Blues History

Timeline created by RobinRayfield
In Music
  • First blacks

    In 1619, the first people of African origin are brought to America. Although they are not officially slaves because of being baptized into the Christian faith, which means that they are not to be considered slaves, they were still forced to work hard for very little to no pay.
  • First slave

    In 1654, John Casore becomes the first official slave, enslaved by another man of darker skin colors.
  • Benjamin Franklin is born

    Benjamin Franklin is considered the man who discovered electricity. He definitely played a major part in that role. However, something else that should be mentioned was that he was possibly the only one of the founding fathers who actively campaigned against slavery. Also, when the Americans were losing the war for independence, he was able to get the revolutionaries support from the French.
  • Minstrelsy

    Beginning of more frequent performers performing minstrel shows in blackface. Originally, it is done by white men in blackface. Later on, black men start pretending to be white men pretending to be black men.
  • Civil War begins

    The Civil War is officially begun on the twelfth of April in 1861.
  • Civil War ends

    Sometime during the year 1865, the Conederacy surrenders to the Union, ending the Civil War.
  • Sharecropping

    Although the many slaves have been freed by technicality, sharecropping becomes a way of keeping them working for their masters. The workers get a share of their crops, but it is something that the landowners use to their advantage.
  • Phonograph

    Sometime in 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph.
  • Son House

    Son House is most likely born on this date.
  • Charley Patton

    Although it is debated, this is supposedly around when Charley Patton started playing.
  • Robert Johnson born

    May 8th, 1911 is the date of Robert Johnson's birth.
  • John Lee Hooker born

    John Lee Hooker is born on this day.
  • "Crazy Blues"

    Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds record "Crazy Blues," which is supposedly the oldest know blues recording in existence today.
  • B.B. King born

    The birth of the blues king himself, B.B. King to be exact.
  • "Billy Lyons and Stack O'Lee"

    Furry Lewis records "Billy Lyons and Stack O'Lee"
  • Bo Diddley born

    Although he is supposedly a rock and roll musician, he did write the Muddy Waters song that was later made into "Mannish Boy." His birthname was Ellas Otha Bates although although he also has been known as Ellas McDaniel.
  • Charley Patton's first recordings

    In Richmond, Indianna, Charley Patton records his first set of recordings. His second set of recordings is that same year in Grafton, Wisconsin. He does two more sets of recordings, one in 1930, the other in 1934.
  • Skip James records

    Sometime in 1931, Skip James does his first recordings.
  • Robert Johnson recordings

    Robert Johnson starts his recording sessions in Texas.
  • "Good Morning Little School Girl"

    Sonny Boy Williamson I records "Good Morning Little School Girl."
  • Death of Robert Johnson

    Most people claim that Robert Johnson was poisoned, but we don't know his exact death. He was one of the first, but not the very first, to join what many call the 27 club (famous musicians who died at the age of 27).
  • Aristocrat Records

    Sometime in 1947, Leonard Chess buys Aristocrat Records, which is to become Chess Records in a few years.
  • "Mannish Boy"

    Muddy Waters records "Mannish Boy." This song was probably based off of "I'm A Man" by Bo Diddley. Many of the lyrics are the same, and the melody is almost completely the same.
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    Blues History