PAUL OLIVER, 90, on August 15 in Oxfordshire, England. A British academician who wrote some of the first scholarly studies of the blues in the 1950s and ‘60s, which sparked a renewed interest in the music. He wrote or edited 10 books, including a biography of Bessie Smith (1959), Blues Feel this Morning: The Meaning of the Blues (1960), and The Story of the Blues (1969), considered the first comprehensive history of the genre.
He made several trips to the United States to interview and record blues musicians, and illustrated and wrote the liner notes for dozens of albums. He left a 1,400-page manuscript on the Texas blues, which is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2018. His principal occupation was as an architectural historian.