Congo Square in New Orleans is where the BLUES originated with recently arrived black slaves performed their music from the heart of Africa.

After arriving on southern plantations they continued their musical traditions that included the “banjar” which became the banjo. They told their about their lives and tribulations from not only working in fields but also in mines, on railroads and logging camps. Their voices became an instrument especially with the “bluenote” compositions. Many learned to play the pianos, guitars, and harmonicas that became the principal instruments for the BLUES.

Here are some of the great southern BLUES performers:

Robert Johnson

Little Walter

Ma Rainey

Jimmy Reed

Bessie Smith

Clara Smith

Ida Cox

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Charley Patton

Tommy Johnson

Blind Willie McTell

Muddy Waters

Howlin Wolf

"T-Bone" Walker

BB King

One performer became a lengendary performer of white BLUES known as “Hillbilly” Jimmie Rodgers.


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