Blues music developed in the second half of the 19th century in the region called "The Delta", the alluvial floodplain stretching from Memphis to Vicksburg between the Mississippi and the Yazoo River. By the end of the 19th century, it had spread throughout the eight states - from Texas to Florida - known as the Deep South. Urban blues developed in the late 1920s first in Memphis, Detroit and Chicago as an elaborate version of country-blues performed by duos or trios, and later in other major cities in the form of amplified jazz-infected blues performed by larger bands.
DELTA BLUES, DEEP SOUTH BLUES
∙ 1924 ∙ Airy man blues / Papa lawdy lawdy blues (Papa Charlie Jackson) ∙ 1926 ∙ Salty dog blues (Papa Charlie Jackson) ∙ Milk cow blues (Papa Freddie Spruel) ∙ 1927 ∙ Kansas City blues (part I) / (part II) (Jim Jackson) ∙ Big Bill's blues / House rent stomp (Big Bill Broonzy) ∙ Rising high water blues / Got the blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson, Texas) ∙ Dark was the night, cold was the ground / In my time of dying / Jesus make up my dying bed / Statesboro blues (Blind Willie Johnson, Texas) ∙
∙ 1928 ∙ Bull doze blues (Going up the country) / Fishing blues (Henry Thomas, Texas) ∙ The rising sun / Penitentiary moan blues (Texas Alexander, Texas) ∙ It's tight like that (Tampa Red & Georgia Tom, Georgia) ∙ You're gonna quit me blues / Early morning blues (Blind Blake, Florida) ∙ Ain't no tellin' / Avalon blues (Mississippi John Hurt) ∙ Canned heat blues / Big road blues (Tommy Johnson) ∙ Left alone blues / Trouble hearted blues (Ishman Bracey) ∙ Crow Jane blues (Julius Daniels) ∙ Hot time blues (William Harris) ∙ Take me back / Nehi Mamma blues / Downtown blues (Frank Stokes) ∙ How long, how long blues / Prison bound blues (Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell) ∙ Corinne Corrina (Bo Carter) ∙ 1929 ∙ Wichita Falls blues (T-Bone Walker, Texas) ∙ Spoonful blues / 34 blues (Charley Patton) ∙ That's no way to get along (Robert Wilkins) ∙
∙ 1930 ∙ Preachin' the blues (Son House) ∙ Sitting on top of the world (The Mississippi Sheiks) ∙ 1931 ∙ Hard Times Killing Floor Blues / I'm so glad / Devil got my woman (Skip James) ∙ All around man (Bo Carter) ∙ 1932 ∙ Howling wolf blues (Josh White, South Carolina) ∙ 1934 ∙ The midnight special (Leadbelly) ∙ 1935 ∙ My old pal blues (Scrapper Blackwell) ∙ Baby please don't go (Big Joe Williams) ∙ 1936 ∙ Get your yas yas out (Blind Boy Fuller) ∙ 1937 ∙ Me and the devil blues / Love in vain blues (Robert Johnson) ∙ 1938 ∙ Love her with a feeling (Tampa Red, Georgia) ∙ Cross road blues / Come on in my kitchen (Robert Johnson) ∙ 1939 ∙ This train (is bound for glory) (Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Arkansas, ver. 1964) ∙
∙ 1940 ∙ District Attorney blues / Parchman farm blues (Bukka White) ∙ Take this hammer (Lead Belly) ∙ 1941 ∙ Catfish blues (Robert Petway) ∙ Key to the highway (Big Bill Broonzy) ∙ 1942 ∙ He's a jelly roll baker (Lonnie Johnson) ∙ 1945 ∙ Rock island line (Lead Belly) ∙ 1946 ∙ Katie May (Lightnin' Hopkins, Texas) ∙ Jelly, Jelly! (ver. 1960s) / Back water blues (Josh White, South Carolina) ∙ 1947 ∙ Baby please don't go (ver. 1969) (Lightnin' Hopkins, Texas) ∙ 1947 ∙ Lonesome world to me (Arthur Crudup) ∙ 1948 ∙ Boogie chillen (John Lee Hooker) ∙ 1949 ∙ Crawling king snake (John Lee Hooker) ∙
Jazz originated in the early 1900s in the form of Dixieland brass bands in New Orleans. But following entertainment bans in the Storyville red light district of New Orleans, many of the city’s famous musicians - including King Oliver and Louis Armstrong - emigrated in the early 1920s to Memphis, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Detroit and elsewhere, as Swing-jazz and Big-band jazz entered their golden age.
