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Blues Music History

Blues Music History

 Table of Contents

Blues Music History People

Who Made It Happen

Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey (1886-1939) was born Gertrude Rainey. She performed on the vaudeville and minstrel circuit in the early days of the blues. She was probably the first popular stage entertainer to incorpor...

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith (1894-1937) was known as the "Empress of the Blues," a title appropriate in light of both her talent and demeanor. Smith got her professional start in 1912, when she sang in the same s...

Charley Patton

Charley Patton (1887-1934) is the closest recorded link to the source of the country folk blues in the Mississippi Delta. Well before his debut on record in 1929, Patton had established himself as...

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson (1911-1938) is the legendary Delta bluesman who was rumored to have sold his soul to the Devil to become a great guitarist. Although he was indeed a remarkably sophisticated guitaris...

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters (1913-1983) was born McKinley Morganfield and grew up to be one of the most important figures in the evolution of the blues. Muddy absorbed the Delta blues tradition as a young man and...

John Hammond

John Hammond (1910-1987) was arguably one of the most important figures in American popular music in the twentieth century and was certainly among the most important early white fans of the blues....

Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page (1944- ) is the guitarist for the seminal British heavy blues rock band Led Zeppelin. While the folk revival of the late 1950s and '60s was busy celebrating the "rediscovered" bluesmen o...

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was such a pivotal figure in the history of popular music that, in retrospect, he seems to have been almost destined to emerge when he did. Sun Records honcho Sam Phillips...
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