A Music Playlist of Blues Songs, For Your Enjoyment

A STORY ABOUT THE BLUES

Blues is a feeling, most African Americans will tell you. If your girl or boyfriend leaves you, for instance, it’s quite likely you’ll feel sad or dejected for days. In other words, you’ll feel blue; you’ll have the blues.

What few African Americans will tell you is that the origin of the expression isn’t black and American, but English, al­though to­day it’s usually associated with African Americans. In 16th century Eng­land, people who were depressed were said to be persecuted by the “blue devils”. Later, in 1807, American author Wash­ington Irving already talked about “having a fit of the blues”.

But the blues today is generally understood as being a type of music which expresses the feeling of depression which was once common to African Americans, due to oppression, segregation and problems with the other sex. This may be the rea­son why African Americans used to say “White men can’t have the blues”, at least not the same kind of blues.    

The origins of the blues are diffi­cult to retrace because, quite naturally, an oral genre like the blues leaves few written traces. It seems to have develop­ed about 100 years ago, though the name “blues” was not yet used at the time. It grew out of black field songs, negro spirituals and the white folk ballads imported by British settlers and somewhat modified on American soil.

The first blues recordings ap­peared around 1920. They were made by black women singers who were actually singing a somewhat adulterated form of the music which, strangely enough, was later called “the classic blues”. Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were the most authentic and popu­lar performers of the genre in the 1920’s.

The original country or rural blues did not come to be recorded until around 1925, when the record com­panies real­ised they could make quite a profit by asking black farmers, who were at best semi-professional musicians, to record a few songs for them in return for a little whisky and about $5 per song. The lady singers, being professional entertainers, of course requested more.

Thanks to this fortunate circum­stance, we are now rea­sonably certain that the country blues originated from the Mis­sissippi Delta (an area in the state of Mississippi which must not be confused with the Delta of the Mississippi river in Louisiana).

Blacks here once made up over 90% of the population, and were heav­ily exploited and oppressed. Typic­ally in this original form of blues, a black sharecropper would sing about his hardships, while accompanying himself on the guitar. The rural blues also developed in the cotton-growing region of East Texas, and through much of the South Eastern part of the USA.

In the 1920s and 1930s, many Blacks migrated to the North and Mid­west. They found work in the factories in Chi­cago, Detroit, St. Louis, and other ci­ties; but ghettoes formed quite soon, when, by sheer weight of numbers, they began to overwhelm the whites who left city areas they had once had to themselves.

Blacks brought their ethnic culture and their music with them. Blues singers migrated too, especially since, in a lot of cases, they were workers them­selves, and like everyone else they were trying to make a better living.

A certain nostalgia for the south de­veloped; but at the same time, the trans­planted Blacks were becoming more soph­isticated, prefering to listen to music played by musicians more sophisticated than the rural blues performers. Thus small blues combos, with piano, guitar, har­monica and other instruments, began to replace the solo performers.

From the 40’s onwards, they converted to electric in­struments, and began to play a new form of blues, louder, more aggressive, which came to be call­ed “urban blues”. In the 50’s, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf were among the major exponents of this type of music, and later served as models imitated by many sixties groups such as the Rolling Stones and the Animals.

After a period of hibernation in the 50’s, the growing popularity of blues with young white audiences gave a lot of black blues-singers the opportunity to play again on a larger scale, for more money than before.

Still, it is quite clear that today the blues, as an inde­pendent genre, is no longer considered as very fashion­able. Yet with its easy-to-learn three-chord structure, it is a conven­ient springboard for musical improvisation. It has had a wide influence on modern popular music of many varieties, and on musicians who wish to return to the roots of modern popular music before jumping off in another, linguapresss.com

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9 thoughts on “A Music Playlist of Blues Songs, For Your Enjoyment

  1. I am always with you

    You are not just liked. You are not someone who I simply think is alright. You are not my past time or someone who is just filling a void. You are not my second choice or a backup plan.

    You are cherished and adored with every fabric of my being and just as my heart needs blood running through it to beat, you are the reason it thumps so loud and my need for you is just the same. You are my favourite thought of the day and my favourite person in the world.

    You are seen. You are heard and its because of exactly who you are, that you are loved. Always know that no matter what else is happening in our lives, that you are beloved and loved.

    The time and always with you.
    WWWW.the first W as you know belongs to me laughing out loud. Let me do it again http://WWW.online orthodox.wordpress.com and let me give you some inspiration so when you go onto my website I’ll give you a search button I’m in the search button Type in search button all things and still updating the system what resonates with the Holy Spirit will be published on my website. Made in dedicated to mankind my daughter is trying to save your ass as the 9th live is my Daughter as she has humiliated herself enough for the world that you think that your following God but the DEVIL. My Daughter is trying to bring you back to the light this is NO JOKE, I am talking from inside my daughter and hers eyes are my eyes and mind is her typing as she is in total submission to me her ABBA.

    1. How good it is to know that your site is going on as a work in progress. Thank you for sharing your worded momentums, they shake into a Saturday shoutout. It’s always a delight for you to visit. Happy Saturday, Saberina!💕🍂☕️☕️

  2. Wow! I did not listen to a lot of blues as I was growing up. When I hear the term I cannot help but think of the movie, Lady Sings the Blues, about Billie Holiday and starring Diana Ross. At the time I loved Diana Ross, so of course I had to see the movie. (Telling my age here LOL),

    Thanks for posting this. It is all so interesting.

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