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GUEST,Richie Origins: Early Blues Songs (37) RE: Origins: Early Blues Songs 01 Mar 11


WC handy called Careless Love one of the first blues (I'll find a quote later) and played a version in 1888.

It's a 16 bar song with three repeated verse which Handy said was shortened to form the standard 12 bar blues

Sorrow, sorrow to my heart
Sorrow, sorrow to my heart
Sorrow, sorrow to my heart
Now my love and I did part.

Whether this is a blues is a matter of debate. Other white (could be black or white origin) blues from a similar time period would include Little Maggie/ Darling Corey/ Country Blues/ Hustlin' Gamblers/Wild Bill Jones type songs. Most of these feature flat seventh notes and are in mixolydian mode.

The song above from Texas heard by Gates thomas in 1890 was sung in a blues style with a pentatonic scale.

Certainly English Music Hall songs weren't blues but they had an influence on blues showing the borrowing of elements that make up a style. The coon songs/ minstrel songs/ tin pan alley songs all contributed to the genre directly or indirectly.

Mainly we're looking at 12 bar or 8 bar songs (Crow Jane) even if the 16 bar was the original form as Handy mentioned.


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