I was recently told, by an American who’d read America’s Gift, how astounded he was at how little he knew about the history of his country’s music. And he was a big blues fan.
“America’s Gift should be taught in schools,” he said. “But it won’t be, because there’s too much in it (America’s Gift) they don’t want you to know.”
‘They’, I presumed was the establishment or the government (although I’m sure the U.S. government has far more important things to think about).
As I keep saying, the history of blues is rarely what you think. Just another example of this is the subject of my latest short film. It’s about a classic tune many will know, although I don’t think many will know where and when it originated. (I’m guessing a few will, wrongly, think it’s Texas.)
Talking of Texas, the state has a long and proud blues history, of course. A major Texan city was the subject of the first blues tune ever published, ‘Dallas Blues’. Even though it was written in Oklahoma City by a white guy, a black guy he played it to said it reminded him of him – Dallas, Texas.
Blind Lemon Jefferson, the influential bluesman mainly responsible for sparking America’s interest in more countryfied male blues performers, as opposed to the female blues divas, in the late 1920s, was from Texas.
But not the guitarist who’s in this film. He was from Kentucky and was recording blues three years before Blind Lemon. In fact, he was recording blues guitar before absolutely anyone.
Here’s the film below. I hope you like it.