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 DylanDylan, Bob
, 1941–, American singer and composer, b. Duluth, Minn., as Robert Zimmerman. Dylan learned guitar at the age of 10 and autoharp and harmonica at 15. After a rebellious youth, he moved to New York City in 1960 and in the early years of the decade began playing
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. 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 MayakovskyMayakovsky, Vladimir Vladimirovich
, 1893–1930, Russian poet and dramatist. Mayakovsky was a leader of the futurist school in 1912, and he was later the chief poet of the revolution. His lyrics are highly original in rhythm, rhyme, and imagery.
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, and English translations of Swedish authors, notably poet Tomas TranströmerTranströmer, Tomas,
1931–2015, Swedish poet, b. Stockholm, grad. Stockholm Univ. (1956), Sweden's (and Scandinavia's) greatest late 20th- and early 21st-century poet.
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