History of the Blues
The Memphis and Chicago styles of blues (as well as those of Texas, New Orleans and other areas) reflect the fact that wherever African Americans went in the twentieth century there was no shortage of the Evil, Ignorance and Stupidity, as one of Willie Dixon's songs puts it, that brought on the blue feeling (Dixon 210).

Some writers are emphatic in claiming that African Americans "had transformed remembered West African music into a new style called the blues" (Lomax 64). But this transformation was probably quite indirect and much of the process of developing the blues style is lost to history. Events in blues history were often transformed themselves as legends grew up around kernels of truth. One of the best-known legends is W.C. Handy's account of his first exposure to the blues. Sometime between 1892 and 1903, the composer was on tour with his orchestra when, waiting for a train in rural Mississippi, he heard a man playing slide guitar and singing "the weirdest music I had ever heard" (quoted by Davis 25). Yet when Handy, a true entrepreneur, saw a blues band showered with piles of money he soon "saw the beauty of primitive music," concluding that it "had the stuff the people wanted" (quoted by Davis 26). Handy, who later billed himself as "The Father of the Blues," went on to publish, among others, The Saint Louis Blues. This work first brought blues to an extens

    Some topics in this essay  
    African Americans | African American | Robert Johnson | Oliver Blues | Rhythm Blues | Mississippi Delta | Ma Rainey | House Blues | Charlie Patton | Classic Blues | african american | african americans | blues culture | blues music | blues musicians | oliver blues | classic blues | blues performers | blues experience | rock roll | blues ed lawrence | ed lawrence cohn | quoted shaw 97 | lawrence cohn york | review 29 1995 |  
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