BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music
Sold on Song. Classic songs, covers, songwriting and more. Listen Live.

 Full Schedule
-













Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
BLUES FACTS
Blues Analysis
Genres > Blues
Blues Facts
About Blues
If you were to meet a typical character from a blues song he would most likely be down on his luck, having trouble with his unfaithful woman and no doubt drowning his sorrows with whisky.
Read more about the Blues

5 things you have to know
Paul Jones
Paul Jones tells you what to expect from the Blues


5 albums you have to own
Paul Jones
Must have albums for your blues collection

Key events in blues
 Mr Johnson and The Devil
Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues singers, was an average bluesman until, as legend records, he sold his soul to the Devil at a crossroads. Johnson later dies in mysterious circumstances. A Blues legend is born.

 Clapton breaks into the blues
Hot young British guitarist Eric Clapton joins John Mayall's band to record the seminal Bluesbreakers album, released in 1966- shortly afterwards 'Clapton is God' graffiti appears across London and a guitar legend is born.

 Leadbelly
A legend of the Blues, Huddie William Ledbetter - or Leadbelly - was discovered in the 1930s while in prison by folk researcher John Lomax. In many ways an early Blues celebrity, inspired a generation of post-war Bluesmen.

 Regal performance
BB King releases "Live at the Regal", recorded at the legendary Chicago Theatre, in 1964. A seminal live performance of the Blues, widely regarded as one of the best ever.

 Enter the Stones
In 1962 The Rolling Stones start gigging around London, incorporating their love of Blues with Rock 'n' Roll. The Blues, and Rock, will rarely be more commercially successful.


Key blues songwriters
Stevie Ray Vaughan Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan took the Blues and, with his vigorous guitar-style, added a health splash of Rock 'n' Roll with songs like "Texas Flood", "Pride And Joy", and "This House Is Rockin'" before his untimely death.


Listen to House is Rockin The House Is Rockin'
listen to pride and joy Pride And Joy
listen to rude mood Rude Mood 
Howlin Wolf Howlin' Wolf
DJ-turned-Bluesman, Howlin' Wolf was also a consumate entertainer, singing self-penned tunes such as "I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)", "Moanin' At Midnight" and "Worried About My Baby". A blues one-off.

audio icon I've Got A Woman
audio icon I'm the Wolf
audio icon Moanin' At Midnight 
Muddy Waters Muddy Waters
Learning his trade in the heart of Bluesland - the Mississippi Delta - Muddy Waters moved to Chicago where his music, tracks like "I Can't Be Satisfied",  "Rollin' And Tumblin' Pt.1", and "Baby, Please Don't Go", became synonymous with the Windy City.

audio icon Rollin' Stone
audio icon I Can't Be Satisfied
audio icon Louisiana Blues 
More songs.

More artists.



Music latest

BBC Music Profiles
Discover all you need on your favourite artist in BBC Music's great collection of profiles.

 DON'T MISS
Doves Doves
Special guests on Dermot's show this week




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy