The Blues

by Mr. Mosera


Although many people believe blues music became popular in the 1930s, it is widely believed that blues music was started by slaves in the American South in the early 1800s (Oakley 10). Some even argue that although the blues became popular in the United States, the music can trace its roots to Africa (Davis 5). Blues was made famous by share croppers in the Mississippi Delta who brought the music to Chicago. According to the music historian Daniels, "Blues are of singular historical significance for understanding the American historical experience..." (Daniels 14). Below are some of the pioneers of blues in the United States.

Legacy of the blues

Although the blues have a long and rich history, they also have a tremendous impact on music today. According to Cunningham, blues music evolved into blues-rock which was the foundation for modern rock music (Cunningham 17). Although blues music has evolved many still respect its roots. Even in the Morris County community, a blues and BBQ festival will be held next week (Boonton United Methodist Church). Below are videos of classic and modern blues.
Howlin' Wolf Smokestack Lightning + Lyrics
The Black Keys - Just Got to Be [Official Video]

Why I researched the Blues

I have been a guitar player since I was young. Although I enjoy playing all guitar styles, almost all of them have their roots in blues. As a history teacher I can also appreciate the complex history of the music. Personally, I find the music to be soothing and cathartic. I believe it is a subject I would enjoy researching and learning more about in the future.
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Annotated Bibliography

Oakley, Giles. The devil's music: a history of the blues. Da Capo Press, 1976.

Oakley gives an overview of the history of blues and explains the origin of the blues as spirituals sung by American slaves.

2. Davis, Francis. The history of the blues. Da Capo Press, 2003.

Francis talks about the long and rich history of the blues, tracing its roots all the way back to Africa.

3. Cunningham, Robert, and Robert Maris Cunningham. The Blues: A History of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System. Northern Illinois University Press, 1997.

In this book Cunningham argues that blues is the cornerstone of modern American rock music.

Daniels, Douglas Henry. "The significance of blues for American history."Journal of Negro History (1985): 14-23.

In this books, Daniels argues that blues are essential to a well rounded understanding of American History

Boonton United Methodist Church. "Home Page" accessed 9-5-2015

This is the website for the church holding the Boonton Blues and BBQ event. It contains information about the event as well as the community.