13 Blues and R&B - Blues and R B Music in America...

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Blues and R & B Music in America Andrew Connell James Madison University
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The Blues What are the Blues? Sad or melancholy song? Specific song form? Blue notes? bent notes Flat third Secular ritual? repository of black “cultural memory”
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Delta Blues A.k.a. rural, country, down-home, or folk blues Mississippi delta “devil’s music” or “secular spiritual?” Music of the marginalized Solo male singer Acc. by guitar or diddley–bow Listen: “I Need $100”
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Early Delta Blues Artists Charlie Patton, Son House, Bukka White Robert Johnson (1911-1938) Short recording career LISTEN: “Cross Road Blues” AAB lyric form Flexible musical structure Call-and-response with himself VIDEO: “Going Down to the River” Mississippi Fred McDowell (1904-1972)
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Commercializing the Blues Three Music industry marketing categories: Popular Hillbilly Race 1920 Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues” sells 1 million copies
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W.C. Handy (1873-1958)
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