[ Login ]

Underwritten by Carolyn and Bill Powers
lesson plan
1

The Blues and Jazz

III. Chicago Blues


A. Chicago

   

Right place, right time, right people... 

      

1.

Midwestern capitol 

            

a.

Hub of transportation (e.g., terminal of Illinois Central Railroad) 

            

b.

Center of commerce, manufacturing, industrialization (e.g., stockyards, steel mills, financial center) 

      

2.

History of black settlement 

            

a.

Founded by Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, a man of African and French descent 

            

b.

Had Pre-Civil War African-American population 

            

c.

Was a destination for southern blacks during the Great Migration 

      

3.

An ethnically diverse working-class population was the audience base 

      

4.

Phil and Leonard Chess, two Polish immigrants, founded Chess Records in Chicago; it was the preeminent blues label of the 1950s and '60s 

      

5.

Era of social transformation 

            

a.

The Roaring '20s (aka as the Jazz Age) 

            

b.

Coast-to-coast radio broadcasts 

            

c.

The Great Depression 

            

d.

World War II re-industrialization 

            

e.

Post-war economic expansion 

            

f.

Civil Rights struggle in Chicago 

            

g.

1984 establishment of the Chicago Blues Festival 


B. Chicago

   

Music in Development 

      

1.

Openness to southern-born music 

            

a.

Jelly Roll Morton in Chicago 

            

b.

Louis Armstrong in Chicago 

            

c.

Blind Lemon Jefferson records in Chicago 

            

d.

Alberta Hunter comes to Chicago 

      

2.

Blues musicians establish Chicago beachhead 

            

a.

Tampa Red and Georgia Tom Dorsey -- "hokum" blues (humorous songs; silly lyrics; spoofs) 

            

b.

Big Maceo Merriweather 

            

c.

Big Bill Broonzy 

            

d.

John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson  

            

e.

Sunnyland Slim watch video Chicago Blues Pianist Sunnyland Slim singing Come Home Baby with Hubert Sumlin on guitar (1950s) 

      

3.

Electrifying the blues 

            

a.

Muddy Waters amplifies guitar, 1947 

            

b.

Muddy Waters adds second guitar, upright bass, piano, drums, and harmonic and/or saxophone to bands; Chicago blues artists include Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy,Little Walter Jacobs, Junior Wells, James Cotton, and Otis Spann watch video Muddy Waters singing Got My Mojo Working with Sonny Boy Williamson II on harmonica (1966) watch video Muddy Waters singing/playing Long Distance Call (1976) 

            

c.

Chicago blues influenced innovators include Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon watch video Howlin' Wolf playingSmokestack Lightning (1964) watch video Bo Diddley playing guitar (1960) watch video Chuck Berry singing and playing Johnny B. Goode (1958) 

            

d.

Important record labels included Aristocrat Records (later to become Chess Records) and Sun Records 

            

e.

Sun Records rock 'n roll and country artists influenced by Chicago blues include Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash watch video Elvis Presley singing Jailhouse Rock (1956) 

            

f.

British rock artists of the 1960's heavily influenced by Chicago blues include John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, the Yardbirds, the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Led Zepplin 

      

4.

American folk-blues revival of the 1960s 

            

a.

Bob Dylan watch video Bob Dylan live at the Newport Folk Festival (1965) 

            

b.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band with Mike Bloomfield 

            

c.

Siegel-Schwall 

            

d.

Blues on tour -- American Folk Blues Festival, 1962 -1966 


C. Chicago

   

The Blues Today 

      

1.

Other cities' blues 

            

a.

Memphis soul  

            

b.

Detroit Motown 

      

2.

Second generation Chicago blues artists 

            

a.

Otis Rush watch video Otis Rush singing/playing I Can't Quit You Babe (1966) 

            

b.

Magic Sam 

            

c.

Koko Taylor watch video Koko Taylor singing Wang Dang Doodle with Little Walter on harmonica (1967) 

            

d.

Hound Dog Taylor 

            

e.

Son Seals 

      

3.

Blues venues migrate to white Chicago neighborhoods 

            

a.

urban renewal 

            

b.

changing musical preferences 

      

4.

New recording companies: Delmark, Alligator, Earwig, Blind Pig, The Sirens 

      

5.

Acclaim for Chicago blues masters 

            

a.

Muddy Waters' comeback, abetted by Johnny Winter 

            

b.

Howlin' Wolf honored by Grammies and the Rolling Stones 

            

c.

City of Chicago establishes annual Blues Festival, 1984 

      

6.

Cross-genre influences 

            

a.

Blues Brothers (Saturday Night Live TV comedy; films) 

            

b.

The Staple Singers (contemporary gospel music) 

            

c.

Curtis Mayfield (soul/soundtrack music) 

            

d.

"Hip Hop Ain't Nothing But The Young People's Blues" 

            

e.

Outkast, "Percival and Rooster" (Idlewild Blues) 

            

f.

Marshall Chess (son of Leonard Chess and heir to the Chess Records legacy) produces hip-hop artist Chuck D. for Martin Scorsese's blues film series, bringing veteran blues players together with contemporary hip hop musicians 


D. Download Chicago Blues Essay

   

download here 

Video Clips

videospacer Chicago Blues Pianist Sunnyland Slim and Blues Guitarist Hubert Sumlin Introduced by Sonny Boy Williamson II - Come Home Baby
videospacer Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Williamson II - Got My Mojo Working
videospacer Muddy Waters - Long Distance Call
videospacer Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightning
videospacer Howlin' Wolf Explains What the Blues Is - How Many More Years
videospacer Bo Diddley
videospacer Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode
videospacer Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock
videospacer Bob Dylan at the Newport Festival 1965
videospacer Otis Rush - I Can't Quit You Babe
videospacer Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle
the thelonious monk institute of jazz
home overview lesson plans jazz resources what's new jazz in america