Friday, November 23, 2012

Genre Love: Early 1900s Blues

“Tomorrow, I’m going to learn about the origins of blues music.”

For my research into the most influential blues artists, I listened to as many of these particular artists as I could find. I chose the songs for this week’s playlist when I had a strong emotional reaction to them, or a physical response, as I frequently found myself bobbing and swaying.

Because of the genre’s name, the blues has a reputation as the music of heartbreak, but an incredible variety of subjects are represented in these songs. “Love Lost” is a strong theme. However, there are many songs about poverty, crime, railroads, and other aspects of life as a black man in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The artists I’ve listed below are so incredible, on the first night of my research I stayed up way later than I should have because I wanted to listen to more and more. Don’t you love that I can use the present tense (“are incredible”)? We are so fortunate to have recorded music.

With my playlist, I’ve included links to excellent biographies of these affecting blues artists.

1. Memphis Jug Band- Insane Crazy Blues
2. W.C. Handy- St. Lewis Blues
3. Frank Stokes- Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do
4. Furry Lewis- Billy Lyons And Stack O’lee
5. Blind Blake- Come On Boys Let’s Do That Messin’ Around
6. Mississippi John Hurt- Louis Collins
7. Henry Thomas- Jonah in the Wilderness
8. Gus Cannon- Walk Right In
9. Big Bill Broonzy- Trouble in Mind
10. Blind Lemon Jefferson- Hangman’s Blues
11. Charlie Patton- Banty Rooster Blues

12. Robert Johnson- When You Got a Good Friend

Other useful websites:

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