“The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.” (Willie Dixon) Blues music was used to tell the life story of a negro. It is a sad genre that was popular during the 1920’s played in a 12 bar style, which is where the name 12-bar blues came from. This genre of music was most popular in Mississippi, where it originated, Memphis, and St. Louis, Missouri. This style of music got its sound from African Americans using household items to create a beat/rhythm, and later transformed into guitars played with a finger slide.
Life of Blues
W.C. Handy (1873-1958): The “Father of the Blues” was one of the most influential blues songwriter in the United States. He was the first to publish blues music and created what is known as the Delta Blues, which included some of his most popular hits “St. Louis Blues”, “Memphis Blues”, and “Aunt Hagar’s Blues”.
B.B. King (1925-2015): Riley B. King was born on a plantation in Bena, Mississippi. He would play music on the street corners and would move from town to town playing music. He left to Memphis, TN in 1947 to start his career in blues, and later influenced many other artists with his unique style of music.