This article is about the music genre.
For other uses, see Blues (disambiguation).
|Cultural origins||1860s, Deep South, U.S.|
Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals.
The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common.
Blues as a genre is also characterized by its lyrics, bass lines, and instrumentation.
Early traditional blues verses consisted of a single line repeated four times.
It was only in the first decades of the 20th century that the most common current structure became standard: the AAB pattern, consisting of a line sung over the four first bars, its repetition over the next four, and then a longer concluding line over the last bars.
Early blues frequently took the form of a loose narrative, often relating the racial discrimination and other challenges experienced by African-Americans.
Many elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa.
The origins of the blues are also closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community, the spirituals.
It is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the former slaves.
Chroniclers began to report about blues music at the dawn of the 20th century.
The first publication of blues sheet music was in 1908.
Blues has since evolved from unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves into a wide variety of styles and subgenres.
The term Blues may have come from "blue devils", meaning melancholy and sadness; an early use of the term in this sense is in George Colman's one-act farce Blue Devils (1798).
The phrase blue devils may also have been derived from Britain in the 1600s, when the term referred to the "intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal".
As time went on, the phrase lost the reference to devils, and "it came to mean a state of agitation or depression."
By the 1800s in the United States, the term blues was associated with drinking alcohol, a meaning which survives in the phrase blue law, which prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday.
In lyrics the phrase is often used to describe a depressed mood.
It is in this sense of a sad state of mind that one of the earliest recorded references to "the blues" was written by Charlotte Forten, then aged 25, in her diary on December 14, 1862.
She was a free-born black from Pennsylvania who was working as a schoolteacher in South Carolina, instructing both slaves and freedmen, and wrote that she "came home with the blues" because she felt lonesome and pitied herself.
She overcame her depression and later noted a number of songs, such as Poor Rosy, that were popular among the slaves.
Although she admitted being unable to describe the manner of singing she heard, Forten wrote that the songs "can't be sung without a full heart and a troubled spirit", conditions that have inspired countless blues songs.
The lyrics of early traditional blues verses probably often consisted of a single line repeated four times.
It was only in the first decades of the 20th century that the most common current structure became standard: the so-called "AAB" pattern, consisting of a line sung over the four first bars, its repetition over the next four, and then a longer concluding line over the last bars.
W.C. wrote that he adopted this convention to avoid the monotony of lines repeated three times. Handy
The lines are often sung following a pattern closer to rhythmic talk than to a melody.
Early blues frequently took the form of a loose narrative.
African-American singers voiced his or her "personal woes in a world of harsh reality: a lost love, the cruelty of police officers, oppression at the hands of white folk, [and] hard times".
This melancholy has led to the suggestion of an Igbo origin for blues because of the reputation the Igbo had throughout plantations in the Americas for their melancholic music and outlook on life when they were enslaved.
The lyrics often relate troubles experienced within African American society.
Although the blues gained an association with misery and oppression, the lyrics could also be humorous and raunchy:
Tampa Red's classic "Tight Like That" (1928) is a sly wordplay with the double meaning of being "tight" with someone coupled with a more salacious physical familiarity.
Blues songs with sexually explicit lyrics were known as dirty blues.
The lyrical content became slightly simpler in postwar blues, which tended to focus on relationship woes or sexual worries.
Lyrical themes that frequently appeared in prewar blues, such as economic depression, farming, devils, gambling, magic, floods and drought, were less common in postwar blues.
The writer Ed Morales claimed that Yoruba mythology played a part in early blues, citing Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" as a "thinly veiled reference to Eleggua, the orisha in charge of the crossroads".
However, the Christian influence was far more obvious.
During the first decades of the 20th century blues music was not clearly defined in terms of a particular chord progression.
The basic 12-bar lyric framework of a blues composition is reflected by a standard harmonic progression of 12 bars in a 4/4 time signature.
The lyrics generally end on the last beat of the tenth bar or the first beat of the 11th bar, and the final two bars are given to the instrumentalist as a break; the harmony of this two-bar break, the turnaround, can be extremely complex, sometimes consisting of single notes that defy analysis in terms of chords.
Much of the time, some or all of these chords are played in the harmonic seventh (7th) form.
The use of the harmonic seventh interval is characteristic of blues and is popularly called the "blues seven".
Blues seven chords add to the harmonic chord a note with a frequency in a 7:4 ratio to the fundamental note.
At a 7:4 ratio, it is not close to any interval on the conventional Western diatonic scale.
