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.” […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Women and the Blues: Freedom of Expression

by: Claire Jackson Blues music presented a way for Black women to express themselves and their independence in a very special way. Lyrics in the blues genre could sometimes be very expressive romantically and sexually, something that wasn’t often heard of in the 1920s and 1930s. Some very prominent singers of the time include Ma […]

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 – […]

Jazz from the 1930s – 1940s

/*! elementor – v3.4.8 – 16-11-2021 */ .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} Evolution of Jazz : 1930s-1940s By Briaja Gilbert /*! elementor-pro – v3.4.1 – 01-09-2021 */ .elementor-gallery__container{min-height:1px}.elementor-gallery-item{position:relative;overflow:hidden;display:block;text-decoration:none;border:solid var(–image-border-width) var(–image-border-color);border-radius:var(–image-border-radius)}.elementor-gallery-item__content,.elementor-gallery-item__overlay{height:100%;width:100%;position:absolute;top:0;left:0}.elementor-gallery-item__overlay{mix-blend-mode:var(–overlay-mix-blend-mode);-webkit-transition-duration:var(–overlay-transition-duration);-o-transition-duration:var(–overlay-transition-duration);transition-duration:var(–overlay-transition-duration);-webkit-transition-property:mix-blend-mode,opacity,background-color,-webkit-transform;transition-property:mix-blend-mode,opacity,background-color,-webkit-transform;-o-transition-property:mix-blend-mode,transform,opacity,background-color;transition-property:mix-blend-mode,transform,opacity,background-color;transition-property:mix-blend-mode,transform,opacity,background-color,-webkit-transform}.elementor-gallery-item__image.e-gallery-image{-webkit-transition-duration:var(–image-transition-duration);-o-transition-duration:var(–image-transition-duration);transition-duration:var(–image-transition-duration);-webkit-transition-property:-webkit-filter,-webkit-transform;transition-property:-webkit-filter,-webkit-transform;-o-transition-property:filter,transform;transition-property:filter,transform;transition-property:filter,transform,-webkit-filter,-webkit-transform}.elementor-gallery-item__content{display:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;-webkit-box-direction:normal;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-box-pack:var(–content-justify-content,center);-ms-flex-pack:var(–content-justify-content,center);justify-content:var(–content-justify-content,center);-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;text-align:var(–content-text-align);padding:var(–content-padding)}.elementor-gallery-item__content>div{-webkit-transition-duration:var(–content-transition-duration);-o-transition-duration:var(–content-transition-duration);transition-duration:var(–content-transition-duration)}.elementor-gallery-item__content.elementor-gallery–sequenced-animation>div:nth-child(2){-webkit-transition-delay:calc((var(–content-transition-delay) / 3));-o-transition-delay:calc((var(–content-transition-delay) / 3));transition-delay:calc((var(–content-transition-delay) / 3))}.elementor-gallery-item__content.elementor-gallery–sequenced-animation>div:nth-child(3){-webkit-transition-delay:calc((var(–content-transition-delay) / 3) * 2);-o-transition-delay:calc((var(–content-transition-delay) / 3) * 2);transition-delay:calc((var(–content-transition-delay) / 3) * 2)}.elementor-gallery-item__content.elementor-gallery–sequenced-animation>div:nth-child(4){-webkit-transition-delay:calc((var(–content-transition-delay) / 3) * 3);-o-transition-delay:calc((var(–content-transition-delay) / […]

Ma Rainey: The Mother of Blues

The History of Blues Blues was made as a combination of the following genres: Jazz, Ragtime, Secular folk and Gospel music. It was created as a style of music that explains emotions through improvisation, melodies, instrumental technique and lyrics. Blues was used to illustrate stories that the audience would depict with their ears and minds. […]

The Faces Behind The Genre: How Black Women Shaped Blues Music And Their Lasting Impact

By: Gabrielle Weeden  How Did Blues Music Originate The Blues were a common musical genre from the 1860s to the 1960s and originated in the Mississippi Delta. This musical genre was formed as an escape from the daily hardships of working-class black people. The music of the blues genres is distinguished by its 12-bar song form. The Blues’ […]

The Blues Lifestyle

The Blues Lifestyle When thinking of blues music you instantly think of sadness, struggle, and storytelling. The sad reality of what it was like to be an African American in the south during the 1860’s was a major part of blues, and made it what it is today. Blues started gaining popularity in the early […]

Iconic Women of the Blues and their Impact on the Genre

Iconic Women of the Blues and their Impact on the Genre The Blues genre originated in the 1890s in the American Deep South, specifically in the Mississippi Delta. It has since become described by four distinctive characteristics: blues texts (the lyrics), instrumentation, blue notes, and blues form. The blues are also typically sung solo with […]

Legends Never Die: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Many may have recently met Ma Rainey in Netflix’s new film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” but the mother of blues has been on the folk-blues scene. One of her popular songs titled “Deep Moaning Blues” incorporates instruments commonly used in folk music such as the banjo and guitar. Rainey’s music is an embodiment of the […]

Ma Sings the Blues: The Mother of Blues

“They hear it come out, but they don’t know how it got there. They don’t understand that’s life’s way of talking. You don’t sing to feel better. You sing ’cause that’s a way of understanding life.” ~ Ma Rainey       Blues is the core to American music. Every genre following the creation of […]

Blues, Bends, and Bisexuality: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey

WHO WAS “MA RAINEY”? Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, known as the “Mother of the Blues”, was the first entertainer to successfully bridge the divide between vaudeville — the cabaret-style shows from the mid-1800s, catering largely to white audiences — and the black Southern folk style (Russonello). Ma Rainey was born Gertrude Pridgett, the second of five […]

Femme Queer Expression in the Blues

Femme Queer Expression in the Blues Introduction The Blues contained one of the most emotionally-expressive and creative artists in its time. Originating in the deep-southern roots of the Mississippi Delta post-slavery, the blues gave artists the opportunity to express the many negative outcomes caused by black oppression in America. As well as addressing issues, female […]