Greatest Blues Songs

Boogie Chillen

The Birth of Boogie The seminal blues classic ‘Boogie Chillen’ began life in 1948, but like many early pillars of the blues world it was built on borrowed riffs, second-hand lyrics and decades of folk tradition. Written and first performed by the legendary John Lee Hooker, the song would influence countless blues guitarists and inspire…

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Crossroads

Crossroads (sometimes known as the Crossroads blues) is a song so shrouded in mystery and hearsay that separating fact from legend is a tricky task. Thanks to Eric Clapton, Hollywood and Blues lore we’ve all heard about how the song’s creator Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads to sell his soul to Satan in…

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Stagger Lee

Lee Shelton The story of Stagger lee (sometimes known as Stagolee, Stack O Lee and a host of other titles) begins on Christmas day of 1895 with a violent game of craps that would inspire regional folklore, taunts and, eventually, a legendary blues song. ‘Stag’ Lee Shelton, a fast-talking, high-living pimp spent his Christmas evening…

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Rollin’ and Tumblin’

Classic blues songs are often as well travelled as a sturdy set of luggage. They endure untold mileage and years in the hands of different bluesmen and rock stars. But few songs have experienced as tortured and improbable a journey as Rollin’ and Tumblin.’ The First Roll On March 14th, 1929, A mysterious Tennessee bluesman…

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I’d Rather Go Blind

Jailhouse blues Prison has an oddly mythical status in the world of the blues. More than a few blues classics tell heartbreaking (and sometimes comical) tales of protagonists who wind up in the big house. Other blues songs are performed by artists who themselves had done actual time. But few songs had their origin in…

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Little Red Rooster

Birth of the Chicago Blues Fewer individuals have played a bigger role in the development and popularity of the blues than Willie Dixon. Born in 1915, Dixon was a man of many talents. He was a songwriter, arranger, producer, lyricist, singer and player of the guitar and upright bass. The best way of summing up…

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