∙ 1902 ∙ The entertainer (Scott Joplin) ∙ 1917 ∙ Livery stable blues (Original Dixieland Jazz Band) ∙
∙ 1923 ∙ Sweet lovin' man / Canal Street blues (King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band ft Louis Armstrong) ∙ Tin roof blues (Original Memphis Five) ∙ 1924 ∙ Chicago stomp (Jimmy Blythe) ∙ 1925 ∙ Gut bucket blues (Louis Armstrong's Hot Five) ∙ 1927 ∙ Varsity drag (Abe Lyman) ∙ Creole love call (Adelaide Hall & Duke Ellington) ∙ 1933 ∙ Tea for two (Art Tatum) ∙ 1935 ∙ In a sentimental mood (Duke Ellington & His Orchestra) ∙ 1938 ∙ Begin the Beguine (Artie Shaw) ∙ 1939 ∙ Summertime (Sidney Bechet) ∙
∙ 1941 ∙ In the mood (Glenn Miller Orchestra) ∙ Swingin' the blues (Count Basie and his Orchestra) ∙ Sunday (Benny Carter) ∙ 1942 ∙ Flying home (Lionel Hampton v.1957) ∙ Cherokee (Charlie Parker) ∙ 1943 ∙ Ain't misbehaving / Stormy weather (Fats Waller) ∙ 1945 ∙ Now's the time (Charlie Parker) ∙ 1946 ∙ Introspection (Ralph Burns) ∙ The bloos (George Handy) ∙ 1947 ∙ Milestones (Miles Davis ft Charlie Parker) ∙ Sing, sing, sing (Benny Goodman) ∙ Rhumbacito (Neal Hefti) ∙ Sophisticated lady (Willie Smith) ∙ I want to be happy (Lester Young) ∙ Open the door, Richard! (Hot Lips Page) ∙ 1948 ∙ Lady bird (Tadd Dameron Sextet) ∙ Picasso (Coleman Hawkins ) ∙ Tanga (Cubop City) (Machito & The Afro-Cubans) ∙ 1949 ∙ Cherokee (Bud Powell) ∙ Boogie Woogie on St Louis Blues (Earl Hines) ∙
Vocal songs built on blues and jazz gradually became a genre in its own right in the late 1920s. With the advent of recording technology and radio, music began to be broadcast and mass-marketed in the mid-1920s. Along with blues and jazz, Vocals was then one of the most important African-American musical genres and successfully competed with other contemporary styles.
EARLY BLUES-JAZZ FEMALE SINGERS ∙ 1920 ∙ Crazy blues (Mamie Smith) ∙ 1921 ∙ Jazz me blues (Lucille Hegamin) ∙ 1922 ∙ T'ain't nobody's bus'ness if I do / Longing for Daddy blues (Sara 'Moanin' Mama' Martin) ∙ 1923 ∙ Pawn shop blues (Lucille Bogan) ∙ 1924 ∙ See see rider blues (Ma Rainey) ∙ 1925 ∙ St Louis blues (Bessie Smith) ∙ Kitchen mechanic blues (Clara Smith) ∙ Underworld blues (Sippie Wallace) ∙ Railroad blues (Trixie Smith) ∙ 1926 ∙ Black snake blues (Victoria Spivey, 1963 ver.) ∙ 1927 ∙ Gypsy glass blues (Ida Cox) ∙ Backwater blues (Bessie Smith) ∙ 1929 ∙ When the levee breaks (Memphis Minnie) ∙
SWING-JAZZ VOCALS ∙ 1925 ∙ Sweet Georgia Brown (Ethel Waters) ∙ 1929 ∙ Putting on the Ritz (Harry Richman) ∙ Am I blue? (Ethel Waters) ∙ 1930 ∙ I lost my girl from Memphis (Bubber Miley) ∙ 1931 ∙ Minnie the Moocher (Cab Calloway) ∙ Little white lies/Happy feet (Noble Sissle & Band) ∙ 1932 ∙ It don't mean a thing (if it ain't got that swing) / (ver, 1943) (Duke Ellington ft Ivie Anderson) ∙ Shine (Louis Armstrong) ∙ 1933 ∙ Dinah (Louis Armstrong) ∙ 1935 ∙ Mama I don't want no peas an' rice an' coconut oil (Cleo Brown) ∙ 1936 ∙ Why don't you do now ? / Gimme some of that yum-yum-yum (Harlem Hamfats) ∙ 1938 ∙ A-tisket a-tasket (Ella Fitzgerald) ∙
∙ 1940 ∙ Let Me Off Uptown (Gene Krupa & Anita O'Day) ∙ 1941 ∙ I want a big fat mama (Lucky Millinder) ∙ 1942 ∙ A zoo suit (Dorothy Dandridge ft Paul White) ∙ Cow cow boogie (Ella Mae Morse) ∙ Why don't you do right? (Peggy Lee, ver 1950, orig. 1936 Harlem Hamfats) ∙ 1943 ∙ Jumping Jive (Cab Calloway) ∙ 1945 ∙ Just a gigolo/I ain't got nobody (Louis Prima) ∙ 1946 ∙ Hello Bill (Lucky Millinder) ∙ Drink hearty (Henry Red Allen) ∙ 1947 ∙ Oh! Lady be good (Ella Fitzgerald) ∙
