonard Feather, Billie Holiday and Muddy Waters are among the many jazz musicians who figure in his delightful anecdotes. Excellent discography. Photos not seen by PW. (November)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
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