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Blues in the Community “Pre-War Blues” 1900-1945

Blues in the Community “Pre-War Blues” 1900-1945. Dr . Will Williamson Alona Williamson a.k.a “Mosby Territory”. Sponsored by the DC Blues Society www.dcblues.org. intro. “ St. James Infirmary”. Overview. Who we are: “Mosby Territory”

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Blues in the Community “Pre-War Blues” 1900-1945

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  1. Blues in the Community“Pre-War Blues”1900-1945 Dr. Will Williamson Alona Williamson a.k.a “Mosby Territory” Sponsored by the DC Blues Society www.dcblues.org

  2. intro

  3. “St. James Infirmary”

  4. Overview • Who we are: • “Mosby Territory” • Blues, Rock, Folk and Country singer/songwriter duo • www.MosbyTerritory.com • What we will cover: • History • People • Instruments • Songs Discussing blues history with blues giant Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)

  5. Why “Pre-War” (before WW2) Blues? • Two important changes occurred in the 1940’s • Large scale migration of rural black population to cities to work in wartime factories during World War II • Jazz-influenced blues became the “in” thing and “country blues” was viewed as backwards • More Musicians on your block • Invention of the electric guitar • Much more aggressive sounds • Bass and guitar divided what was done on one guitar in country blues and got more specialized This led to more band-based blues than individuals / duos

  6. Origins of the Blues

  7. First Published Blues Song - 1912

  8. Mamie Smith:“Crazy Blues” First recording by African-American First Recorded Blues hit (1920) Full Jazz Band

  9. But did it start there?

  10. European Influences

  11. The 1920’s

  12. Prohibition and the roaring 20’s • When was prohibition?? 1920—1931 • Blues in clubs and ‘speakeasies’ • Blues in house parties and rent parties • “Blues on the Block” • Single women in cities • Modern Millie?

  13. Women & The Blues • Was Blues a Woman’s Genre? • History in Black Community • Perception in Jazz Recording • Domestic violence • New found “freedom” • Lifestyle… (loose)

  14. Bessie Smith:“ Taint Nobody’s Business”

  15. Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Victoria Spivey, Lucille Brogan, Ethel Waters, Alberta Hunter:

  16. Blind Blake“ West Coast Blues” 1926

  17. Bessie Smith:“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”

  18. Collapse of recording industry in 1930’s • Causes: Great Depression, Radio • Effects: • Many players “lost” not to be “rediscovered” until 1960’s • Live music in small venues • Radio and travelling musicians spread music out of regional microcosms

  19. Country Blues instruments

  20. Percussion in Early Blues • Drums were outlawed…

  21. Keeping it Simple:The Diddley Bo to the Slide Guitar Bo Diddley Diddley Bo Charlie Patton (c.1888 – 1934) Son House (1902-1988) “Walking Blues”

  22. Blind Willie Johnson: “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” 1927

  23. More sophisticated Instruments

  24. Regional Styles

  25. Regional Blues Styles See http://www.pbs.org/theblues/classroom/defgeography.html

  26. Birthplace of Modern Blues:The Mississippi “Delta” Region

  27. A Life Filled with Blues:Sharecropping in the Delta

  28. “Mississippi County Farm Blues”, Son House: 1930 Son House: 1902-1988

  29. Ramblin’ on my Mind:The Travelling Blues Singer “Juke Joints” Robert Johnson (1911-1938) “Crossroad Blues”

  30. Robert Johnson:“Kindhearted Woman”, 1936 Robert Johnson (1911-1938)

  31. Skip James:“Devil’s Got My Woman” 1931

  32. Mississippi John Hurt“Lay My Burden Down”

  33. Piedmont Blues

  34. Elizabeth Cotton:“Freight Train” 19xx

  35. Gary Davis (1896-1972)“I Heard the Angels Singing”

  36. Texas Blues Blind Willie Johnson “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”

  37. Blind Lemon Jefferson:“Matchbox Blues” 1927

  38. Lightning Hopkins:“Come Back Baby” 1950’s

  39. Setting the stage for modern blues

  40. Chicago Blues:The Great Flood of 1927 & The Great Migration Black Population 1990 Black Population 1900

  41. Memphis Minnie:“Bumble Bee”

  42. Big Bill Broonzy:“Pig Meat Strut/Hey Hey” 193x

  43. Jug Bands and Ensembles

  44. Racial Divisions • Market segmentation by recording labels • Musicians transcended these barriers but still were constrained by markets

  45. Hillbilly Blues – The Delmour Brothers:“Big River Blues” 1933

  46. Broadway and the BluesGeorge Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”:“Summertime” 1935

  47. Folk Musicology in the 1940’s Son House Muddy Waters BukkaWhite

  48. Blind Willie McTell:“Statesboro Blues”

  49. McKinley Morganfield:“Can’t Be Satisfied”, 1941

  50. Catfish Blues a.k.a. Rolling Stone,The Stars, the Almost Forgotten, and the Forgotten And forgotten Bluesman Tom Toy…

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