Blues Music

Or as it is called on an LP from 1952 “Negro Folksongs by the Folkmasters Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Coyal McMahan“.
Sometimes in the 1980s a headhoncho of the publishing house 2001 realized, that some of the most important and influential recordings of blues music were not available in Germany, titles of Folkways Records (Ger., Eng.) published through the 1950s, 60s and 70s.  Say Folkways you mean Moe ASCH (Ger., Eng.). ASCH died 1986 and afterwards Folkways was taken over by the Smithsonian Institution (Ger., Eng.). I do not know exactly when the German publisher had the chance to bring some new edited titles to Germany, but I bought ten LPs:

Get on Board (1952), Sonny TERRY, Brownie McGHEE, Coyal McMAHAN
Preachin’ the Blues (1960), Sonny TERRY, Brownie McGHEE
Chicago Blues (1961), MEMPHIS SLIM
Big Bill Broonzy sings Folk Songs (1962), Bill BROONZY
The Blues. Music from the Film by Samuel Charters (1967), various artists
Blues with Broonzey, Terry, McGhee (1959)
Blues. (1968), Roosevelt SYKES
The Women Blues of Champion Jack Dupree (1961), Jack DUPREE
The Roots of Lightnin’ Hopkins (1959), Lightnin’ HOPKINS
Leadbelly sings Midnight Special and other Folk songs (1976) – this lp is not in the actual Smithsonian Folkways list.

Looking around for this post I learned that in 2003 some people made a film (Ger., Eng.) called The Blues, the product of the collective effort of some great directors. But  I can not see that SCORSESE, EASTWOOD or WENDERS (hä!?) had or have a special connection to Blues music. Samuel CHARTERS (Ger., Eng.)  (bio) can hold a guitar and while working in the field for ASCH he seemingly made a documentary about blues musicians in the South of Northern America. I could find no trace of this film on the web, but it’s saied here (Billboard 19.11.66) to have been distributed by Brandon Film 1964.
All the work of  CHARTERS, ASCH and others is part of what later was called the American folk music revival (Ger., Eng.). And while a generation of Americans re-discovered their own music, white young men in Europe, namely in Britain, discovered the roots of Rock’n Roll and started to play this strange music. That means Alexis KORNER (Ger., Eng.) and Blues Incorporated (Ger., Eng.), from where such garage bands as Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Colosseum etcetc. origin.
An important role in the popularisation of  blues music played the Newport Festival, namely the Newport Folk Festival (Ger., Eng.) (2011, history here, discography here). I think that most of the b/w film snippets that come on youtube with songs from this time are grabbed from one of these cd/dvds (you have to scroll down a bit).

Here’s Homesick James WILLIAMSON (Ger., Eng.) with Crutch’n Cane. BTW the 9th Ward Jukebox brings a nice selection of  music off the beaten track.




8 thoughts on “Blues Music

  1. Thank you Savannah, I really hope the blue mood will leave Savannah fast. Oh dear …

    Glad that it brought good memories, Eryl.

    James Williamson could do it faster too. I read he performed up to his nineties. The video …

  2. Thank you, Mr Mags. I love the blues, and enjoy trying trying to play them as well. I had a pianist friend and we’d try to Jazz up, blues down, just about anything. Even ‘Over the Rainbow’. It was a sound to run away from…

Comments are closed.