Characteristic of the blues since its Afro-American origins, the shuffles played a central role in swing music.
The simplest shuffles, which were the clearest signature of the R&B wave that started in the mid-1940s, were a three-note riff on the bass strings of the guitar.
When this riff was played over the bass and the drums, the groove "feel" was created.
Shuffle rhythm is often vocalized as "dow, da dow, da dow, da" or "dump, da dump, da dump, da": it consists of uneven, or "swung", eighth notes.
On a guitar this may be played as a simple steady bass or it may add to that stepwise quarter note motion from the fifth to the sixth of the chord and back.
Main article: Origins of the blues
The first publication of blues sheet music may have been "I Got the Blues", published by New Orleans musician Antonio Maggio in 1908 and described as "the earliest published composition known to link the condition of having the blues to the musical form that would become popularly known as 'the blues.'"
But the origins of the blues were some decades earlier, probably around 1890.
This music is poorly documented, partly because of racial discrimination in U.S. society, including academic circles, and partly because of the low rate of literacy among rural African Americans at the time.
Charles Peabody mentioned the appearance of blues music at Clarksdale, Mississippi, and Gate Thomas reported similar songs in southern Texas around 1901–1902.
These observations coincide more or less with the recollections of Jelly Roll Morton, who said he first heard blues music in New Orleans in 1902; Ma Rainey, who remembered first hearing the blues in the same year in Missouri; and W.C. , who first heard the blues in HandyTutwiler, Mississippi, in 1903.
The first extensive research in the field was performed by Howard W. Odum, who published an anthology of folk songs from Lafayette County, Mississippi, and Newton County, Georgia, between 1905 and 1908.
The first noncommercial recordings of blues music, termed proto-blues by Paul Oliver, were made by Odum for research purposes at the very beginning of the 20th century.
They are now lost.
Other recordings that are still available were made in 1924 by Lawrence Gellert.
Gordon's successor at the library was John Lomax.
The social and economic reasons for the appearance of the blues are not fully known.
The first appearance of the blues is usually dated after the Emancipation Act of 1863, between 1860s and 1890s, a period that coincides with post-emancipation and later, the establishment of juke joints as places where blacks went to listen to music, dance, or gamble after a hard day's work.
This period corresponds to the transition from slavery to sharecropping, small-scale agricultural production, and the expansion of railroads in the southern United States.
Several scholars characterize the development of blues music in the early 1900s as a move from group performance to individualized performance.
They argue that the development of the blues is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the enslaved people.
According to Lawrence Levine, "there was a direct relationship between the national ideological emphasis upon the individual, the popularity of Booker T. Washington's teachings, and the rise of the blues."
Levine stated that "psychologically, socially, and economically, African-Americans were being acculturated in a way that would have been impossible during slavery, and it is hardly surprising that their secular music reflected this as much as their religious music did."
There are few characteristics common to all blues music, because the genre took its shape from the idiosyncrasies of individual performers.
However, there are some characteristics that were present long before the creation of the modern blues.
Call-and-response shouts were an early form of blues-like music; they were a "functional expression ... style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded by the formality of any particular musical structure".
Blues has evolved from the unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves imported from West Africa and rural blacks into a wide variety of styles and subgenres, with regional variations across the United States.
Although blues (as it is now known) can be seen as a musical style based on both European harmonic structure and the African call-and-response tradition that transformed into an interplay of voice and guitar, the blues form itself bears no resemblance to the melodic styles of the West African griots.
Additionally, there are theories that the four-beats-per-measure structure of the blues might have its origins in the Native American tradition of pow wow drumming.
No specific African musical form can be identified as the single direct ancestor of the blues.
However the call-and-response format can be traced back to the music of Africa.
That blue notes predate their use in blues and have an African origin is attested to by "A Negro Love Song", by the English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, from his African Suite for Piano, written in 1898, which contains blue third and seventh notes.
The Diddley bow (a homemade one-stringed instrument found in parts of the American South in the early twentieth century) and the banjo are African-derived instruments that may have helped in the transfer of African performance techniques into the early blues instrumental vocabulary.
The banjo seems to be directly imported from West African music.
The style also was closely related to ragtime, which developed at about the same time, though the blues better preserved "the original melodic patterns of African music".
The musical forms and styles that are now considered the blues as well as modern country music arose in the same regions of the southern United States during the 19th century.
