Paul Oliver is one of the world's leading authorities and writer on the history of the blues. From an early age he collected blues records and books on the blues, publishing his first article in 1951. Since that time he has published thirteen books on the history of the blues and blues music including The Story of the Blues, Blues Fell This Morning, Conversation with the Blues, and Blues Off The Record. His work also includes interviews, field work and research in recording and printed sources tracing the origin and development of African American music and culture from the time of slavery through to the Twentieth Century. This work, known as "The Paul Oliver Collection of African American Music and Related Traditions" is held on a custodial basis at The University of Gloucestershire, England, by agreement with the European Blues Association and Paul Oliver. It represents an enormously valuable resource in teaching and research and is of international significance.
The 'blues musketeers', Max and Rex Haymes, Dai Thomas, Robin Andrews and myself, Alan White, are working on a long term project entitled 'Slave To The Blues' - tracing secular roots of the blues back to slavery days; from 17th century onwards. In planning our research we contacted Paul Oliver, who invited us to his home for a weekend to discuss our work. During the discussions I also had the honour of interviewing Paul about his work and his thoughts on the blues.