What facts are there about blues music?

Blues music is a style of music that is based around using "blue notes." It started in African-American communities in the United States and was influenced by various things, like spirituals, field hollers, church music and chants. The genre has been highly influential to rock 'n' roll music of the past and modern day. It also paved the way for rhythm & blues (R&B), bluegrass and jazz.


Blues music as a genre was born along the North Mississippi Delta after the Civil War. With vast influences ranging from jump-ups (rhythmic dance songs) to African roots, blues music was only performed only live for years.

Time Frame

African-American composer W.C. Handy introduced the blues between 1911 and 1914. Blues exploded nationally in the 1920s when Mamie Smith performed the first blues tune with vocals: "Crazy Blues" (1920).


Blues music left Memphis, Tennessee and migrated north to Chicago and Detroit where the scene intensified in the late 1940s and early 1950s with artists such as Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. They performed what is referred to as "Mississippi Delta Blues."


In the early 1960s, many British and American rock and pop musicians, like the Rolling Stones, were highly influenced by blues and brought the music to young, white cultural mainstream at the time.

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