12 bar blues

bessie smith

known as "Empress of the Blues," first seen in minstrel shows, her music usually consisted of strong themes, such as feminism, independence, and politics

B.B. King

"King of Blues," inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987

Lead Belly

was sent to jail on murder charges but eventually released, discovered by John and Alan Lomax, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988

Blues emerged in the South starting as early as the 1910’s. It is known distinctly for both lyrical content and instrumental style – two things that were important in the genre. Lyrics usually expressed emotions, and were often times used to tell sad stories through song. As far as instrumentals, many artists relied on the use of guitars or pianos. 12 Bar Blues, a sequence consisting of three different chords, became popular a little later. Artists that shaped this genre include Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, B.B. King, Skip James, and more.

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.