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Blues in Florida

This guide from the State Library of Florida explores Florida’s blues music heritage along with related genres like jazz, soul and funk. 

It is part of Florida Music Tours, a project by the Florida Department of State to chronicle the state’s diverse music traditions. 

Materials are generally available through interlibrary loan or from our circulating collection. 

Links within the bibliographies take you to information in our State Library catalog or to more information on external sites.

 

Bastin, Bruce. Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast. University of Illinois Press, 1995. 

Capouya, John. Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band. University Press of Florida, 2017. 

Charles, Ray. Brother Ray: Ray Charles’ Own Story. Dial Press, 1978. 

Clinton, George. Brothers Be Like, ‘George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kind of Hard on You?:’ A Memoir. Sphere, 2014. 

Curtis, Kurt. Florida’s Famous & Forgotten, an Illustrated History: History of Florida’s Rock, Soul & Dance Music, the First 30 Years: 1955-1985. Florida Media, 2005. 

Drop on Down in Florida: Recent Field Recordings of African-American Traditional Music, 1977-1980. Dust-to-Digital, 2012. 

Kaster, Kent. “I’m a Stranger Here: Blues Music in Florida.” Tampa Bay History, vol. 10, no. 2, 1988, pp. 5–23. 

Lydon, Michael. Ray Charles: Man and Music. Riverhead, 1998. 

Smith, Peter Dunbaugh. Ashley Street Blues: Racial Uplift and the Commodification of Vernacular Performance in La Villa, Florida, 1896-1916. Florida State University, 2006. 

State Archives of Florida. “Advertisement for Congress of Racial Equality’s Jazz Album, ca. 1960.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Alexander McBride.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Florida Folklife Collection.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Ida Goodson.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Mary McClain.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Nat Adderly With His Brother at a FAMU Concert.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Pictures of Bo Diddley.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Pictures of Cannonball Adderley.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Pictures of Ray Charles.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Pictures of Rick James.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services. 

State Archives of Florida. “Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night: Blues Music From the Florida Folklife Collection.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services.

imls180.for.panel.jpgMany of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida's LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.