Recorded blues and country music can be found as far back as the 1920s, when the record industry created the marketing categories "race music" and "hillbilly music" to sell music by blacks for blacks and by whites for whites, respectively.
At the time, there was no clear musical division between "blues" and "country", except for the ethnicity of the performer, and even that was sometimes documented incorrectly by record companies.
Though musicologists can now attempt to define the blues narrowly in terms of certain chord structures and lyric forms thought to have originated in West Africa, audiences originally heard the music in a far more general way: it was simply the music of the rural south, notably the Mississippi Delta.
Black and white musicians shared the same repertoire and thought of themselves as "songsters" rather than blues musicians.
The notion of blues as a separate genre arose during the black migration from the countryside to urban areas in the 1920s and the simultaneous development of the recording industry.
Blues became a code word for a record designed to sell to black listeners.
The origins of the blues are closely related to the religious music of Afro-American community, the spirituals.
The origins of spirituals go back much further than the blues, usually dating back to the middle of the 18th century, when the slaves were Christianized and began to sing and play Christian hymns, in particular those of Isaac Watts, which were very popular.
Before the blues gained its formal definition in terms of chord progressions, it was defined as the secular counterpart of spirituals.
It was the low-down music played by rural blacks.
Depending on the religious community a musician belonged to, it was more or less considered a sin to play this low-down music: blues was the devil's music.
Musicians were therefore segregated into two categories: gospel singers and blues singers, guitar preachers and songsters.
However, when rural black music began to be recorded in the 1920s, both categories of musicians used similar techniques: call-and-response patterns, blue notes, and slide guitars.
Gospel music was nevertheless using musical forms that were compatible with Christian hymns and therefore less marked by the blues form than its secular counterpart.
By 1912, the sheet music industry had published three popular blues-like compositions, precipitating the Tin Pan Alley adoption of blues elements: "Baby Seals' Blues", by "Baby" Franklin Seals (arranged by Artie Matthews); "Dallas Blues", by Hart Wand; and "The Memphis Blues", by W.C. . Handy
Handy was a formally trained musician, composer and arranger who helped to popularize the blues by transcribing and orchestrating blues in an almost symphonic style, with bands and singers.
He became a popular and prolific composer, and billed himself as the "Father of the Blues"; however, his compositions can be described as a fusion of blues with ragtime and jazz, a merger facilitated using the Cuban habanera rhythm that had long been a part of ragtime; Handy's signature work was the "Saint Louis Blues".
In the 1920s, the blues became a major element of African American and American popular music, reaching white audiences via Handy's arrangements and the classic female blues performers.
The blues evolved from informal performances in bars to entertainment in theaters.
As the recording industry grew, country blues performers like Bo Carter, Jimmie Rodgers (country singer), Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, Tampa Red and Blind Blake became more popular in the African American community.
The slide guitar became an important part of the Delta blues.
The first blues recordings from the 1920s are categorized as a traditional, rural country blues and a more polished city or urban blues.
Country blues performers often improvised, either without accompaniment or with only a banjo or guitar.
Regional styles of country blues varied widely in the early 20th century.
The (Mississippi) Delta blues was a rootsy sparse style with passionate vocals accompanied by slide guitar.
The little-recorded Robert Johnson combined elements of urban and rural blues.
Singers such as Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller performed in the southeastern "delicate and lyrical" Piedmont blues tradition, which used an elaborate ragtime-based fingerpicking guitar technique.
Memphis Minnie was famous for her virtuoso guitar style.
Pianist Memphis Slim began his career in Memphis, but his distinct style was smoother and had some swing elements.
Many blues musicians based in Memphis moved to Chicago in the late 1930s or early 1940s and became part of the urban blues movement.
City or urban blues styles were more codified and elaborate, as a performer was no longer within their local, immediate community, and had to adapt to a larger, more varied audience's aesthetic.
Mamie Smith, more a vaudeville performer than a blues artist, was the first African American to record a blues song in 1920; her second record, "Crazy Blues", sold 75,000 copies in its first month.
Ma Rainey, the "Mother of Blues", and Bessie Smith each "[sang] around center tones, perhaps in order to project her voice more easily to the back of a room".
Smith would "sing a song in an unusual key, and her artistry in bending and stretching notes with her beautiful, powerful contralto to accommodate her own interpretation was unsurpassed".
In 1920 the vaudeville singer Lucille Hegamin became the second black woman to record blues when she recorded "The Jazz Me Blues", and Victoria Spivey, sometimes called Queen Victoria or Za Zu Girl, had a recording career that began in 1926 and spanned forty years.
