Here’s my fourth film on Original Chicago Blues. I totally forgot to upload it.

Here is the missing fourth film from my series about the original era of Chicago Blues – the era BEFORE those iconic bluesmen Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and company burst onto the blues scene in the 1950s.


Memphis Minnie looking very glamorous in this old black and white photograph that’s freshly hand-coloured.

Actually, ‘burst onto the scene’ is inaccurate. America’s black blues performers had plenty of blues records released in the USA in the 1950s, many of which are now blues classics. But African American blues performers weren’t really appreciated by white audiences until British blues and rock bands, like the Rolling Stones, Cream, Jeff Beck Group and Fleetwood Mac, got hold of imported American music in the UK, and started covering American blues with an English twist.

Subsequently, America’s 1950s blues icons were only discovered by most discerning record buyers (in the UK, USA and around the world) in the mid-sixties. That’s when Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon and all the blues greats started to get their well-deserved recognition; and enough people got to hear about them to make their stories known. It’s for that reason I ended my book on the origins of the blues, America’s Gift, in the 1950s. I wanted to know what happened BEFORE the 1950s. Before the usual blues history cut-off date of 1895, too. Even before 1800 and 1700.

And so to the film. I had, for some unknown reason, neglected to put this fourth Original Chicago Blues on my blog. I’d even put up the fifth and final film, When Blues Turned Electric – forgetting about film four completely. And please don’t think, no wonder he forgot to put it up, it’s crap. How can it be when it features such fantastic blues performers, some of whom are, sadly, forgotten?

So who have you missed hearing about in film four? The fabulous Memphis Minnie, for a start. And Tommy McClennan singing Cross Cut Saw (and Albert King covering Cross Cut Saw backed by Booker T and the MGs). Then we have Champion Jack Dupree’s singing about drugs and, finally, the hypnotic Washboard Sam with his rattling good classic, Back Door. (Nothing to do with the later Back Door Man, released by Howlin’ Wolf in 1961.)

So now’s your chance to hear some great blues from the leading American performers of the 1930s and 1940s. This was the blues leading up to World War Two. How could I ever misplaced it?