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blues2 - circuit(African-American vaudeville •Mamie Smith...

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Blues 2 The era of the so-called “classic blues,” when the blues was a recorded and published popular music, was from ca. 1920 until ca. 1930, or the beginning of the Great Depression. W. C. Handy (see page 90, Box 5.1, “ ‘Father of the Blues’: W. C. Handy”). The first and most influential composer of “classic blues,” in which he used and varied the form of “country” blues to create popular songs. With Handy, the blues moved into the area of popular music and written and published music. The blues became business. The principal medium for the classic blues was the phonograph record, although nearly all the songs were published as well. Classic blues dominated by women singers, many of whom sang on the T.O.B.A.
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Unformatted text preview: circuit (African-American vaudeville). •Mamie Smith recorded “Crazy Blues” in 1920; it popularized the classic blues and women blues singers. •“Ma” Rainey sang blues songs that were closer to rural blues than most other black women singers; was very influential on many women who followed her. •Bessie Smith: the “Empress of the Blues.” Identified with sophisticated city blues styles. Blues was influential on the development of early jazz, although the two are not the same thing. (Although, as Daniel Kngman correctly notes, “the blues, in both form and feeling, has never been wholly absent from jazz” . . . except perhaps during the big band Swing Era.)...
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