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One of the few female composers, Texas blueswoman Victoria Spivey recorded in St Louis, accompanying herself at the piano, her own Blue Snake Blues , Arkansas Road Blues , with Alonzo “Lonnie” Johnson on guitar, Dope Head Blues , T.B. Kansas City had experienced its first wave of black immigrants after the disputed presidential elections of 1877, that basically killed any remaining hopes of sincere black integration in the South. Blacks from states such as Louisiana and Mississippi emigrated by the thousands towards more tolerant places such as Kansas City. During the corrupt reign of Tom Pendergast , the illegal clubs of Kansas City flourished, virtually mocking the “Prohibition” of alcohol ( ). The booming industry of alcohol and gambling turned out to be a bonanza for black musicians, who became the backbone of the entertainment machine. Minstrel shows, although run by white entertainers, began to hire black singers after the Civil War, and eventually became mainly black.
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In the same year, the manic piano style and outrageous clothes of Little Richard made “Tutti Frutti” a hit, and Chuck Berry made his debut with “Maybellene.” The regular beat and youth-targeted lyrics appealed to teenagers, and the first music charts, which appeared in the US in the late 1940s and in Britain in 1952, confirmed the genre’s popularity. Meanwhile, Hollywood continued to create star vocalists—Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra among them. In 1942, Irving Berlin’s genius for melody produced the song “White Christmas.” Today, Bing Crosby’s version has sold about 50 million copies, making it the best-selling single of all time.
The flatted seventh degree of the minor pentatonic lines up with the flatted seventh in the V7/IV chord which ties the chord progression and the leads together. In the 1920s, technological advances meant that blues musicians were able to become recording artists and their music could be played on the radio across the country. Musicians like Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, who had previously improvised their songs accompanied by a banjo or guitar, were now able to permanently record and share their works.
With this modern classic featuring three chords , you can learn about playing hammer-ons, a crucial lead guitar technique. King’s 1961 hit single “I’m Tore Down” from his album “Freddy King Sings” showcases his incomparable energy and unmistakable fluid style. This track is widely mistaken as an original song by King but writing credits actually go to American R & B bandleader Sonny Thompson. Eric Clapton covered King’s take on the blues classic for his hit album “From the Cradle” and reached number one on music charts. Clapton’s rendition was certified 5 times platinum having sold over 5 million copies world wide. Dixon explained later on in his autobiography that he had written “I Can’t Quit You Baby” out of the preoccupied relationship Rush was in.
Blues is the marriage of West African rhythms and musical sensibilities with the instruments – and some of the musical forms – of Northern Europe. The pioneers of the blues — legendary performers Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and B.B. King — mastered styles that ranged from the technically brilliant to the evocatively mythic. Classic blues is played in a twelve-bar form, with repeated lyrical strains woven into improvised vocals or instrumentals. A hugely influential genre which in large part gave rise to rock ‘n’ roll, the blues has been embraced by countless non-African Americans as well. We work directly with artist estates, their non-for-profit organizations, and record labels to produce unique and fun blues, soul, rock n roll, jazz and bluegrass music t-shirts, band tees, apparel, and music-themed gifts & merchandise.