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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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The Story of the Blues

Sony Columbia/Legacy 510728

This 2CD set was compiled by Paul Oliver, to complement his book The Story of the Blues (1969)




Disk 1

Origins of the Blues

  1. Yarum Praise songs – Fra-Fra Tribesmen
  2. Stack O’Lee Blues – Mississippi John Hurt
  3. Travelin’ Blues – Blind Willie McTell
  4. Stone Pony Blues - Charley Patton
  5. Black snake Moan – Blind Lemon Jefferson
  6. Pigmeat – Leadbelly
  7. Broken Yo Yo – Texas Alexander
  8. Broke & Hungry Blues – Peg Leg Howell
  9. It Won’t Be long Now – Barbecue Bob & Laughing Charlie
  10. Blues & Entertainment

  11. Georgia Crawl – Henry Williams &Eddie Anthony
  12. Dangerous Woman – Mississippi Jug Band
  13. Gator Wobble – Memphis Jug Band
  14. In the House Blues – Bessie Smith
  15. Shake It Down – Lillian Glinn
  16. Pratt City Blues – Bertha ‘Chippie’ Hill
  17. What It Takes To Bring You Back – Butterbeans & Susie
  18. The Thirties, Urban & Rural Blues

  19. Midnight hour Blues – Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell
  20. East St Louis blues – Faber Smith & Jimmy Yancey
  21. Good Whiskey Blues – Peetie Wheatstraw
  22. WPA Blues – Casey Bill Welton & Black Bob
  23. Sorry Feeling Blues – Bukka White
  24. Me and My Chauffeur Blues - Memphis Minnie

Disk 2

World War II And after

  1. I want Some Of Your pie – Blind Boy Fullerton & Sonny Terry
  2. Million Lonesome Women – Brownie Mcghee
  3. Wild Cow Moan – Joe Williams & Sonny Boy Williamson
  4. All By Myself – Big Bill Broonzy
  5. Roll ‘Em Pete – Joe Turner & Pete Johnson
  6. Bonus Tracks

  7. Bald Headed Woman – Lightnin’ Hopkins
  8. You Shook Me – Willie Dixon
  9. Mannish Boy – Muddy waters
  10. She Caught the Katy & Left Me a Mule to Ride – Taj Mahal
  11. I Ain’t Superstitious – Jeff Beck Croup
  12. Killing Floor – The Electric Flag
  13. One Good Man – Janis Joplin
  14. Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen – Santana
  15. Highway 61 Revisited – Johnny Winter
  16. Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
  17. Dangerous Mood – Keb’ Mo’
  18. Cry A While – Bob Dylon
  19. Ride On – Little Axe

This two CD set comes with a most interesting booklet written by Paul Oliver, which gives a first class background to the music on offer. Listening to these recordings has certainly whetted my appetite to read Paul Oliver’s book ‘The Story of the Blues’.

It is quite interesting how jazz and blues really started out from the same point and it would be fair to say that at the start they were all one. Over the years two separate kinds of music have emerged and the Blues audience is almost entirely different to the jazz audience. Listening to these tracks which tell the story of the development of the blues, it is easy to see that there is still a lot of overlap. There also seems to be an overlap between blues and folk and blues and country, they probably all have an influence of the blues. The blues has also had a strong influence on pop music, particularly Black American pop music.

Paul Oliver must have carried out a lot of research to come in with this compilation and a combination of this and his book, will certainly put the blues in place for future generations. Highly recommended!


Don Mather




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