Transcribed from 78 rpm recordings and preserved here long after many of the records have disappeared, this collection of nearly three hundred songs from more than one hundred singers celebrates the diversity of feeling and form that defines the blues. Ma Rainey, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Memphis Minnie, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters are represented with their lesser-known contemporaries — Barefoot Bill, Barbecue Bob, Bumble Bee Slim, and Black Ivory King. This complete anthology also features lyrics by Blind Blake, Victoria Spivey, Blind Willie Johnson, “Funny Paper” Smith, Texas Alexander, Lightning Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Ma Yancey, King Solomon Hill, Skip James, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Son House, Willie Brown, Mississippi John Hurt, Bukka White, Furry Lewis, Sleepy John Estes, Rev. Gary Davis, Roosevelt Sykes, Peetie Wheatstraw, Sonny Boy Williamson, Kokomo Arnold, Tampa Red, Howlin’Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Patton, and more than 100 others. Dozens of illustrations are included.