UAMS.EDU

A Very Brief Synopsis of “The Blues”

A Very Brief Synopsis of “The Blues” – Bruce W. Newton, PhD and Johnpaul Jones

UAMS Library, Second Floor Gallery
April – June, 2013

“The Blues” originated with sharecroppers in the Mississippi delta and was a hybrid of the field hollers and Griot songs sung by West Africans.  W.C. Handy, “The Father of the Blues,” was one of the first persons to take notice of this music and penned one of the first blues songs in musical notation, “Memphis Blues,” in 1909.  In the 1920s-1930s, John and Alan Lomax received a grant from the Library of Congress to record folk & blues musicians.

See artists’ statement.