The Golden Age of Blues - was there one?

bluesyall Valerie Johnson Al B. Blue bluesyall@WILDBLUE.NET
Wed Sep 1 17:38:04 EDT 2010


Hello Ken,
I see the golden age of blues in 1917 - around 1932.  Blues and Traditional
Jazz were the 'new' kind of music being played.  Mamie Smith did the first
Blues recording around that time.  Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and many others
had entire big bands that toured and played Blues and Traditional Jazz.
Thank you to the invention of the cylinder and the phonograph blues records
were now being made and sold.  This new technology allowed those 'black'
musicians doing blues and jazz  to be allowed in white people's house to
hear.  Millions of records were sold.  I think that was the golden age.
This is when different styles of Blues and Jazz were recognised (Example:
Chicago, Kansas City, West Coast, Piedmont, Delta, etc..), because via the
phonograph people now had access to hear these musical styles.
Bessie Smith was not only a great singer, she was also the band leader.  She
paid all the wages, motels, travel expenses - for all her band members.
There was money in this business.  Even though Ma Rainey did vaudeville, she
still had Blues as a part of her act.  She did a lot of Blues.  Two songs
that come to mind See See Rider, Oh Papa Blues.

I have a program called Blues for Kids <http://vjblues.com/> (BFK) and I
have hope for the future.  I have seen a lot of Kids fall in love with the
Blues. In my program we teach them the history and get then immediately get
them involved playing (doesn't matter what level they are at, or what
instrument they are interested in.  Al B Blue and I just get them involved)
We've had young kids form Blues Bands,Traditional New Orleans Jazz Bands,
30's Swing, just to name a few styles.  They all have the same roots -
Blues.
I don't think the blues will ever die.  A person feels it so much when they
play it, sing it or listen to it.  It helps sooth the soul, make light of
bad situations, tell it like it is and so much more...truly self
expression.  Even it's rawness is appealing - even sot after.  We're going
to always need that in our lives.  I'm going to keep spreading the word and
getting kids involved.

Valerie Johnson & Al B.Blue
vjblues.com    Remember "We Wanna Blues You Up!"

On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 8:10 AM, Ken Peace <kenpeace@gmail.com> wrote:

> My esteemed and leaned friends,
>
> Many periods could be considered the golden age of blues, of course
> depending on one's criteria.
>
> The founders and pioneers pre-war
>
> How about the post war years and the outburst of RnB, recording studios and
> the availablity of those records.
>
> How about the 1950s midwest. In Chicago and Detroit: Chess Records
>
> Then there's the Brit blues boom of the 60's - Clapton Mayall et al.
>
> Probably not the 1970s - let's face it.
>
> The retro West Coast white cat boom of the 1980s - Hollywood Fats etc.
>
> Into the present day with more blues available than ever before, more
> festivals, more CDs or downloads.
>
> Despite the present day featuring very strongly - why do I feel so
> depressed
> about the future?  One thing that I am certain of - whenever the golden age
> is/was - I am certain that it is behind us.
>
> In my late 40s, I am often one of the youngest present at most blues
> events.
>
>
> Cheers
> Ken
>
> --
> Ken Peace
> Chester UK
> http://www.bluesinthenorthwest.com
>
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