Memphis Jug Band – Kansas City Blues
Title: Kansas City Blues – Artist(s): Memphis Jug Band
Recorded in 1928
Lyrics: Jim Jackson – Composer: Jim Jackson
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The blues are here to stay…
This was one of the first memorable phrases for me when I became interested in the blues. At the time British bands and musicians started playing the blues; first original pieces and then their own. The early heroes included Alexis Korner, John Mayall, Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames, Long John Baldry. Many rock bands borrowed from the blues, playing original pieces. It went so far that the term “White Blues” became prevalent and since then the question has been raised: whether white musicians can even play the blues at all?
Two LPs were part of every collection of The Black and White Sampler from Polydor, folding cover, pressed on white vinyl. One side had the new white bands, the other side had the black originals. And then a 3-LP set with Chess recordings, packed in a round tin can as was usually the case with reels of film, released in Germany by “Twen” magazine. We could finally listen to the original “Spoonful”. These two records showed us the way to the roots. There was also, unforgettably, The American Folk Blues Festival, which toured Europe every year. This was an attempt to cover the spectrum of the blues and send a variety of musicians and styles on tour together. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee met up with Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker and T-Bone Walker with Memphis Slim. Blues musicians often performed at The Berlin Jazz Days. There have been a series of radio broadcast series on this topic; TV has tried repeatedly to present the roots of the blues to us. That’s already history, like Janis Joplin buying a gravestone for Bessie Smith and Janis’ record company Columbia releasing five double LPs with everything from Bessie Smith.
The youtube channel Blues People and the Spotify playlist offer a wide range of the blues. Early 1920’s recordings, Bessie Smith of course, but also Etta James from the sixties. Lots of Chess Blues, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, also B.B. King and John Lee Hooker. The legendary Robert Johnson and his 29 recordings. The king of the Delta Blues meets Chicago. Alberta Hunter, another major blues lady. Leadbelly, Lightin Hopkins, Charley Patton… Non-stop namedropping.
Everyday I have the blues.
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