Been Here and Gone

Frederic Ramsey Jr.

Portrays the people, places, daily activities, celebrations, and heritage that shaped African American music in the Deep South


"A journey of profound love and a terrible urgency . . . an altogether lovely and loving book."
—Studs Terkel, Chicago Times

"A vividly human documentary."
Los Angeles Times

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This volume documents Frederic Ramsey Jr.’s journeys through the 1950s South, where he traveled in search of what might still remain of an original, authentic African American musical tradition.

In these photographs, songs, interviews, and narratives, Ramsey portrays farmers, railroad workers, housewives, children, church congregations, and country brass bands from Saratoga, Florida, to New Orleans, Louisiana. Ramsey’s images of a past way of life capture the deceptively poor landscapes and lives that gave birth to and sustained some of our warmest and most deeply felt music.

Page count: 192 pp.
Trim size: 6.125 x 9.25


List price: $22.95

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Frederic Ramsey Jr., a writer, historian, jazz expert, and musicologist who specialized in African American culture, was one of the first major jazz scholars. He traveled throughout the South recording traditional music and photographing the lives and landscapes of the people he met.