Chicago blues

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The Chicago Blues is a style of blues that emerged in the first half of the 20th century as the impoverished black working population emigrated from the southern United States to major cities in the Midwest. The development of the Chicago blues essentially took place in two steps.

Pre-War phase: From the mid-1920s until the beginning of World War II , a focused on jazz, urban blues style (developed Urban Blues ). He combined the "classic" blues of vaudeville with the traditional country blues of the south. However , when compared to the Delta Blues , the Chicago style was more elegant and less archaic.

White producer Lester Melrose was the dominant figure in the Chicago blues at the time. After initially producing Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver as an independent businessman, he soon rose to become the producer of the RCA Bluebird label. Hence the early Chicago blues is also known as the bluebird beat . During his time at Bluebird, Melrose recorded Big Bill Broonzy , Tampa Red , Jazz Gillum and Sonny Boy Williamson I, among others . The Piano developed alongside the guitar a defining instrument of this style. The piano blues style was a connection between the rough barrelhouse piano (dirty dozen) from the south of the USA and ragtime .

Post-war phase: After the end of the Second World War, the Chicago blues were further developed into the electrified variant of the acoustic Delta Blues. Most of the Afro-Americans who immigrated to Chicago from the south in a second wave did not find themselves in the pre-war bluebird beat . The period from 1947 to 1957 is considered the heyday of the Chicago blues. During this time bluesers like Muddy Waters , Little Walter , Howlin 'Wolf , John Brim , J. B. Hutto and others shaped the new, hard, electric Delta Blues. Characteristic of the combo blues from the "Windy City" Chicago is the line-up with guitar, blues harp , piano, drums and double bass or electric bass .

Major labels like RCA gave up the blues business due to steadily declining record sales and left the market to the new sound-specialized labels like Chess Records and Vee-Jay . The Chicago blues began to decline in the early 1960s. The two top dogs Chess and Vee-Jay oriented themselves more towards the newly emerging and more profitable soul or went broke. Small independent labels like Alligator and Delmark Records still recorded blues for a mainly European audience.

Typical representatives

See also