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Woke up This Morning

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Film looking at the early years of the blues shows how the likes of Bessie Smith and Charlie Patton used the latest media to bring their music to the public.

Blues is usually described as the sound of racial suffering and feeling sad, but this documentary argues that the blues began as a form of black pop music. First appearing in the southern states of the USA around 1900, blues created by the poorest people in the richest nation on earth took America by storm. The film looks at the early years of the blues to discover how Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Charlie Patton used the latest media to bring their music to the public. With contributions from Keith Richards, Taj Mahal and Chuck D.

1 hour

Last on

Wed 14 Mar 2018 23:00

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Roosevelt Robert Blues Band

    Dust My Broom

  • Robert Johnson

    Walking Blues

  • Muddy Waters

    Walking Blues

  • Bessie Smith

    Empty Bed Blues (Part 1)

  • Count Basie

    Lester Leaps In

  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

    Walkin' Blues

  • The Rolling Stones

    Little Red Rooster

  • John Lee Hooker

    Boom Boom

  • Lomax Prison Recording

    Rock Me Mama

  • Muddy Waters

    Louisiana Blues

  • Henry Thomas

    Railroadin' Some

  • Sam Collins

    Yellow Dog Blues

  • Ebony Hillbillies

    Pateroller

  • William Christopher Handy

    St Louis Blues

  • Peg Leg Howell

    Moanin' & Groanin' Blues

  • Dallas String Band

    Hokum Blues (feat. Coley Jones)

  • Lt Jim Europe's 369th Infantry band

    Memphis Blues

  • Mamie Smith

    Crazy Blues

  • Ida Cox

    Blues Ain't Nothin' Else But!

  • Mamie Smith

    I Love My Man But He Treats Me Like a Dog

  • Bessie Smith

    Young Woman's Blues

  • Rev Wilkins & Hunter's Chapel Band

    Calvary

  • Bessie Smith

    St Louis Blues

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

    Got the Blues

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

    See That My Grave is Kept Clean

  • Blind Boy Paxton

    See That My Grave is Kept Clean

  • Sam Collins

    Yellow Dog Blues

  • Skip James

    Devil Got My Woman

  • Charley Patton

    Down The Dirt Road Blues

  • Blind Boy Paxton

    Down The Dirt Road Blues

  • Charley Patton

    Spoonful Blues

  • Tommy Johnson

    Canned Heat Blues

  • Charley Patton

    Pony Blues

  • Howlin’ Wolf

    Howlin' Wolf Talks, No.1

  • Charley Patton

    Pony Blues

  • Skip James

    Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

  • Mississippi Fred McDowell

    61 Highway

  • Son House

    Jinx Blues

  • Skip James

    I'm So Glad

  • Skip James

    Drunken Spree

  • C.B. and Axe Gang

    Rosie

  • Benny Richardson and Group

    Jody

  • 22 and Group

    Early in the Mornin'

  • Lead Belly

    Goodnight Irene

  • Lead Belly

    Take this Hammer

  • Lead Belly

    Where Did You Sleep Last Night

  • Lead Belly

    The Bourgeois Blues

  • Count Basie & Jimmy Rushing

    Sent For You Yesterday And Here You Come Today

  • Leroy Carr

    When The Sun Goes Down

  • Robert Johnson

    Love In Vain

  • Robert Johnson

    Walking Blues

  • Count Basie

    Jumpin' At the Woodside

  • Robert Johnson

    Preachin' Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)

  • Big Bill Broonzy

    Good Jelly

  • Big Bill Broonzy

    Key To The Highway

  • Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

    Red River Blues

  • Fats Waller

    Tain't What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It)

  • Muddy Waters

    Country Blues

  • Sonny Boy Williamson

    Nine Below Zero

  • Muddy Waters

    I Be's Troubled

  • Muddy Waters

    I Can't Be Satisfied

  • The Rolling Stones

    (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

  • 00:31

    Howlin’ Wolf

    Howlin' Wolf Talks #1

  • 00:38

    Lead Belly

    In The Pines

  • 00:50

    Big Bill Broonzy

    Key to the Highway

BBC Four Blues Collection

BBC Four Blues Collection
Discover more BBC programmes featuring influential blues musicians, including B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Williamson.

Go to the BBC Four Blues Collection

Credits

Role Contributor
Executive Producer Mark Cooper
Director Mick Gold
Series Producer Mick Gold

Broadcasts

Featured in...

Blues America BBC Music Playlist

Blues America BBC Music Playlist

Check out our Blues America playlist - music from the heart of Blues country.

Director's blog post: Recreating the music"Find musicians today who can embody early blues music"

Director's blog post: Recreating the music"Find musicians today who can embody early blues music"

Director's blog post: Recreating the music