These recordings were typically labeled "race records" to distinguish them from records sold to white audiences.
Nonetheless, the recordings of some of the classic female blues singers were purchased by white buyers as well.
These blueswomen's contributions to the genre included "increased improvisation on melodic lines, unusual phrasing which altered the emphasis and impact of the lyrics, and vocal dramatics using shouts, groans, moans, and wails.
The blues women thus effected changes in other types of popular singing that had spin-offs in jazz, Broadway musicals, torch songs of the 1930s and 1940s, gospel, rhythm and blues, and eventually rock and roll."
An important label of this era was the Chicago-based Bluebird Records.
Before World War II, Tampa Red was sometimes referred to as "the Guitar Wizard".
Boogie-woogie was another important style of 1930s and early 1940s urban blues.
While the style is often associated with solo piano, boogie-woogie was also used to accompany singers and, as a solo part, in bands and small combos.
Chicago boogie-woogie performers included Clarence "Pine Top" Smith and Earl Hines, who "linked the propulsive left-hand rhythms of the ragtime pianists with melodic figures similar to those of Armstrong's trumpet in the right hand".
Another development in this period was big band blues.
The "territory bands" operating out of Kansas City, the Bennie Moten orchestra, Jay McShann, and the Count Basie Orchestra were also concentrating on the blues, with 12-bar blues instrumentals such as Basie's "One O'Clock Jump" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside" and boisterous "blues shouting" by Jimmy Rushing on songs such as "Going to Chicago" and "Sent for You Yesterday".
In the 1940s, the jump blues style developed.
Jump blues grew up from the boogie woogie wave and was strongly influenced by big band music.
Dallas-born T-Bone Walker, who is often associated with the California blues style, performed a successful transition from the early urban blues à la Lonnie Johnson and Leroy Carr to the jump blues style and dominated the blues-jazz scene at Los Angeles during the 1940s.
The transition from country blues to urban blues that began in the 1920s was driven by the successive waves of economic crisis and booms that led many rural blacks to move to urban areas, in a movement known as the Great Migration.
The long boom following World War II induced another massive migration of the African-American population, the Second Great Migration, which was accompanied by a significant increase of the real income of the urban blacks.
The new migrants constituted a new market for the music industry.
This marketing strategy reinforced trends in urban blues music such as the use of electric instruments and amplification and the generalization of the blues beat, the blues shuffle, which became ubiquitous in rhythm and blues (R&B).
Electric blues used electric guitars, double bass (gradually replaced by bass guitar), drums, and harmonica (or "blues harp") played through a microphone and a PA system or an overdriven guitar amplifier.
Chicago became a center for electric blues from 1948 on, when Muddy Waters recorded his first success, "I Can't Be Satisfied".
Their style is characterized by the use of electric guitar, sometimes slide guitar, harmonica, and a rhythm section of bass and drums.
Other harp players such as Big Walter Horton were also influential.
Muddy Waters and Elmore James were known for their innovative use of slide electric guitar.
Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters were known for their deep, "gravelly" voices.
The bassist and prolific songwriter and composer Willie Dixon played a major role on the Chicago blues scene.
He composed and wrote many standard blues songs of the period, such as "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" (both penned for Muddy Waters) and, "Wang Dang Doodle" and "Back Door Man" for Howlin' Wolf.
In the 1950s, blues had a huge influence on mainstream American popular music.
While popular musicians like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, both recording for Chess, were influenced by the Chicago blues, their enthusiastic playing styles departed from the melancholy aspects of blues.
Zydeco musicians used electric solo guitar and cajun arrangements of blues standards.
In England, electric blues took root there during a much acclaimed Muddy Waters tour in 1958.
Waters, unsuspecting of his audience's tendency towards skiffle, an acoustic, softer brand of blues, turned up his amp and started to play his Chicago brand of electric blues.
Although the audience was largely jolted by the performance, the performance influenced local musicians such as Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies to emulate this louder style, inspiring the British invasion of the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds.
The "West Side sound" had strong rhythmic support from a rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums and as perfected by Guy, Freddie King, Magic Slim and Luther Allison was dominated by amplified electric lead guitar.
Expressive guitar solos were a key feature of this music.
Other blues artists, such as John Lee Hooker had influences not directly related to the Chicago style.
John Lee Hooker's blues is more "personal", based on Hooker's deep rough voice accompanied by a single electric guitar.
