Record Labels of the Mid-20th century

By the time genres like Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, and Soul became prominent, there were record labels that grew alongside the popularity and widespread consumption of these genres. By putting music in the hands and homes of consumers, these labels helped to establish the cultural landscape associate with genres and the cities in which they […]

Brunswick Records

/*! elementor – v3.7.8 – 02-10-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Early History:  Brunswick Records was a popular record company between 1916- 1930. They signed a vast number of different and unique artists through the years. Brunswick Records was founded in 1916 and was based in Detroit and later settled in Chicago. […]

How the Blues Killed the Blues

During the 1920’s and 1930’s, the blues played a pivotal part in the expression of African Americans’ suffering. Coming off of the emergence of ragtime in the 1920’s, which reflected the creative and material abundance of the Roaring 20’s, blues used ragtime techniques and combined them with swing to express a different emotion: “The Blues.” […]

Empress of the Blues- Camryn Henry

/*! elementor – v3.9.0 – 06-12-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Introduction Classic Blues was the earliest form of blues music. Classic Blues were performed by female singers accompanied by small bands of jazz musicians or by instrumental duos and solo pianists. The form of blues vocals that these women blues singers […]

The Early Women of the Blues

/*! elementor – v3.7.7 – 20-09-2022 */ .elementor-widget-image{text-align:center}.elementor-widget-image a{display:inline-block}.elementor-widget-image a img[src$=”.svg”]{width:48px}.elementor-widget-image img{vertical-align:middle;display:inline-block} /*! elementor – v3.7.7 – 20-09-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} The Early Women of The Blues Introduction The early women of the blues such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Mamie Smith, shaped the style known today as blues. […]

“Satin Doll” and “Gone With What Wind”: A Closer Look at the Songs

/*! elementor – v3.7.7 – 20-09-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Who are the Musicians? Duke Ellington The Big Band Era was filled with many great composers. One of the greatest, arguable being, Duke Ellington. His upbringing took place in Washington D.C. He had a comfortable childhood, living in a nice house […]

The Blues, an Instrumental and Lyrical Expression of Emotions in the Black Community

A new singing style in southern black communities emerged in the early 20th century, the blues. The blues brought in different musical and lyrically expressive characteristics, and was also an influence to various subsections of jazz which would come later. Due to the racial climate in the south, the institutionalization of racial segregation and forms […]

20th Century “Hotlanta”: Piedmont Blues in Georgia

/*! elementor – v3.7.8 – 02-10-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Introduction Among the many styles of blues that were birthed among the various North American regions, Piedmont blues in the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Appalachian mountains in Georgia and Virginia was one of the most renowned (OnMusic Companion). The melancholic yet […]

The Overlooked Face Behind The Voice: Ma Rainey

Blues is at the epicenter of almost all American Music that we hear. This genre has created a blueprint or guide for the artists and sounds that we hear today. One person who was extremely influential to the Blues genre, and who we can give thanks to for some of our favorite songs is Ma […]

Mamie Smith’s Impact on Blues

Mamie Smith’s Impact on Blues Mamie Smith’s legacy is one that will always be remembered. Mamie Smith’s influence opened the door for black vocalists in Blues, which sparked the era of “Race records”. Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues” changed music. Artists like Mamie Smith made a way for herself, for black artists, and black women. Women […]

Bessie Smith: One Of The Most Famous Blues Singers

/*! elementor – v3.5.6 – 28-02-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Her Background Bessie Smith was an American Blues Singer widely known during the Jazz Age. The Jazz Age was a period in the 1920s and 1930s in which jazz music and dance styles rapidly gained nationwide popularity in the United States. […]

Are White Blues Singers Appropriating Black Culture?

Are White Blues Singers Appropriating Black Culture? You probably recognize the man in the picture: singer Elvis Presley. He is sometimes referred to “the King of Rock and Roll,” and you have likely heard some of his songs. One of his most famous songs is “Hound Dog.” There is a reason I’m bringing it up, […]

The Exploitation of Blues

The Exploitation of Blues by Lila Gilliam The blues was a genre the originated in the South, inspired and influenced by slavery. I like to think of the genre as a spin-off of the Negro Spiritual and Folk Music- secular music that still tells a story and relates to the plight of the Black man […]

Mamie Smith: Black Women Making Waves in Blues

Mamie Smith was a groundbreaking singer, dancer, pianist and actress of the early 20th century. Born as Mamie Robinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mamie is known today as one of the pioneers of blues and an key figure it the commodification of African American Music. Mamie went on to sing “Harlem Blues”, “That Thing Called Love”, […]

Muddy Waters

/*! elementor – v3.5.6 – 28-02-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Muddy Waters /*! elementor – v3.5.6 – 28-02-2022 */ .elementor-widget-image{text-align:center}.elementor-widget-image a{display:inline-block}.elementor-widget-image a img[src$=”.svg”]{width:48px}.elementor-widget-image img{vertical-align:middle;display:inline-block} Blues was developed during the pre-Civil War time period in the south. It uses negro spirituals and blends scales, rhythms, musical styles, and instruments from both Europe […]

B.B. King

The Man Behind the Blues: Riley B. King Who Is He? Riley B. King also known as B.B. King was born on September 16, 1925. He was born in Berclair, Mississippi to sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella King. He was born on the Berclair cotton plantation. When King was four, his mother left his father […]

The Mother of Blues

  Gertrude “Ma” Rainey (April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was an early blues singer and was incredibly influential in establishing the genre. She became known as “Ma” Rainey after being married to Will “Pa” Rainey in 1904. Together, they formed the group Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues.   /*! elementor – […]

Howlin’ Wolf’s Wild Blues

Starting as folk music for the enslaved to cheer themselves on, Blues would emerge as a genre in the mid 1800s around the Mississippi Delta. Though, the music styling would begin its popularity around the early 1900s, Delta Blues being one of the earliest Blues stylings. Artist Howlin’ Wolf would redefine aspects of this early […]

The Blues-The Exploration of the Black Woman with Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey 1886-1939 Ma Rainey, the “Mother of Blues” Ma Rainey was a Blues singer who was active from the years 1899-1939. She was a prominent figure amongst the Black music industry as she was known as “The Mother of Blues”. Ma Rainey’s voice carried a unique and deep tone. Her music was thought of […]

The History of Blues: Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey was the first popular stage singer to include authentic blues into her songs. She was deemed the Mother of Blues. Ma Rainey  was talented enough to perform during the first three decades of the 20th century and she was able to enjoy the mass popularity during the blues craze of the 1920s. Her […]