Story of the Blues: From Blind Lemon To B.B. King

This film depicts the many black musicians and the evolution of blues and jazz music from the mid-1800’s onwards. Blues was born when slaves were emancipated and left with freedom, but nothing else. The shelter and food they had known as slaves was no longer available, and work was extremely difficult to find. Musicians started singing in the streets about their worries, thoughts, and beliefs. This was a pure form of expression for them.

Blues spread with the musicians who would travel around the Mississippi, New Orleans, Tennessee, and Missouri. These places eventually had their own blues scenes. This gave the culture a platform to leap off of.

Blues slowly turned into many forms of music. Most notably, Jazz, with big-band jazz and bebop following closely after that.

Blues found its place on the streets in its early days, later moving to clubs and speakeasies. Jazz also happened at bars, clubs, and speakeasies.

Blues was originally very barebones, often including only a guitar and vocals. This changed as the music became more popular, with more bands showing up. The fixed “standards” of blues provided a space for Jazz to grow. Artists were provided with a template to improvise over, allowing artists to develop their own personal styles of playing, and be recognized for it.

I thought this film was pretty cool, it was extremely long with full songs included. I think I would rather see a film half the length with song clips instead of the whole pieces. It was nice to hear so much music and how it progressed over time

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