Though not directly influenced by boogie woogie, his "groovy" style is sometimes called "guitar boogie".
His first hit, "Boogie Chillen", reached number 1 on the R&B charts in 1949.
By the late 1950s, the swamp blues genre developed near Baton Rouge, with performers such as Lightnin' Slim, Slim Harpo, Sam Myers and Jerry McCain around the producer J. and the D. "Jay" MillerExcello label.
Strongly influenced by Jimmy Reed, swamp blues has a slower pace and a simpler use of the harmonica than the Chicago blues style performers such as Little Walter or Muddy Waters.
Songs from this genre include "Scratch my Back", "She's Tough" and "I'm a King Bee".
Alan Lomax's recordings of Mississippi Fred McDowell would eventually bring him wider attention on both the blues and folk circuit, with McDowell's droning style influencing North Mississippi hill country blues musicians.
1960s and 1970s
White performers such as the Beatles had brought African-American music to new audiences, both within the U.S. and abroad.
However, the blues wave that brought artists such as Muddy Waters to the foreground had stopped.
Dick Waterman and the blues festivals he organized in Europe played a major role in propagating blues music abroad.
In the UK, bands emulated U.S. blues legends, and UK blues rock-based bands had an influential role throughout the 1960s.
B. 's singing and virtuoso guitar technique earned him the eponymous title "king of the blues". B. King
In contrast to the Chicago style, King's band used strong brass support from a saxophone, trumpet, and trombone, instead of using slide guitar or harp.
King, also straddled the blues and R&B genres.
The music of the civil rights movement and Free Speech Movement in the U.S. prompted a resurgence of interest in American roots music and early African American music.
As well festivals such as the Newport Folk Festival brought traditional blues to a new audience, which helped to revive interest in prewar acoustic blues and performers such as Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, and Reverend Gary Davis.
Many compilations of classic prewar blues were republished by the Yazoo Records.
His album Alabama Blues contained a song with the following lyric:
The style of British blues developed in the UK, when bands such as the Animals, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the supergroup Cream and the Irish musician Rory Gallagher performed classic blues songs from the Delta or Chicago blues traditions.
In 1963, LeRoi Jones, later known as Amiri Baraka, was the first to write a book on the social history of the blues in Blues People: The Negro Music in White America.
The British and blues musicians of the early 1960s inspired a number of American blues rock fusion performers, including the Doors, Canned Heat, the early Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, The J. Geils Band, Ry Cooder, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Through these artists and others, blues music influenced the development of rock music.
In the early 1970s, the Texas rock-blues style emerged, which used guitars in both solo and rhythm roles.
In contrast with the West Side blues, the Texas style is strongly influenced by the British rock-blues movement.
These artists all began their musical careers in the 1970s but they did not achieve international success until the next decade.
1980s to the present
Often termed "soul blues" or "Southern soul", the music at the heart of this movement was given new life by the unexpected success of two particular recordings on the Jackson-based Malaco label: Z. 's Down Home Blues (1982) and Z. HillLittle Milton's The Blues is Alright (1984).
Contemporary African-American performers who work in this style of the blues include Bobby Rush, Denise LaSalle, Sir Charles Jones, Bettye LaVette, Marvin Sease, Peggy Scott-Adams, Mel Waiters, Clarence Carter, Dr. "Feelgood" Potts, O.B. Buchana, Ms. Jody, Shirley Brown, and dozens of others.
During the 1980s blues also continued in both traditional and new forms.
However, beginning in the 1990s, digital multitrack recording and other technological advances and new marketing strategies including video clip production increased costs, challenging the spontaneity and improvisation that are an important component of blues music.
In the 1980s and 1990s, blues publications such as Living Blues and Blues Revue were launched, major cities began forming blues societies, outdoor blues festivals became more common, and more nightclubs and venues for blues emerged.
Blues performers explored a range of musical genres, as can be seen, for example, from the broad array of nominees of the yearly Blues Music Awards, previously named W.C.
The Billboard Blues Album chart provides an overview of current blues hits.
Contemporary blues music is nurtured by several blues labels such as: Alligator Records, Ruf Records, Severn Records, Chess Records (MCA), Delmark Records, NorthernBlues Music, Fat Possum Records and Vanguard Records (Artemis Records).
Blues musical styles, forms (12-bar blues), melodies, and the blues scale have influenced many other genres of music, such as rock and roll, jazz, and popular music.
