President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves.
The time line of how Blue's came about.
Slave Songs Published
The earliest collection of African-American spirituals, is published.
"Maple Leaf Rag" Published
Scott Joplin publishes "Maple Leaf Rag." Ragtime will become a key influence on the style of blues.
Black Music First Recorded
Victor Records issues the first known recording of black music, "Camp Meeting Shouts."
Blues Songs First Recorded
Blues 1912The first blues songs, including W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues", are published as sheet music.
Folk Blues Debuts
Ralph Peer, makes his first field recordings in Atlanta, Georgia, marking the recording debut of both the folk blues and what will later be called country music.
First Folk Blues Records
The first male folk blues records, featuring singers Papa Charlie Jackson and Daddy Stovepipe, are issued.
New Recording Technology
Electrical recording technology is introduced.
Eddie Durham records the first music featuring the electric guitar. The modern instrument, first developed by musician George Beauchamp and engineer Adolph Rickenbacher in the early 1930s, will help to transform the sound of the blues.
T-Bone Walker Goes Electric
T. Bone Bluesman T-Bone Walker plays electric guitar on the recording of his standard "Call it Stormy Monday."
"Rhythm and Blues" is Born
Jerry Wexler, an editor at Billboard magazine, substitutes the term "rhythm and blues".
The Country Blues
Samuel Charters publishes The Country Blues, fueling the blues element of the folk music.
White Fan Base
Muddy Waters and B.B. King perform at the Fillmore East, a concert venue in the East Village region of New York City, to a predominantly white audience.
"Year of the Blues"
Congress declares 2003 the "Year of the Blues," commemorating the 100th anniversary of W.C. Handy's encounter with an unknown early bluesman at a train station in Mississippi.
The musician W.C. Handy sees a bluesman playing guitar with a knife at a train station in Mississippi.