The Nixon and Ford Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs on Vietnam, Watergate, Civil Rights and Inflation 1969-1976
The 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.
- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: April 2011
- Price: 30 Euros
- Publisher: Agram Blues Books
Forty-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 Digitally remastered and featuring full liner notes by the author, the CDs are unique historical documents of the Nixon and Ford presidencies.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: 15 Euros.
AGRAM BLUES ABCD 2022 – PRESIDENT NIXON’S BLUES
- Otis Spann – Moon Blues
- Howlin’ Wolf – Coon On The Moon
- The Staple Singers – The Ghetto
- Reverend Overstreet Singers – Black But Proud
- Ted Taylor – How Do You Walk Away From Fear
- Cleo Page – Black Man (Too Tough To Die) Part I
- Calvin Leavy – Cummins Prison
- Pop Staples – Black Boy
- Kurrt Watkins and Soul Sister – 7 I Ain’t Buyin No Saigon Tea
- Lightning Hopkins – Please Settle In Viet Nam
- Leon Thomas – Damn Nam (Ain’t Goin’ To Vietnam)
- Robert Pete – Williams Vietnam Blues
- Johnny Shines – Blood Ran Like Wine
- Sister Maggie – Merckson It’s A Time In The U.S.A.
- Johnnie Taylor – I Could Never Be President
- Raeful Neal – Inflation Time
- Lucille Spann – Meat Ration Blues
- Nyles Jones – The Welfare Blues
- Thomas Shaw – Richard Nixon’s Welfare Blues
- Howlin’ Wolf – Watergate Blues
- Thomas Shaw – Hey Mr. Nixon!
- Percy Mayfield – I Don’t Want To Be The President
AGRAM BLUES ABCD 2023 – PRESIDENT FORD’S BLUES
- Bishop Manning – Back In Slavery Days
- Bobby Marchan – Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With Whitey
- Staple Singers – Washington, We’re Watching You
- Inez Andrews – Headline News
- Eddie “Cleanhead” – Vinson Nigger, Please!
- Gospel Heavyweights – Living In Fear
- The Stroziers – Welfare Woman
- The Stroziers – Love Shortage
- Bob Starr – One Tank Of Gas
- Bob Starr – This Energy Crisis Is Killing Me
- “B.B.” Odom – with the Earbenders The World’s In Trouble
- Bishop Manning – This Is Everybody’s Song
- Aaron Bailey – Inflation Blues – Part 1
- Good Time Charlie (= Charles Taylor) – Welfare Blues
- Jimmy Dawkins – Welfare Line
- J.C. Burris – Inflation Blues
- Johnny Guitar – Watson Ain’t That a Bitch
- Robert Bo-Bo (= Senator Jones) – He Makes Me Mad – Pt 1
- Bernard Daniels – I Ain’t Got a Job
- Mack Simmons – Inflation Blues