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Legends of the Blues: Now Available!

LEGENDS OF THE BLUES is a years-in-the-making passion project straight from Bill’s heart. This 224 pp. book contains 100 full color portraits of Stout’s favorite blues musicians and singers born prior to 1930. Robert Johnson‘s here, along with the Chess Records stable of Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon and Chuck Berry.

Bill has written a well-researched bio for every entry that includes recommended songs and interesting cover versions. PLUS: the book includes Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, a 14 track CD of great blues music personally selected and sequenced by Stout! In addition, Bill asked for (and received) the best introduction he could have hoped for by the brilliant poet, musicologist and comic art connoisseur Ed Leimbacher. All this, and it’s only twenty bucks!

Legends of the Blues, a visual celebration of a great African American-created art form, is the perfect gift for the roots music fan in your family.

Mother’s Day is Sunday! Purchase one for the mother (or mutha) in your family! All books purchased this week will go out by Priority Mail within 24 hours of receipt of the order. Why buy here at the William Stout Bazaar? William Stout signs each book we sell and will be happy to personalize each copy as well.

“William Stout’s Legends of the Blues celebrates the glorious men and women who created the enduring legacy and the unique sound of the blues. Bill’s wonderful ink and watercolor paintings of legendary blues musicians beautifully capture the distinct personalities of these amazing and important American artists. Stout’s portraits give us the performance craziness of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the haunted gaze of Robert Johnson, the power of Howlin’ Wolf, and the sly grin of a young Bo Diddley”

John Landis (Director of The Blues Brothers)


Elvis Costello

“The drawings are evocative of Crumb’s style, impressionistic portraits with some subtle touches —  Robert Johnson’s pupils take the shape of little skulls. And yet, there’s a quietness, a stillness, to them also, a sensibility that is Stout’s alone. (This book is) a tribute to ‘the all-encompassing gumbo’ of the blues.”

David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“So good, you’d think illustrator William Stout made a deal with the devil.”

Michael Mechanic, Mother Jones

8 thoughts on “Legends of the Blues: Now Available!

  1. You got a blurb from Elvis Costello?! What the…? How did…? GREAT!

  2. @ Jim: My publisher, who just happened to have some copies of my book with him, bumped into Elvis at a friend’s New York restaurant and gave Costello a copy of the book.

  3. Be sure to bring a few to Dragon Con-you know you will have a quick sale!!

  4. Bill,

    My copy from Amazon arrived today. Whoah…. what a treat. You’ve really outdone yourself.
    I can’t wait to set aside some time to go from cover to cover.


  5. Bill,

    Received my copy a few days ago, but have been too busy to sit down and look it over. When I did so today, It was simply amazing. I’ve seen tantalizing glimpses of this work in progress, peeking from your folio, at past Wonderfests. The complete volume is a masterwork.

    First, the book design is a wonderful tribute to the old Crumb music volumes. A beautiful little, solid, volume. Randy Dahlk, and yourself, are to be commended on the beautiful packaging and layout.

    The interior is a revelation. We get a close up of the many striking, and diverse, personalities who created this uniquely American art form. I feel that I have come to know each, both personal highs and tragic lows, by reading your marvelous encapsulated biographies. The research needed must have been staggering.

    Artistically, the portraits are strikingly beautiful. We get a glimpse of the soul in each performer highlighted. You’ve done a great job in placing these roots creators back in the spotlight. Wonderful work.

    Last, but certainly not least, you allow us to hear the actual voices of legends. The enclosed CD is a great companion to this beautiful work. It provides a fitting coda to this striking book. I can’t wait for the second volume!


  6. Thanks, Rick and Jim!
    You guys seem to really understand what I was going for in this very personal labor-of-love project.

    The response and reviews have been amazing. I sold out of all the copies I brought to WonderFest on the first day of the show — and that’s a convention that’s primarily about movie monsters — not music! When packing for WonderFest I was worried I was bringing far too many!

    One fan who bought the book from me on Saturday came up to me on Sunday and said, “Alberta Hunter and Victoria Spivey — MAN OH MAN!”

    Thanks to everyone who has been so gracious in their support of this book. I look forward to VinylFest in June.

  7. Thanks for working with Dad on the intro Bill! Nice stuff!


  8. Hi Glenn!
    Long time, no see!

    That great intro was your dad’s and your dad’s alone. I couldn’t have asked for a better one; it was perfectly written by the perfect guy to write it.

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