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Episode 1

Episode 1 of 4

First transmitted in 1979, Alexis Korner delves into the soulful world of traditional black American Blues music. Exploring its origins and reviewing unique footage of acclaimed Blues artists including Sonny Blake, Sam Chatmon, Houston Stackhouse and Booker White.

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25 minutes

Last on

Fri 12 Mar 1982 22:10

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Music Played

  • Booker White

    Poor Boy

  • Booker White

    Aberdeen Mississippi Blues

  • Houston Stackhouse & Joe Willie Wilkins

    Cool Drink of Water

  • Sonny Blake, Mose Vinson & L.T. Lewis

    One Room Country Shack

  • Sam Chatmon

    Stop and Listen

  • Sam Chatmon

    Sam's Rag

BBC Four Blues Collection

BBC Four Blues Collection
This programme is part a collection of BBC programmes featuring influential blues musicians, including B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Williamson.

Go to the BBC Four Blues Collection

More about this programme

The origins of the Blues are difficult to pin down exactly, but presenter Alexis Korner holds that "the Blues were created by poor blacks in the South, that's certain. It happened some time after about 1900, that too is certain. Snatches of song were written down by folklore collectors. And that's about all the evidence we have. So what did those old Blues - and they weren't always even called that - what did they sound like? Possibly something like this…"

So begins this series of four films, opening with Booker White singing Poor Boy. Full of anecdotes and recordings from some of the great but perhaps less well-known Blues artists, this is a rare treat for music fans.

About BBC Four Collection programmes

Programmes are selected, in part, for their historical context and reflect the broadcast standards and attitudes of their time, which may not accord to some current BBC editorial guidelines. We aim to select programmes which can be shown in their entirety but in some cases edits are required. 


  • Mon 9 Jul 1979 23:20
  • Fri 12 Mar 1982 22:10

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