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Black and Blues

WHERE DID WE GET BLUES?

The blues has very deep roots within African American history. The new sound arose in Black streets and communities in the beginning of the 20th century. Blues came to life in the black communities of the deep south, specifically in the Mississippi Delta.

WHAT IS BLUES?

Blues usually consists of one singer accompanied by a guitar and other brass instruments. These notes likely had earlier origins, as they are found in African American work songs. The songs of Blues expressed a longing, loss, desire, hardship, and sorrow which led it to called “the Blues.”

BLUES INFLUENCE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY

Among many African Americans, there was a desire to move away from musical forms such as spirituals, which were identified with slavery days. Intellectuals in the black community felt like the lyrics of a broken black person the style of Blues music brought the community down. Intellectual black people preferred the riches of jazz music. Upper and middle class black folks didn’t appreciate the truth and hardship that embodied Blues music, instead they believed the Blues made our community even lesser. But yet, Blues artists believed in the rawness of their own musical styles and stories.

WHO’S GOT THE BLUES?

Some primary and famous African American Blues artists, musicians, and performers include B.B King and Bessie Smith.

B.B King

“King of Blues”, B.B King, was an Africans American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. B.B. King has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics.

 

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith, AKA “Empress of the Blues”, was one of the most popular female blues artists and greatest singers of her era. Her most notable songs are St. Louis Blues, Down Hearted Blues,  Black Water Blues, and Careless Love Blues.

Imani Wingfield

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