The Blues Moves North U.S. History
Background • As we’ve discussed, the post-Civil War south provided little economic opportunities for freed slaves. • Sharecropping, hard labor • Jim Crow laws and racial violence • At the same time, jobs were plentiful in Northern cities such as Chicago, NY, Detroit, and Philly.
The Great Migration • Migration- the movement of a large group of people from one area to another. • The Great Migration • Refers to the movement of blacks from the South to Northern cities between 1910 and 1970. • Searching for economic prosperity • 6 million blacks total
Blacks in Chicago • Chicago had numerous industries to attract southern African- Americans • Railroad • Meatpacking • Steel • WWI/ WWII supplies • Most settled on South and West sides of the city • “Black Belt” • Poor, crowded, “ghettos” • Restrictive covenants prevented property ownership • Racial conflicts with whites, immigrants
Blues Finds A Home in Chicago • Migrating African Americans brought their culture with them, including THE BLUES! • The Delta Blues was acoustic, the Chicago Blues became known for AMPLIFIED guitar. • Often played with a full band, including drums, bass, and harmonica! • Many played at Maxwell Street Market
Muddy Waters • McKinley Morganfield • Born in Mississippi, moved to Chicago in 1943. • Started as a Delta blues artist, eventually known as the father of Chicago Blues. • “Rolling Stone” • “Mannish Boy”
Howlin’ Wolf • Born in Mississippi • Came to Chicago in 1953. • Played guitar and harmonica. • Served in the army during WWII. • “Smokestack Lightning” • “Back Door Man”
Pinetop Perkins • Joseph Williams Perkins • Born in Mississippi • Came to Illinois in the 1950’s. • Played piano (with Muddy Waters) • Won a Grammy Award at the age of 97!
The Legacy and Influence of the Blues • In the 1960’s, blues influenced artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan. • Today, artists such as the Black Keys, White Stripes, and John Mayer are heavily influenced by the blues.