Charters, Samuel Barclay

Charters, Samuel Barclay, 1929–2015, American musical historian and author, b. Pittsburgh. In the 1950s he studied jazz and blues in New Orleans and traveled through the South, where he recorded neglected, mainly African-American blues artists. His Country Blues (1959), a book and companion record, influenced the folk and blues revival of the 1960s and such artists as Bob Dylan. He later became interested in contemporary electric blues and produced records with songs that became rock standards. Over five decades, he popularized a worldwide group of overlooked musicians and songs. Charters, who objected to the Vietnam War, moved to Sweden in 1970 and maintained dual U.S.-Swedish citizenship. His more than 20 books include The Bluesmen (1967), The Legacy of the Blues (1975), The Roots of the Blues (1981), and Songs of Sorrow (2015) as well as poetry, novels, a biography of Mayakovsky, and English translations of Swedish authors, notably poet Tomas Tranströmer.

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