North American VS Foreign Blues Music?

Sally Stevens
Sat Oct 6 16:01:32 EDT 2007

A bit of New Orleans musical history on this subject that some might find
interesting ~
In 1884 New Orleans held the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial
Exposition.  Mexico was the largest exhibitor at the exposition and brought
with them 130 musicians.  Most stayed in the city after the fair ended and they
were a staple of the entertainment out at the West End venues on Lake
Pontchartrain for many years.  There were many bands at the time the featured
Mexican musicians that had stayed in the city.  Later, as Jim Crow took hold in
New Orleans, many of the Mexican musicians left and many New Orleans musicans
left with them.  I have been told by Connie Atkinson, editor of the late NOLA 
music magazine, "Wavelength", and now director of the Midlo Center at UNO ,
that apparently takes considerable pride in its New Orleans connnection and the
folks that are decendents of these musicians.  
The prevailing thought on all this is that Mexican musicians added a vitality
to the scene in New Orleans and then in turn,  New Orleans musicians did the
same down in Mexico........perhaps a lesson for contemporary America to
consider.......especially within the current  immigration debate....
And when I went with Deacon John to Mexico City for a few dates back in '99,  I
was amazed at how so many there knew about American blues - not so much Robert
Johnson, but Elmore James was a source of considerable fascination there.  If I
understood correctly he did some tours there.   When Deac did "Shake Your Money
Maker" he changed the words to 'Shake your peso maker..."

Michael Huggins <> wrote:

>You'd have to learn their language... to survive. Gringos (coming to=20
>live there) are less welcome there than illegal immigrants here.

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