The Nixon and Ford Blues

The Nixon and Ford Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs on Vietnam, Watergate, Civil Rights and Inflation 1969-1976


7a. The Nixon and Ford BluesThe Nixon and Ford Blues starts with an assessment of the blues and gospel artists’ response to the first landing on the Moon. Next Nixon’s often misunderstood civil rights contribution is analyzed. Special attention is paid to Nixon’s impressive support of education desegregation at a time of campus demonstrations, urban violence and ghetto trouble. Although Nixon had run for president promising to end the War in Vietnam, it would take four years before a peace treaty was signed. Blues and gospel songs about the first part of the war were studied in President Johnson’s Blues, the musicians’ response to the continuing entanglement in South-east Asia is discussed in this fifth volume.
The Nixon and Ford years were disastrous in economic terms. The war in Vietnam was a continuing drain on the exchequer at a time when inflation, welfare problems, unemployment, energy supply crises and sluggish growth deepened the recession. The blues was still an ideal means to vent frustration. When the Watergate scandal broke, trust in government reached an all-time depth and the singers were watching Washington suspiciously.
Gerald Ford was one of the most personally popular Presidents and is now mainly remembered for healing the country’s divisions after Watergate and Vietnam. It took a long time before historians became sufficiently interested in his Presidency to seriously assess it seriously. For the blues and gospel singers Ford came as a relief after the Watergate scandal, but in contemporary songs he is mainly associated with unemployment, inflation and the energy crisis.

Product Details:

  • Format:                    Paperback
  • Publication Date:     April 2011
  • Price:                       25 Euros
  • Publisher:                Agram Blues Books

7c. Agram ABCD 2023

7b. Agram ABCD 2022Forty-two of the songs discussed in the text are available on two different CDs produced by Agram Blues (ABCD 2022 about Nixon and 2023 about Ford) to accompany this book. Digitally remastered and featuring full liner notes by the author, the CDs are unique historical documents of the Nixon and Ford presidencies.
Price: 10 Euros.

  1. Otis Spann – Moon Blues
  2. Howlin’ Wolf – Coon On The Moon
  3. The Staple Singers – The Ghetto
  4. Reverend Overstreet Singers – Black But Proud
  5. Ted Taylor – How Do You Walk Away From Fear
  6. Cleo Page – Black Man (Too Tough To Die) Part I
  7. Calvin Leavy – Cummins Prison
  8. Pop Staples – Black Boy
  9. Kurrt Watkins and Soul Sister – 7 I Ain’t Buyin No Saigon Tea
  10. Lightning Hopkins – Please Settle In Viet Nam
  11. Leon Thomas – Damn Nam (Ain’t Goin’ To Vietnam)
  12. Robert Pete – Williams Vietnam Blues
  13. Johnny Shines – Blood Ran Like Wine
  14. Sister Maggie – Merckson It’s A Time In The U.S.A.
  15. Johnnie Taylor – I Could Never Be President
  16. Raeful Neal – Inflation Time
  17. Lucille Spann – Meat Ration Blues
  18. Nyles Jones – The Welfare Blues
  19. Thomas Shaw – Richard Nixon’s Welfare Blues
  20. Howlin’ Wolf – Watergate Blues
  21. Thomas Shaw – Hey Mr. Nixon!
  22. Percy Mayfield – I Don’t Want To Be The President


  1. Bishop Manning – Back In Slavery Days
  2. Bobby Marchan – Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With Whitey
  3. Staple Singers – Washington, We’re Watching You
  4. Inez Andrews – Headline News
  5. Eddie “Cleanhead” – Vinson Nigger, Please!
  6. Gospel Heavyweights – Living In Fear
  7. The Stroziers – Welfare Woman
  8. The Stroziers – Love Shortage
  9. Bob Starr – One Tank Of Gas
  10. Bob Starr – This Energy Crisis Is Killing Me
  11. “B.B.” Odom – with the Earbenders The World’s In Trouble
  12. Bishop Manning – This Is Everybody’s Song
  13. Aaron Bailey – Inflation Blues – Part 1
  14. Good Time Charlie (= Charles Taylor) –  Welfare Blues
  15. Jimmy Dawkins – Welfare Line
  16. J.C. Burris – Inflation Blues
  17. Johnny Guitar – Watson Ain’t That a Bitch
  18. Robert Bo-Bo (= Senator Jones) – He Makes Me Mad – Pt 1
  19. Bernard Daniels – I Ain’t Got a Job
  20. Mack Simmons – Inflation Blues