Grateful Dead: Goodnight Irene - 12/31/83 - San Francisco Civic Auditorium (OFFICIAL)

Course Description

“Leadbelly–he’s the blues, right? The Grateful Dead–they are rock?” Well, yes, but not exactly. A songster collects music from multiple genres and adds them to create an extensive repertoire. We’ll examine the idea of the songster and see how it applies to The Grateful Dead and Huddie Leadbetter. “So, are The Dead the modern ones?” Scott Cashman, an anthropologist and former Tower Records manager, will discuss the music of these two crucial artists while considering the concept of the songster.

Course Outline

  • Explain the concept of “songster”

  • Examine the recorded music of Leadbelly

  • Examine the recorded music of the Grateful Dead

  • Consider Leadbelly and the Grateful Dead in the context of songsters.


The Leadbelly and the Grateful Dead: Traditional and Modern Songsters course is not currently open for enrollment, but we can arrange for any number of lessons you would like, click here for more information or contact Issa Boulos at iboulos@harpercollege.edu. If you’re a new student wanting to register for private lessons click here to fill out the new student form. If you would like us to notify you when enrollment opens, click and on the Request Information button below.

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