JAZZ SONG ∙ 1936 ∙ Summertime (Billie Holiday) ∙ 1943 ∙ Is you is or is you ain't my baby? (Louis Jordan & the Tympany Five) ∙ 1944 ∙ Joshua fit the battle of Jericho / One meat ball (Josh White, South Carolina) ∙ 1945 ∙ Tenderly (ver. 1958) (Sarah Vaughan) ∙ Flying home (Ella Fitzgerald) ∙ 1946 ∙ The blues are brewin' (Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong) ∙ 1949 ∙ Now baby or never (Billie Holiday) ∙ Baby it's cold outside (Pearl Bailey & Hot Lips Page) ∙
STAR SINGERS OF THE 30s/40s
LOUIS ARMSTRONG (Jazz & jazz vocals) ∙ Canal Street blues (1923 with King Oliver Creole Jazz Band) ∙ Gut bucket blues (1925) ∙ Shine (1932) ∙ Dinah (1933) ∙ Jeepers Creepers (1938) ∙ The blues are brewin' (1946 with Billie Holiday) ∙ Rythm talkin' (1947) ∙ La vie en rose (1950) ∙ Umbrella (1959) ∙ What a wonderful world (1967) ∙
THE MILLS BROTHERS (Jazz-pop vocals): I ain't got nobody (1932) ∙ Tiger rag (1932) ∙ The old man of the fountain (1933) ∙ 1934 Swing it, sister (1934) ∙ Paper doll (1943) ∙ You always hurt the one you love (1944) ∙
NAT KING COLE (Jazz vocals): That ain't right (1942) ∙ All for you (1943) ∙ Gee, Baby, ain't I good to you? (1943) ∙ Nature boy (1945) ∙ (I love you) For sentimental reasons (1946) ∙ Mona Lisa (1950) ∙ Too young (1951, ver. 1961) ∙
Christian music with dominant a capella vocals and choirs has been ubiquitous in the Afro-American communities since the 17th Century, and started to be called "gospel song" in the 1890s. Popular gospel music began to be recorded in the early 1930s and reached mainstream audience in the early 1940s with the two groups the Golden Gate Quartet and the Jubalaires. From 1946/47, Mahalia Jackson and Sister Rosetta Sharpe became the genre’s superstars.
∙ 1932 ∙ Standing by the bedside of a neighbor (The Famous Bue Jay Singers) ∙ 1937 ∙ God's gonna separate the wheat from the tare (Mahalia Jackson) ∙ Born a thousand years ago / Gabriel blows his horn (Golden Gate Quartet) ∙ 1939 ∙ This train is bound for glory (Sister Rosetta Tharpe) ∙
∙ 1941 ∙ Preacher and the bear (The Jubalaires) ∙ Jezebel (Golden Gate Quartet) ∙ 1945 /46 ∙ Brother Bill / Noah (The Jubalaires) ∙ 1946 ∙ I'm gonna tell God (Mahalia Jackson) The Lord will make a way (The Soul Stirrers ft R. H. Harris) ∙
∙ 1947 ∙ I'm a soldier in the army of Lord (The Soul Stirrers ft R. H. Harris) ∙ Standing on the highway / Plenty of good room (The Famous Bue Jay Singers) ∙ I just couldn't keep it to myself (Dixie Hummingbirds) ∙ 1948 ∙ Up above my head (ver. 1960) (Sister Rosetta Tharpe) ∙ In that upper room (Swan Silvertones) ∙ Recess in heaven (Deep River boys) ∙ 1949 ∙ By and by (The Soul Stirrers ft R. H. Harris) ∙
The first tracks of rock’n’roll appeared in 1946-47 as outspreads from boogie-woogie, swing-jazz, blues and country music.
Upon becoming a music-genre in its own right in 1948-49, rock 'n'roll did not only revolutionize American folk and country music but also blues, popular vocals and gospel, while marking the end the era for Swing-jazz, Big band jazz and Boogie-woogie. In the following years, each of these musical genres integrated in its own way the moods, rhythms and instruments of rock music.
BEFORE THE AGE OF ROCK∙ 1945 ∙ Caldonia (Louis Jordan & Tympany Five, jump blues) ∙ Strange things happening every day (Sister Rosetta Tharpe, boogie-gospel) ∙ 1946 ∙ Baby please don't go (Lightnin' Hopkins, blues) ∙ That's all right (Arthur Crudup, blues) ∙ Wynonie's blues / Hey ba-ba-re-bop (Wynonie Harris, swing & jump blues) ∙
INTO THE AGE OF ROCK ∙ 1947 ∙ Good rockin' tonight (Roy Brown, swing rock) ∙ 1948 ∙ Boogie Chillen (John Lee Hooker, blues rock) ∙ Lollipop Mama (Wynonie Harris, boogie rock) ∙ 1949 ∙ Rock awhile (Goree Carter, swing rock) ∙ Rock the joint (Jimmy Preston, swing rock) ∙ Drinkin' wine Spo-dee-o-dee (Stick McGhee, blues rock) ∙ The fat man (Fats Domino, boogie rock) ∙ All she wants to do is rock (Wynonie Harris, boogie rock) ∙