The Truman and Eisenhower Blues is a fascinating and exhaustive account of the Gospel and blues music of the post-war period (1945-1960). Guido van Rijn studies over 300 songs, many of them rare recordings, from artists including Fats Domi, John Lee Hooker and B. B. King, and usefully transcribes 123 of them in their entirety. Tapping sources which have previously been neglected by historians, musicologists and sociologists, he provides an illuminating examination of the themes at the heart of this Cold War music: the re-conversion, the atomic bomb, the Korean War, civil rights, Presidential elections, the ecomy and the space race. The Truman and Eisenhower Blues gives blues and Gospel fans a unique chance to understand what the artists were really singing about in their classic recordings from the late forties and fifties. This is a companion volume to the author's award-winning book Roosevelt's Blues (1997).
Guido van Rijn teaches English at Kennemer Lyceum in Overveen, the Netherlands. He is a widely published writer and music journalist, has run his own record label, Angram Blues, and is co-founder of the Netherlands Blues and Boogie Organisation.