Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicBlues · 1 decade ago

Blues Musicians...Already listen to stuff like Robert Johnson...?

I really love the blues, but would like to continue to trace its roots as far back into time as possible.

I listen to quite regularly:

Robert Johnson

Billie Holiday

B B King

Buddy Guy (I know the last two are from later periods...)

*I am mainly just searching for some great old old stuff, even before Robert Johnson/right around that era if possible. Thanks!


Oh...yeah I definitely also listen to stuff like Lightnin Hopkins and Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, T Bone Walker...and Bessie Smith...

I guess my question would should probably be more like this. Are there any earlier recordings of the blues than the earliest artist on this list?

7 Answers

  • Martin
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The dawn of recorded blues began with Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues" in 1920-seventeen years before Robert Johnson first recorded. The "classic blues" of the 20s and early 30s was all women-Clara Smith, Trixie Smith, Mamie Smith, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter, Sippie Wallace, etc.Additionally, Charlie Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Tommy McClennan,Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt, Sleepy John Estes, and many others predate Robert Johnson. There are several available recordings of pre-blues. Mississippi "fife and drum" bands such as those led by Othar Turner and others, field recordings of field hollers and work songs, and more. A great source is Smithsonian Folkways. If you really want to delve into the deep roots of the blues, you can also find recordings of traditional West African music, including "griot" singers (the equivalent of european troubadors), and more. I have quite a bit of all of the above material. If you are really interested in pursuing this further, e-mail me and I'll give you a list of specific recordings.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Son House, Charlie Patton, Skip James all way earlier then Robert Johnson... These are the people that he basically ripped off you could say.

    Albert King is probably the most important electric guitar bluesman.(Born Under A Bad Sign I think is the greatest real blues album ever)

    Mississippi John Hurt is also really great for layed back acoustic blues...

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  • 1 decade ago

    Who me and Martin have given you the main artists of the time. Hope you enjoy them. Son House, Patton, T Johnson etc made great blues, possibly better than R Johnson... Blind Boy Fuller is another one worthy of a listen.

    You also may wish to try W.C. Handy. He has been called "the Father of the Blues" having single-handedly introduced a new style of music to the world.

    It amazes me that in a question about blues artists before Robert Johnson, someone still has to mention Stevie Ray Vaughan!!!

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  • 4 years ago

    The choice you used for an example is one of Clapton's love songs and doesn't really do justice to your question. I lean more towards Clapton but again, in the two songs you use for the question I'd go with Johnson's song in a minute. When it comes to Clapton's blues I prefer the more loud electric sound like he did with Cream and John Mayall. BQ: Clapton. I like the long extended jam. I do like Johnson as far as an old delta sound goes but in many ways he can be over rated a lot too.

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  • 1 decade ago

    One book would be "The Blues" by Martin Scorsese -

    Old Blues Artists that influenced so many others:

    Charley Patton

    Son House

    Muddy Waters

    John Lee Hooker

    If you have a decent Library w/a good Music Department, they should have all manner of Books related to the Blues!

    Source(s): Al "the mad poet" (me) Blues Poet/Singer/Songwriter
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  • 1 decade ago

    well it all went back to when the slaves were around who had the feeling of the blues it is all acoustic obviously no electric back then but robert johnson is much diffrent from bb king buddy guy that is more electric blues. But if u would want more of the electric stuff gotta go with the texas blues like Stevie Ray Vaughan and new guy i love is robben ford it is blues with a lttle touch of jazz. But u wanted old stuff Robert Jonson i good but check out a man named Lightin Hopkins he is in my eyes the best acoustic blues guy who really started some cool ****. Email me if you have any Questions

    Source(s): me Musical taste Gotta love the blues
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  • WhoMe
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    "Honeyboy" Edwards

    Charlie Patton

    Bukka White

    Charlie Jordan

    Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter)

    Elmore James

    Big Bill Broonzy

    Skip James

    Johnny Shines

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