Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Mississippi Cradle of American Music

From Vicksburg to Memphis, the Mississippi Delta was once a vast swamp of gum trees, panthers, snakes, mosquitoes, and malaria. For eons, the great muddy river gently deposited dirt on the site. Now, it's a land of rich black soil and poor black people, of fat white cotton bolls and fat white cotton bosses. The population is around 80% black. The landscape is awash in shotgun shacks without plumbing or electricity.

Ironically, a century ago, as diminishing crops were being carefully weighed and sold, a priceless musical harvest sprung up unnoticed, then scattered its seeds to the wind and the Windy City. A journey along the Mississippi River is a stroll thru the history of American music. The sensual mystic power of Rock and Roll is not an accident. This global fire was lit by the sweat, blood, and passion of slaves forced to live in hell, with only the rhythms and melodies hummed in their minds or shared at the local juke joint bar to transport them heavenward.

The story begins with the great bluesmen of the Mississippi Delta. Robert Johnson is the best known founding father of the blues for leaving behind some of the earliest song recordings and a legend that he sold his soul to the Devil at a dusty Mississippi crossroads in exchange for the primal power of his art. Brit Eric Clapton later globalized his song Crossroads. The demonic origin of blues-based music was merely the gossip of religious folks. However, the lost soul theme heard in Johnson's Hell Hounds On My Trail has circled the planet in haunting rock classics such as Hell's Bells by Australian band AC/DC. This infernal anthem gave new meaning to the phrase "music from down under".

The raw sexuality of Robert Johnson was not a myth. His lyric "squeeze my lemon till the juice runs down my leg" was used by Led Zepplin's Robert Plant (Lemon Song), who explained his own musical charisma by quipping "I sing from the groin". The leading theory for the mysterious roadhouse death of Johnson is liquor poisoned by the angry husband of one such "lemon squeezer". I could use a little lemon-aid right now myself, so enjoy ZZ Top's tribute to the Delta Blues, while I spend some quality time with my main squeeze. Our next post will continue this saga on the Mississippi birthplace of American music.



44 comments:

  1. One can never get tired of the blues!

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  2. Very interesting!! (Y)

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  3. Incredible!. I like it. I belive that It's good and importan know new things like music.

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  4. I did not know anything about of this, but it is very interesting
    I like it

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  5. This is a very good article. I like it. I'd like know all about this topic because I like music of all world. thanks

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  6. I think the only thing I liked about the video were the beards and sunglasses of the members of the band . I didn't like the lyrics of the song neither scantily clad scenes.
    Robert's story is interesting, a little strange, but interesting.

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  7. Well, I don´t like very much this type of music but it´s interesting know the story of the type of music we hear. So it´s amazing.

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  8. I love the relationship between the two musical styles, I like the article.

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  9. I liked the guys videos

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  10. Amazing!
    It's a very good article about one of the best things of the world: the music.
    I loved the information about the publisher.
    It's really fun.

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  11. Catalina Habana VargasOctober 11, 2015 at 4:01 PM

    I don´t like this type music, but know the history is very good and interesting, I like the article and the song of crossroad.

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  12. Do not really like this kind of music, it is still interesting to know where it comes from and how it was revealing

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  13. I think the jazz music is very interesting, for your history

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  14. I like this, the music and the information is very interesting
    I like It :D

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  15. Sofia Rivera AguerrebereOctober 11, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    I liked Robert Johnson's history. I think is interesting, but I don’t like that kind of music.

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  16. Ana Karen López AragónOctober 11, 2015 at 6:53 PM

    I like the article, is interesting know about the history of music.i like listen this type of music.

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  17. This article is interesting, I have known that there was something new that Mississippi had imagined to do musically.

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  18. I am no fan of Rock and Roll I like the videos and the history of Rock and Roll.

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  19. Lilibeth Guadalupe Castellanos Perez
    old school music, interesting history about mississippi river and his own people.

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  20. Sofía Celin Pineda SánchezOctober 11, 2015 at 10:12 PM

    I'd heard something about the story of Robert Johnson, but with this blog, i remain fascinated by the story about how the rock and roll and blues was born, it's very interesting.

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  21. Interesting...

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  22. this very interesting, the music too

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  23. Amairani Cruz JiménezOctober 11, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    Is very interesting. :)

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  24. Daniel Martinez RojasOctober 11, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    it's so interesting learn the story about this kind of music

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  25. Very interesting!

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  26. Ivette contreras AlonsoOctober 12, 2015 at 12:43 AM

    I like it so much....because it wake up into me the curisity for know more about the origin of this type of music and i would like know more about the rock..it just liked

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  27. MABY GARCIA SANTIAGOOctober 12, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    The article is very interesting. The music video I did not like , because I do not hear that kind of music, but it is interesting.

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  28. This text it´s very interesting because i like the rock ando roll music and i think that it´s necessary to know the history of how starts and where starts.

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  29. Andrea Magaly Gómez ReyesOctober 12, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    The article is interesting, but the video I do not like at all. I do not like rock music , I think it is not pleasing to my ears and the video image proposes to the woman as an object and that is offensive when it comes to moral values

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  30. Really I loved this kind of music and the history behind of song "crossroad" I'm in love with tha song from AC/DC "Hll's Bell's" very nice article

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  31. Marcecy Adilene Gil Desales
    I do not like this kind of music really, but the story of the birth of the blues is very interesting, the development of music influenced by black people that characterize the tone. Very interesting.

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  32. Aldair Martinez ValenzuelaOctober 12, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    The history of Mississippi is very interenting, but I do'nt like this kind of musi. For me tihis kind of music is slow, boring, but with only seeing the picture I can see the history of music.

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  33. Cesar Antonio Gaspar PalomecOctober 12, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Interesting article. I love the music

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  34. I like article, the history of mississipi is very interesting

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  35. The article is interesting but I do not like rock music.

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  36. I like it :)
    I learned new things of music, with this article.

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  37. Me encanta, la Historia y la música juntas!!!

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  38. I like the information, its very interesting the live of Robert Johnson and his music, thanks lyn

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  39. Very interesting article, the story of Mississippi and Music. I like it

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  40. Lesly Mariela Valencia Sánchez

    I liked the article and I like listening to all types of music.

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  41. The information is very interesing.
    Now i have idea of american music.

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  42. Gabriela García Ramirez
    I really liked this article , very good information and history of American music I found very interesting .

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  43. The rock history is very interesting 👌

    Pedro Abiud León Balderas

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  44. the information is very,very interesting. I liked this article.
    Belen Madai Sanchez A.

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