The Blues Move North

79813.original-6176Among the first Mississippians to take the blues to Chicago was Big Bill Broonzy of Scott. He arrived there in 1920 and also played for chicken and chitlins at Saturday evening events. By the late 1930s he was one of the most preferred entertainers in the nation and also came to be an adviser to numerous Mississippi blues musicians that followed him north.

Yet Broonzy’s smooth “city blues” design was soon superseded; the necessity of the “brand-new” blues, brought by Walter Horton and Sonny Child Williamson, recorded Chicago target markets.

The master of the Chicago blues was Muddy Waters. Birthed in Rolling Fork in 1915, Waters (McKinley Morganfield) established a new style for the blues. Recorded first by the Library of Congress in 1941 at Stovall Plantation (listen to the Muddy Waters recording), Muddy Waters by 1947 was going far on Aristocrat (later Chess) Records. His “Hoochie Coochie Man” offered over 75,000 duplicates. “Rollin’ Stone” offered 80,000 copies and also inspired Bob Dylan’s later track and the name of the 1960s rock band.

Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Burnett), birthed in West Factor in 1910, began recording in Memphis with Sam Phillips. In his home he had listened to Mississippi country yodeler Jimmie Rodgers’s records and also tried to copy him. Wolf was grabbed by Chess Records, which generated hits like “Spoonful” and also “Evil Goin’ On.”.

The source of a lot of the tunes sung by Chess recording stars like Howlin’ Wolf and also Muddy Waters was “Big” Willie Dixon, birthed in Vicksburg in 1915. A gifted bass player, record producer, and also precursor, along with songwriter, Willie Dixon is known as the grandfather of the Chicago blues.

Harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite was the only white Chicago bluesman throughout the era to play Southside clubs with black bands. Growing up in Kosciusko, Musselwhite heard his papa playing country music, however he moved to songs of black bluesmen due to the fact that “their music told the truth.”.

Lots of various other Mississippi blues greats moved to Chicago: Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Otis Spann, Albert King, Jimmy Dawkins, James Cotton, Elmore James, Sunnyland Slim, as well as Big Joe Williams.

With the blues, Mississippians connected assistance, hope, also happiness– in field hollers, throughout crowded juke joints as well as country barn dancings, and also throughout the wires to fans adjusting in their favored radio programs. Mississippi musicians would perform music for much of the delight in their lives. Perhaps that is the actual legacy of their music.