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Southern Beginnings

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Historically the south is slow to change. Maybe it is the easy going gentile way of life, or maybe change brings the fear of the unknown. Slavery to segregation to racism to finally acceptance of people who didn’t have a choice in birth. Like a diamond in the rough Blues and Jazz have had their beginnings in the Deep South. Although it wasn’t an instant start, Blues and Jazz are an evolution and compilation of spiritual songs, hymns, ragtime, gospel music and work songs of slaves. Mississippi- a birth place of the blues music. Blues were born in the Mississippi Delta as a call-and response lyrical pattern “sorrow” slave songs and haunting “field hollers” (Wilson). First introduction of blues was in 1912 when a black composer W.C. Andy recorded “The Memphis Blues” which later became popular in 1914. But it was in the twenties, that nation got the craze of blues when singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith recorded classic blues with jazz bands. While Blues falls into its own category, there are many different kinds of blues. Early emerging were Delta Blues and Chicago Blues. Three early pioneer of Delta Blues were Eddie “Son” House, Bukka White, and Big Joe Williams. During the great depression many African-Americans migrated towards the north giving Blues a new identity with the advent of the electric guitar – Chicago Blues. Then in 1960’s and 70’s Blues increasingly merged with rock music. American culture started to wake up to racism and discrimination. People started looking and experiencing the African-American culture in earnest and music was one part of it. Blues also helped in the development of Rock-N-Roll. It may have been just a form of expression in its infancy, but it became an identity for African-Americans for deca... ... middle of paper ... ...teryears where the whiskey and rum flowed everywhere like the rhymes. If it wasn’t for Blues and Jazz, names like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald and Rolling Stones who would be just names and not icons. Works Cited Branley, Edward. "NOLA History: Congo Square and the Roots of New Orleans Music." GoNOLAcom RSS. N.p., 2 July 2012. Web. 26 May 2014. “Jazz.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 27 May. 2014. "Jazz in America." Jazz in America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014. Morgan, Thomas L. "Jazz, The First Thirty YearsCopyrighted © 1993 - 2012 Thomas L. Morgan." Jazz: The First Thirty Years. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2014. "New Orleans Official Web Site." New Orleans Official Tourism Web Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014. Wilson, Christine. "Mississippi Blues." Mississippi History Now. N.p., Aug. 2003. Web. 28 May 2014.
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