Give My Poor Heart Ease

        If want to know about the blues and the segregated South in the 60’s, “Give My Poor Heart Ease” by William Ferris is a must read.

       William R. Ferris set out as a white middle class teenager way back when with a camera, a tape recorder, and enthusiasm. I am sure some folks thought he’d lost his mind, and I bet almost all of them thought he’d never make a living.

        He did better than that. He made a PhD and a university professor. He taught at Yale and brought his bluesman friends up from Mississippi to teach folklore students about real music and real people. He was invited into homes and to blues parties in towns like Clarksdale and Leland. He recorded work chants at Parchman Penitentiary, the Mississippi State Pen. He became personal friends with B.B. King. Nowadays he teaches history at U.N.C. Chapel Hill.

        If you’re looking for a sanitized version of the blues and black history, this ain’t for you. If you want to read the raw truth, this is the book.

       My agent always said to write Southern Lit, you had to start out as a storyteller. Dr. Ferris went right to the source as a kid, and he hasn’t ever stopped. True southern stories; this book has my highest recommendations; the man is a pro.

Here’s the website for the book:

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: The Monday Morning Post, Writing


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4 Comments on “Give My Poor Heart Ease”

  1. Hi Tom!
    Been a long time….
    Okay I will not break into song.

    However, I have stumbled across a great blog narrative on music that I think you would love. I know the author of the blog loves writing and music. You can find him at my blog:

    or if you you prefer to go straight to him:

    In these divisive times we are trying to pull people together through music, and I think that may be right in your wheelhouse!

    I am doing my best to be a better blog corespondent these days, and you were the first person I thought of when I read the music narrative.

    Looking forward to hearing your input.


    • drtombibey Says:


      “In these divisive times we are trying to pull people together through music..”

      Wow, that is it!

      I think if we all played music folks wouldn’t have any time left to be fight, or the desire to do so.

      Good to hear from you. Will check all this out.

      Dr. B

  2. jel Says:

    hey Dr. B

    thanks for stopping by my blog and the comment.

    did ya get the e~mail eye sent?

    • drtombibey Says:


      I looked for it, but never saw it. Try and see if it goes thru.

      Darin Aldridge and I have talked several times about a companion CD for the book. Between the doc and book gigs, I havent gotten around to it, but your post inspired me to get going on a CD.

      Dr. B

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