Blues music history timeline

Blues music origins from United States around 19th century. The begininf of blues is unknown, but we can say it has stared around 1890. We don’t have many material documents about history of blues because od racial discrimination in America and poor literacy rate of African American community in USA at that time of the history.

The first publication of blues sheet music was Hart Wand’s “Dallas Blues” in 1912; W. C. Handy’s “The Memphis Blues” followed in the same year. The first recording by an African American singer was Mamie Smith’s 1920 rendition of Perry Bradford’s “Crazy Blues”.

World War II marked the transition from acoustic to electric blues and great opening of blues music to a wider audience, especially white listeners.

During the Great depression, blacks migrated north along the route of the Illinois Central Railroad toward Chicago. They brought with them blues music, and soon the sound of it filled rowdy urban nightclubs. New type of blues was made – Chicago blues and it was more powerful than all types before.

Blues music beacame popular in the late 1950′s. In 1958 The Kingston Trio recorded the number 1 hit, Tom Dooley ,and gave birth to the folk revival. For seven years, from 1959-1966, the Newport Folk Festival reintroduced folk and blues music to a mainstream white American audience.

After this time, blues was increasingly merged with rock music to form the rock blues bands of the 1960′s and 70′s. The Rolling Stones, John Mayall, Led Zeppelin and others carried on the noble tradition of their forefathers, the blues minstrels.

Blues music history timeline:
1899 – Scott Joplin publishes “Maple Leaf Rag”, making ragtime main influence on the Piedmont style of blues.
1912 – The first blues songs, including W.C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues”, are published as sheet music.
1917 – The United States enters World War I. Military and economic mobilization starts the great internal migration of African-Americans.
1920 – Mamie Smith records “Crazy Blues” and it becomes the first blues hit
1925 – Electrical recording technology is introduced and blues music is available for wider audience
1925 – Blind Lemon Jefferson, the dominant blues figure of the late 1920s recorded first song
1929 – The early Delta bluesman Charley Patton recorded first song
1929 – Great Depression in the United States blacks migrated north along the route of the Illinois Central Railroad toward Chicago. 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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