Elijah Wald – Writer, Musician

Welcome to my site. It includes a brief bio and pages about my various books (mostly music-related, though Riding with Strangers is about a cross-country hitchhiking trip). Also a performance blog exploring my musical repertoire with background and commentary on hundreds of songs, and an occasionally ongoing blog about immigration, nationalism, and belonging. Plus information about my CD, Street Corner Cowboys, and other writing and album projects, including an instructional DVD on the Bahamian guitar style of Joseph Spence. There are pages about various aspects of blues, corridos, and popular music, appreciations of my father others, an archive of my newspaper and magazine pieces, and whatever else seemed worth putting up here... Including pages on The Mayor of MacDougal Street, the source of the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis; on my pop music history, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll; on Dylan Goes Electric, which is soon to be a major motion picture; and on my new one, Jelly Roll Blues, exploring the censorship of early blues and jazz through the songs and stories of Jelly Roll Morton.

Jelly Roll Book Cover

Escaping the Delta Dave Van Ronk Narcocorrido Dylan cover
New Book
Jelly Roll Blues: Censored Songs and Hidden Histories
Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues Dave Van Ronk: The Mayor of MacDougal Street
Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas

(página en español)

Dylan Goes Electric!
Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties

beatles Dozens cover

Josh White: Society Blues

oxford intro to blues Riding with Strangers
How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music Talking 'Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap

(reprint of The Dozens: A History of Rap's Mama

Josh White:
Society Blues
The Blues: A Very Short Introduction Riding With Strangers: A Hitchhiker's Journey

Global Minstrels River of Song Streetcorner Cowboys Joseph Spence Bio
Global Minstrels: Voices of World Music Other books and writing Musical projects and performances Joseph Spence Instructional DVD Elijah Wald Bio
(en español)
(en francais)

Ruth's passport

The Pursuit of Happiness: Immigration, Borders, and History blog

Contact Elijah

For speaking requests, musical gigs, questions and comments, please

Contact Elijah

Young Elijah

Songobiography: an ongoing memoir and performance blog, with hundreds of songs
All contents ©Elijah Wald