04 February 2008

I Woke Up This Morning

Many, many blues songs start out "I Woke Up This Morning" and then the story goes downhill from there: Love Lost, Money Gone, Crops Withered ... If it is bad or sad, there's been a song written to remember it by. So why would anyone in their right mind want to listen to all this moaning and groaning over the vissitudes of life? One reason and one only, at some point in all of our lives we have been down and out in some fashion and there is nothing like the geniuses who created, played and sang The Blues to pull us up, stiffen the backbone, and make us keep on truckin'.

Well I woke up the other morning and made the mistake of asking a group of musicians and blues lovers, "So who were the five best?". Have you ever asked a perfectly innocent question and had a war break out? FAIR WARNING: Never ever ever start musicians talking about musicians. They were still fussing and contributing four hours later when I checked in for the results, so I called a halt for my purposes and told them to just "talk amongst yourselves".

The ones mentioned most often were:

Blues Singers: Billy Holiday and Ruth Brown

Blues Musicians:

Louis Armstrong
Eric Clapton
Johnny Lee Hooker
Lightnin' Hopkins
Robert Johnson
B B King
Albert King
John Mayall
Rufus Thomas
Muddy Waters

Should you wish to build a fantastic blues collection, this is the best place on the web to find them all in one place: Blues Storm

Here are all the others mentioned before I called a time out with "Enough! Enough!":

Blues Singer: Etta James

Blues Musicians:

Luther Allison, Gatemouth Brown, Oscar Brown, Jr., Paul Butterfield, Albert Collins, James Cotton, Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Dr. John, Fats Domino, Buddy Guy, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Whitey Johnson, Freddie King, Little Walter, Professor Longhair, Delbert McClinton, Brownie McGee, Malford Milligan, McKinley Morganfield, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Reed, Bobbie Rush, Otis Rush, Ko Ko Taylor, Sonny Terry, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tom Waits, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf

Since this is a Monday dedicated to "Blue", let's hear it for BLUE MONDAY


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

First, I took the austen heroine test and I'm Elinor Dashwood too. Go figure.

I almost went this route because I so love the blues. Very well done. Excellent take on blue. Have a great MM. :)

Ian Thomas Healy said...

I can't listen to the blues for too long without thinking maybe I ought to just kill myself. Geez. What depressing music.


Jamie said...

Now it effects me exactly the opposite. I can't listen to that wonderful guitar or piano work without smiling.

tegdirb92 said...

I love the blues and Love the voice of Louis Armstrong. Great choice for today!

Villager said...

Outstanding reminder of some excellent music and musicians. Thank you for sharing ... and for visiting my MM post earlier today.


vanillabirdies said...

Blues are great. They're life. It's not all sad. It's emotion.

Also excellent jam sessions. Rock can't really hold up to a great Blues jam session.

But really would you be curious about someone's day if they said "Woke up this morning, scratched my groin and had a nutrigrain bar..yum, yum, yum."

Jamie said...

Only if they managed to do it in iambic pentameter

Sanni said...

Excellent choice of blues, Jamie - I´m feeling the same... can´t listen to thsoe songs without smiling and getting into a good mood =D

the teach said...

Jamie, great post! Thanks for introducing me to Blue Monday. :)

Mariposa said...

I do listen to blues songs...and I enjoy them...is it just my nature to beat myself up! ;)

Happy MM!

horsedooty said...

the blues as I am told is to help get rid of that awful feeling. So if you are smiling, the magic is working. if you are religious it can be compared to going to confession, I suppose. Or if you are like me I just love the songs and I love playing them.

yo soy Horsedooty!

dnd said...

Great list. But I'd argue that Louis Armstrong was a jazz musician and Leadbelly a folk musician.

Patsi said...

Hi Jamie -- great list. I was going to mention the great Jimmy Witherspoon (who made the best sweet potato pie in the world) on Crawford's list....but he became more of a jazz singer. Anyway, here's to "Spoon" -- I'm still thinkin' of ya pal...here's to "Ain't Nobody's Business"...

Matt-Man said...

Great post. It was great to see that you mentioned one of my favorite singers...Etta James rocks!!

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry if you're getting this twice, don't want to leave without posting it at least once:

I enjoyed the column, but editing is about 30% of my daily routine.

I'm sure you meant "vicissitudes" and just skipped a syllable.

Keep up the good fight at C-List. I'm disappointed in some of the intolerance there. I'd rather let some of those folks from the "other side" give voice to their opinions, but it seems that many C-Listers want to chase them away.

And that's it for me singin' the blues.


The Flying Monkeys said...

Come on over and check out my blue skies! Nice Monday BLUE!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history of the blues... Great post!

Louis Armstrong rocks!

Hubby's a big blues guy...

Travis said...

The themes can be about really rough stuff that brings us all down, but the tunes have a spirit and vitality that overcomes.

And look at the grin on his face while he's singing! How can you not get into that?

frenchkys said...

I should listen to this stuff more. Great post, Jamie! Hope you had a great MM!!!