Celebrating Black Blues Artists


Celebrate Black History Month with the FAU Libraries by checking out our latest exhibit in Wimberly Library lobby. “Celebrating Black Blues Artists” highlights fourteen African-American Blues musicians and their contributions to American music.These artists paved the way for the world of hip hop, pop music and beyond.

To whet your appetite and getting you grooving to a new beat, we’ll highlight just a few and while you listen to a sampling of some of the artists' music below.

Blues singer, Ma Rainey known as the “Mother of Blues” was one of the earliest African-American professional blues singers and one of the first blues singers to be recorded. Her song “Prove It on Me” would go on to become a cultural precursor to the 1970's lesbian cultural movement.

In the 1920's, Bessie Smith was known as the “Empress of Blues” and became the highest-paid black entertainer. In fact, she was heading her own shows and touring in her own custom-built railroad car. 

Then in 1933, Lead Belly was discovered in prison by folklorists John and Alan Lomax, who recorded him on behalf of the Library of Congress. Lead Belly covered a wide range of genres and topics such as gospel music, relations, liquor, prison life, and racism. His music influenced Kurt Cobain.

Want to know more? You'll have to stop by the exhibit to find out more about these fascinating artists who influenced the musicians we know and love today. 

Last modified at 02/05/2020 - 10:08 AM