the Ragged & Dirty Blog

Delta Blues & Other Musings

Wassoulou musicians in West Africa

Where Did The Blues Start?

tl;dr Although people point to the Mississippi Delta as where the blues began, this is incomplete. Instead, a blues type of music was already being

Early group of African musicians in America

What Year Did Blues Music Start?

tl;dr The blues probably started between 1850 and 1899, given early anecdotes and evidence from pioneering musicians. It’s difficult to place an exact date, since

Curley Weaver portrait

Who Were the First Blues Musicians?

tl;dr The earliest blues musicians existed probably during the latter half of the 1800s, evidenced by the likes of W.C. Handy and Ma Rainey’s memories.

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger early years

Who Did Robert Johnson Influence?

tl;dr Before King of the Delta Blues Singers was released in 1961, Johnson’s influence was actually fairly limited. However, after producer John Hammond helped to

Ma Rainey, one of the first singers of the blues

Who Was the First Blues Singer?

tl;dr It’s impossible to trace a first blues singer, but the first recorded blues musician, within the genre which today is recognized as blues, was

Where Is Robert Johnson Buried?

tl;dr Robert Johnson is buried in Little Zion Baptist Church’s cemetary, in Greenwood, Mississippi. Studied since 1965, it took until the early 2000s to truly

Robert Johnson's crucifix like Crossroads

Robert Johnson Crossroads Location

tl;dr The location of Johnson’s fabled Crossroads is thought to be at Highway 61 & Highway 49. Many other notable musicians like Charlie Patton, Son

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