The Creation of Cobalt Calamities: Blues Music

Black people give music it’s color. Any popular genre can be traced back in order to find it’s Black roots; and just as Ragtime added  two and four to piano music, Blues provided the foundation to what is know as “Rock n’ Roll.” This is the creation of Cobalt Calamities.

Arising from the deep Delta of Mississippi, Blues was formed as a musical way of expressing the everyday woes of Black life in the South by slaves and former slaves. Using handmade instruments like guitars, drums and harmonicas, the Blues would set the foundation for popular music of the present day. An ever repetative narrative, Blues was never given its roses from the beginning. The authenticity and originality of Blues was not created for capital consumption until it was appropriated. As seen with Negro Spirituals and Black Folk music, whites in America were fascinated with the culture of Blacks but not with their humanity. Specifically with music, whites observed Black music and attempted to recreate it for other white audiences. Often, this failure resulted in not only the orginal artist of the genre not being commodified, but the failure in recreating the genre; the Blues was rebranded as “Rock n Roll.”

The early 1900’s is when the Blues began it’s way around the South and then up North. It was adapted in Minstrel shows where whites claimed to have found the genre. Given historical context, though the Blues was not popularized unti the 1930’s, it had been around much longer. As time progressed,  Black Blues artist gained  limelight:

  • Mamie Smith
  • Ida Cox
  • Bessie Smith
  • Ma Rainey
  • Mississippi Fred McDowell
  • Robert Johnson

Blues would then spiral out into subgenres like Chicago, Traditional, Boogie-woogie. All created a Blue print for genres loved by the world today like R&B, Pop, and Soul.






From the Heart: Folk Music

Unlike Negro Spirituals that are sacred, Folk Music is secular.  It is derived from rural Black life. Folk music utilizes instruments like the banjo, self

Read More »

Musical Theatre

How did the minstrel develop? Describe its form, major characters, and musical content. Minstrel shows developed in the mid 19th century as way to mock

Read More »

IME: Imani Clincy

I am Imani Clincy, a junior English major. Because of my love for music, I felt this class would be wonderful for me. I always

Read More »

George Duke: bibliography

Keyes, Cheryl L. “Sound, Voice, and Spirit: Teaching in the Black Music Vernacular.” Black Music Research Journal, vol. 29, no. 1, 2009, pp. 11–24. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Read More »

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