The Mannish Boy: Muddy Waters

The Mannish Boy: Muddy Waters Intro/background      McKinley Morganfield, better known as “Muddy Waters” is one of the most famous and influential blues musicians of all time. Muddy Waters was born April 4 1913 in Issaquena County, Mississippi but claimed Rolling Fork as his birthplace. Muddy Waters got his name from when he was […]

The One and Only; James Scott

The One & Only: James Scott James Scott’s Background: James Sylvester Scott (James Scott) was born on February 12, 1885 in Neosho, Missouri.   Scott died on August 30th , 1938 (at the age of 53) in Kansas City, Kansas.   Although, his genre of music was ragtime he also took part in march and […]

Known to be the Best Artists of Her Time: Bessie Smith

Known to be the Best Artists of her time: Bessie Smith Who was Bessie Smith ? Bessie Smith was born as Elizabeth Smith, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Growing up, Bessie would sing on street corners and find places in the south to perform. She was striving to be a blues singer. Eventually, Bessie’s performances rose her […]

The Blue Kings: Riley B. King

The Blues Legend: Mr. Riley B. King The Beginning: Riley B. King ( aka B.B. King) was on September 16, 1925 in Berclair, Mississippi to the parents of Albert and Nora Ella King. After a few years, Ella King left her husband for another men leaving Riley King to his grandmother where he would join […]

Blues: The Legendary John Lee Hooker

THE LEGENDARY JOHN LEE HOOKER “It’s never hard to sing the blues. Everyone in the world has the blues……..”    -John Lee Hooker Introduction: John Lee Hooker played both electric and acoustic guitar. He was widely known for his distinctive vocal and instrumental style. He was an American Blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist.  Background: John […]

Mr. House

Son House Son House’s place, not only in the history of Delta blues but in the overall history of the music, is a very high one indeed. He was a major innovator of the Delta style, along with his playing partners Charles Patton and Willie Brown. Blues originated in the Deep South in the 1870s. […]

The Forgotten Star – Hazel Scott

Hazel Scott was a Trinidadian born Ragtime superstar. She also used her spotlight to speak on racial discrimination and segregation. At the age of 4 Hazel was a musical Prodigy receiving scholarship to study a Jillard. At a young age she had already been exposed to the music industry .During the 1930-1950’s she travel the world […]

The Wonderful Bessie Smith

The Wonderful Bessie Smith Smith was born on April 15, 1894, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was one of seven children. Her father was a Baptist minister but died after her birth, making her mother raise her and her siblings alone. In 1906 her mother and two of her brothers died and Smith and her remaining […]

Koko Taylor – The Queen of Blues

Koko Taylor – The Queen of the Blues The Blues originated from plantations in the deep south in the 19th century. It derived from African work songs, spirituals and field hollers that slaves sung as they were on the cotton and vegetable fields. As the great migration happened from the southern US to industrial cities, […]

King of the Blues: B.B. King

The King of the Blues: B.B. King “The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”- B.B. King Background Riley B. King, professionally known as B.B. King was born on September 16, 1925 in Itta Bena, Mississippi. He became a disc jockey in Memphis Tennessee where he was given the name […]

Blues: The Musical Coping Mechanism

The phrase “I have the blues” is synonymous for feeling sad, down in the dumps, or upset. Black music is often reflective of the time period and the black experience at the time. The blues period coincided with Jim Crow Laws, so the name makes sense. A time of segregation, discrimination, and hate, would likely […]

The History of Ragtime: “Cakewalk” and “Coon song”

Introduction Ragtime was around but way before the name was given to the genre. However, by the end of the 1890’s it was finally defined as Ragtime and consisted of a mixture of written music and oral tradition, that shifted between early jazz and classical music while also incorporating both African American and European styles […]

Femme Queer Expression in the Blues

Femme Queer Expression in the Blues Introduction The Blues contained one of the most emotionally-expressive and creative artists in its time. Originating in the deep-southern roots of the Mississippi Delta post-slavery, the blues gave artists the opportunity to express the many negative outcomes caused by black oppression in America. As well as addressing issues, female […]

Victoria Spivey: Black Snake Blues

Victoria Spivey: Black Snake Blues Blues is a musical genre that originated in the Deep South, such as Mississippi Delta, by the African Americans during the late 19th Century. Blues was rooted in African musical elements, work, and spiritual songs. It consists of musical instruments like a guitar, piano, and soloist singer. The blues were […]

Son House: A Hidden Gem

Son House Early Life Edward James “Son” House, Jr. was born on the twenty-first day of March, 1902 in a small town in Mississippi named Lyon. House Jr. was the second of three brothers. His father, was a musician as well; he played the tuba in a band with his brothers. The entire family was heavily […]

Muddy Waters: Blues Legend

Muddy Waters a True Blues Legend By Camille Adams-Lonzer Meet McKinley Morganfield also known as Muddy Waters. Born in Issaquena County, Mississippi on April 4th 1913. He was destined from birth to play the blues. He grew to become one of the most influential artist in blues as his sound was unique compared to other […]

Memphis Blues

Memphis: Home of The Blues Memphis is more than just a city, it is a polestar for soul, rock, country, gospel, and most importantly blues music.  Memphis Makes The Map The history of blues music in Memphis dates back to the early 1900’s. The city of Memphis can accredit most of its notoriety for Blues […]

How Mamie Smith transformed the music Industry

All About Mamie Smith Mamie Smith, an influential blues artist, that turned black music into a profitable business. In 1891, Mamie Smith was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She started her music career at ten years old when she began touring with the “Four Dancing Mitchells” and singing in clubs in Harlem. In the 1920s, Smith […]

The Infamous Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson was born April 9, 1898 in Philadelphia, PA. His parents were escaped slaves and raised him to be the political activist and singer song writer he is remembered for today. Paul was a man of many talents. He Graduated from Rutger University as a 4 sport athlete and completed Law school at Colombia […]

King of the Delta Blues: Robert Johnson

King of the Delta Blues: Robert Johnson Robert Johnson is the greatest artist in the history of Delta Blues. He expressed his talent through singing, playing the guitar, and writing songs. Although he received very little recognition in his lifetime, his music became an inspiration to so many artists that would come about. This is […]