The Making of Blues
Blues is a musical genre created by African American people for African American people meant to express a wide range of emotions. Blues originated in the Mississippi Delta and was at the time considered poor man’s music. This music is supposed to be played when one is feeling blue (sadness and melancholy typically towards love) and that’s how the name “Blues” came about. Blues began in the South and gained popularity in the 1960’s. Blues originated from folk music but it’s different being that Blues is more lyrical than narrative and its focus is to express deep feelings rather than telling a story like folk music.
Notable Artists of the Genre: B.B. King and Bessie Smith
Born Riley B. King on September 16, 1925 in Mississippi, he was a guitarist and singer who helped mold the Blues genre as we know it today. He is often considered the King of Blues and though he has passed that title has helped his legacy live on! He won 18 grammies throughout his career. Some of his biggest hits were ‘Three O’clock Blues’ and ‘The Thrill is Gone’.
Bessie Smith, also known as the Empress of Blues, is a renowned blues singer during the jazz era. She was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920’s and 1930’s. She began singing at a young age and signed to Columbia Records in 1923. Despite being so young, her voice gained people’s attention along with countless fans as her voice was described as powerful and soulful. Some of her biggest hits were ‘Down Hearted Blues’ and ‘Back-Water Blues’.