Black & Blue



“Blues” was and is a music style that was born in the deep south. The creators of the blues were ex-slaves, slaves, sharecroppers, and just poor black folk in the south, mainly Mississippi. Blues has  many parts from other music genres, such as folk, negro spirituals and work songs. Blues was and is described as music that expressed what black people in the deep south were going through. The typical instruments used composed of harmonicas, washboards, guitars, and slide guitars. 


Prominent Blues Artists

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters, or McKinley Morganfield, was an American singer from Issaquena, Mississippi. Reffered as the the ‘Father of Modern Chicago Blues”, Waters was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith was an American Blues artist from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Often referred as the “Empress of the Blues’, Smith was one of the most popular blues singer through the 1930s.   Smith was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. 

Elmore James

Elmore James was an American guitarist from Richland, Mississippi. James is often referred as the “King of the SLide Guitar”, for his use of loud amplification and his stirring voice. James was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992. 

Mamie Smith

Mamie Smith was an American singer  from Cincinnati, Ohio. Smith is recognized for being the first African-American vocalist to make vocal blues recordings. Smith’s song “Crazy Blues” – that sold a million copies in less than a year- was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994, and was selected to be preserved in the National Recording Registry of the  Library of Congress in 2005. 


The commodification of blues music began when white people finally found an interest in black blues music. This began the start of  the “Race Records”.  


Burnim, Mellonee V., and Portia K. Maultsby. African American Music: an Introduction. NY, 2015.


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