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Samuel Charters dies at 85; influential historian of blues and jazz
Samuel Charters dies at 85; influential historian of blues and jazz

Samuel Charters, a vital historian of American blues, folk and jazz who helped introduce a generation of music lovers to Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell and other performers, died Wednesday in Stockholm. He was 85. The cause was a bone marrow disorder after a serious illness, according to his wife, Ann Charters. Along with such musicologists as Alan Lomax and Harry Smith, Charters helped bring mainstream attention to once-obscure musicians from the South and Appalachia and make possible the blues revival of the 1960s. His first book, "The Country Blues," came out in 1959 alongside an album of recordings by Johnson, McTell, Sleepy John Estes and others that reached a small...

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