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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Saturday, January 06, 2007


Apologies for the lack of postings this year - I'm spending virtually every waking moment working on the manuscript of my investigative biography of Blind Willie McTell. It has to be finished and delivered to Bloomsbury (London) at the end of the month... and there's an insane amount still to cover. (This time last year I was similarly close to the finishing post with the writing of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia.) The book is not only Willie's story, but the story of getting the story - so for the first time, at book length anyway, it allows me to combine writing about music and about travel. It's called HAND ME MY TRAVELIN' SHOES: In Search Of Blind Willie McTell (the title being a phrase from his great 'Statesboro Blues'). It should be published in the UK this summer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has really nothing to do with your much expected book on Blind Willie Mc Tell, but well, since you mention it also deals with "the story of getting the story", are you aware of A J A Symons' "The Quest for Corvo, An Experiment in Biography"? A wonderful "story of getting the story" book.
Here's wishing you a satisfactory conclusion to your project.

8:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, I'm looking forward to this book. Some of my favourite bits of 'Song and Dance Man' revolved around McTell. I remember being shocked when told about the guy who kept the original McTier(?) headstone in his back garden. Grave robbing indeed.

I see the long overdue box set of his work is due for release this summer too.

4:55 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Dear Antonio
Thanks for this. No, I haven't come across the book you mention, but I have read two getting-the-story-of-getting-the-story exercises: a very disappointing slim volume on trying to get to J.D. Salinger, and the much more rewarding work by Richard Holmes about following the trail of Robert Louis Stevenson through part of France with a donkey.

Kind regards

5:54 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Andy - Hi there. Thanks for your encouraging comments. About the box set: I'm told unofficially that it's delayed again...

Kind regards

6:08 pm  
Blogger morty said...

I am also a teacher, writer and Dylan fan. I have recently completed a book called "Play it again Uncle Sam" which tells the story of post war America from 1950 -75 using 60 iconic songs from the period. Dylan songs make up a significant part of the story.
Further details from my website

5:46 pm  

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