The Timeline of Blues

This a timeline of the blues. It going to show the development of the blues and how it prospered throughout the years.

Blues First started in 1875. It was the earliest form of blues, which was the African spirituals being brought to the United States. By 1867, the first collection of African spirituals was published.

1899 – “Maple Leaf Rag” Published. Scott Joplin publishes “Maple Leaf Rag.” Ragtime will become a key influence on the Piedmont style of blues. This was a breakthrough, as Jim Crow and racial violence were still arousing years before.

1912 – The first blues songs, including W.C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues”, are published as sheet music.

1920 – Mamie Smith records for Okeh Records. Her “Crazy Blues” becomes the first blues hit, beginning the business of “race” recording.

1923 Folk Blues Debuts – Ralph Peer, the famous Artist & Repertory man for Okeh and Victor Records, makes his first field recordings in Atlanta, Georgia, marking the recording debut of both the folk blues and what will later be called country music.

1925 – Electrical recording technology is introduced and blues music is available for a wider audience

1925 – Blind Lemon Jefferson, the dominant blues figure of the late 1920s recorded his first song

1929 – The early Delta bluesman Charley Patton recorded his first song

1929 – Great Depression in the United States blacks migrated north along the route of the Illinois Central Railroad toward Chicago. A new type of blues was made – Chicago blues and it was more powerful than all types before.

1947 – Muddy Waters makes his first Chicago recordings

1952 – B.B. King has his first major rhythm and blues hit with a version of “Three O’Clock Blues.”

1960 – Muddy Waters performs at the Newport Jazz Festival to tremendous acclaim.

1964 – The first U.S. tour by the Rolling Stones marks the invasion of British blues rock bands.

1964 – Delta bluesmen Son House and Skip James perform at the Newport Folk Festival.

1969 – Muddy Waters and B.B. King perform at the Fillmore East, a concert venue in the East Village region of New York City, to a predominantly white audience.

1990 – Columbia’s release of the complete Robert Johnson recordings on CD goes gold, selling 400,000 albums in six months.

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