How Blues changed America

American music is a global trendsetter and billion-dollar export because of the blues. It has recognizable birthmarks: a “blue note,” 12-bar chord progression, and unapologetic lyrics. Few music genres have produced as many generations of music offspring.


Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong – all raised in the blues culture — expanded the blues progression, perfected improvisation and introduced rhythm syncopation.


In the 1920s, Jimmy Rodgers – influenced by Mississippi Delta blues artists – first recorded what is now known as country music. Other early bluesmen included Deford Bailey, who influenced artists such as Hank Williams, Sr.

Rock & Roll

Jackie Brendston and the Delta Cats’ 1951 hit, “Rocket 88,” is the first Rock & Roll song recorded. Later, Muddy Waters experimented with the electric guitar – adding distortion and bending notes for a signature Rock “cry” effect.

Rhythm and Blues (R&B)

How does blues music impact R&B today? Blues artists “Little Richard” Pinneman, Ruth Brown and Fats Domino used “bottom heavy,” live music arrangements that were later refined at Atlantic and Motown records.

Blues didn’t just change America. It changed the world.

Come to the 24th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival to listen to some great Blues music, and if that’s not your style you can enjoy Cajun and Zydeco music as well.