Introduction: Blues Beginning (00:60)
This segment orients viewers to the origination of the blues and its influence.
Robert Johnson (06:03)
As a teen, Johnson spends time with older players. He improves his skill and records 29 tracks; Johnson dies in 1938. Experts discuss juke joints, Clarksdale, Mississippi, vocal styles, the blending of musical influences, and the emergence of electric guitars.
B.B. King (06:35)
King gets a job at a Memphis radio station. In the 1950s, he records with Sam Phillips, using a guitar style based on T-Bone Walker's; he learns how to bend the strings. Freeman cites a memorable incident while King was on tour.
Ike Turner (06:09)
Turner and his band record what many believe to be the first rock-n-roll song at Sun Studio. He has knowledge of many types of music and his shows draw large crowds; Turner plays "Steel Guitar Rag." Turner meets Annie Mae Bullock (Tina Turner) and they record "A Fool for Love."
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (07:16)
"Gatemouth" continues the blues guitar tradition in Texas after Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-Bone Walker. He often combines blues, jazz, country, and Cajun elements. In the 1960s, "Gatemouth" becomes a deputy sheriff in New Mexico. He performs "Strange Things Happen."
Buddy Guy (13:02)
In the late 1920s and beyond, many people from the South move to Detroit and Chicago. Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf introduce a new type of blues; solid body steel guitars become popular. Guy is one of the first to play a Stratocaster; he performs "Hoochie Coochie Man."
Etta James (05:55)
James' sassy performances pay tribute to early female musicians while looking to the future; she enters the music industry at age 14. She has a history of drug use. James performs "I Just Wanna Make Love to You." The blues soon influences the development of rock.
Credits: Blues Beginning (00:43)
Credits: Blues Beginning
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