The blues scale is often used in popular songs like Harold Arlen's "Blues in the Night", blues ballads like "Since I Fell for You" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love", and even in orchestral works such as George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Concerto in F".
Gershwin's second "Prelude" for solo piano is an interesting example of a classical blues, maintaining the form with academic strictness.
Blues forms are used in the theme to the televised Batman, teen idol Fabian Forte's hit, "Turn Me Loose", country music star Jimmie Rodgers' music, and guitarist/vocalist Tracy Chapman's hit "Give Me One Reason".
Dorsey helped to popularize Gospel music.
Gospel music developed in the 1930s, with the Golden Gate Quartet.
In the 1960s and 1970s, gospel and blues were merged in soul blues music.
Funk music of the 1970s was influenced by soul; funk can be seen as an antecedent of hip-hop and contemporary R&B.
Spirituals or religious chants in the African-American community are much better documented than the "low-down" blues.
Spiritual singing developed because African-American communities could gather for mass or worship gatherings, which were called camp meetings.
Edward P. Comentale has noted how the blues was often used as a medium for art or self-expression, stating: "As heard from Delta shacks to Chicago tenements to Harlem cabarets, the blues proved—despite its pained origins—a remarkably flexible medium and a new arena for the shaping of identity and community."
Usually jazz had harmonic structures stemming from brass bands, whereas blues had blues forms such as the 12-bar blues.
However, the jump blues of the 1940s mixed both styles.
After WWII, blues had a substantial influence on jazz.
Bebop marked a major shift in the role of jazz, from a popular style of music for dancing, to a "high-art", less-accessible, cerebral "musician's music".
The audience for both blues and jazz split, and the border between blues and jazz became more defined.
The blues' 12-bar structure and the blues scale was a major influence on rock and roll music.
Rockabillies were also said to be 12-bar blues played with a bluegrass beat.
"Hound Dog", with its unmodified 12-bar structure (in both harmony and lyrics) and a melody centered on flatted third of the tonic (and flatted seventh of the subdominant), is a blues song transformed into a rock and roll song.
Jerry Lee Lewis's style of rock and roll was heavily influenced by the blues and its derivative boogie woogie.
His style of music was not exactly rockabilly but it has been often called real rock and roll (this is a label he shares with several African American rock and roll performers).
The early African American rock musicians retained the sexual themes and innuendos of blues music: "Got a gal named Sue, knows just what to do" ("Tutti Frutti", Little Richard) or "See the girl with the red dress on, She can do the Birdland all night long" ("What'd I Say", Ray Charles).
Early country music was infused with the blues.
Jimmie Rodgers, Moon Mullican, Bob Wills, Bill Monroe and Hank Williams have all described themselves as blues singers and their music has a blues feel that is different, at first glance at least, from the later country pop of artists like Eddy Arnold.
Yet, if one looks back further, Arnold also started out singing bluesy songs like 'I'll Hold You in My Heart'.
When Jerry Lee Lewis returned to country after the decline of 1950s style rock and roll, he sang his country with a blues feel and often included blues standards on his albums.
In popular culture
Like jazz, rock and roll, heavy metal music, hip hop music, reggae, rap, country music, and pop music, blues has been accused of being the "devil's music" and of inciting violence and other poor behavior.
In the early 20th century, the blues was considered disreputable, especially as white audiences began listening to the blues during the 1920s.
In the early twentieth century, W.C. was the first to popularize blues-influenced music among non-black Americans. Handy
During the blues revival of the 1960s and '70s, acoustic blues artist Taj Mahal and legendary Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins wrote and performed music that figured prominently in the popularly and critically acclaimed film Sounder (1972).
Almost 30 years later, Mahal wrote blues for, and performed a banjo composition, claw-hammer style, in the 2001 movie release Songcatcher, which focused on the story of the preservation of the roots music of Appalachia.
The band formed also began a successful tour under the Blues Brothers marquee.
1998 brought a sequel, Blues Brothers 2000 that, while not holding as great a critical and financial success, featured a much larger number of blues artists, such as B.B. , KingBo Diddley, Erykah Badu, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Charlie Musselwhite, Blues Traveler, Jimmie Vaughan, and Jeff Baxter.
In 2003, Martin Scorsese made significant efforts to promote the blues to a larger audience.
He also participated in the rendition of compilations of major blues artists in a series of high-quality CDs.
The blues was highlighted in Season 2012, Episode 1 of "In Performance at The White House", entitled "Red, White and Blues".
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues.