Caption: Eddie "Son" House, in a contemplative backstage moment
Eddie "Son" House, in a contemplative backstage moment 

Blues Unlimited #104 - The Blues Revival of the 1960s

From: Steve Franz
Series: Blues Unlimited
Length: 01:58:59

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A look at the "Blues Revival" period of the 1960s -- a magical time of rebirth, rediscovery, and forgotten Blues legends of the '20s & '30s recording anew once again. Read the full description.

Gahr_son_house_b_small The Blues 'rediscovery' period that started in the late 1950s and continued on into the 1960s were heady times. Many Blues legends -- most of whom up to then had been little more than a name on a record label and pretty much thought to be lost forever to the sands of time -- were not only found to still be living, but in some cases still performing. They made their way to the festivals, the coffee houses, the college concerts, and thankfully, into the recording studios as well. And while some of the performers, such as Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee really hadn't 'gone anywhere,' many more were brought out of retirement -- and undeserved obscurity. Thanks to the passion of scholars and field researchers like Sam Charters, Harry Oster, and Alan Lomax, of thoughtful talent managers like Dick Waterman, and of record label owners like Bob Koester of Delmark Records and Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie who thankfully provided a vehicle for the performers to record anew, it was all captured (okay, well, maybe a LOT of it, anyway) on audio tape. In this episode of Blues Unlimited, we take a look at some of the highlights of the Blues Revival period of the 1960s -- a time of rebirth and rediscovery -- along with some amazingly magical performances as well.

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Piece Description

The Blues 'rediscovery' period that started in the late 1950s and continued on into the 1960s were heady times. Many Blues legends -- most of whom up to then had been little more than a name on a record label and pretty much thought to be lost forever to the sands of time -- were not only found to still be living, but in some cases still performing. They made their way to the festivals, the coffee houses, the college concerts, and thankfully, into the recording studios as well. And while some of the performers, such as Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee really hadn't 'gone anywhere,' many more were brought out of retirement -- and undeserved obscurity. Thanks to the passion of scholars and field researchers like Sam Charters, Harry Oster, and Alan Lomax, of thoughtful talent managers like Dick Waterman, and of record label owners like Bob Koester of Delmark Records and Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie who thankfully provided a vehicle for the performers to record anew, it was all captured (okay, well, maybe a LOT of it, anyway) on audio tape. In this episode of Blues Unlimited, we take a look at some of the highlights of the Blues Revival period of the 1960s -- a time of rebirth and rediscovery -- along with some amazingly magical performances as well.

Timing and Cues

Hour 1: 00:00 - 1:00:02
In Cue: “Welcome to Blues Unlimited...”
Out Cue (at 59:02): "...we've got another hour to go, right after this break."

Break (60 second music bed): 59:02 - 1:00:02

Hour 2: 1:00:02 - 1:58:59
In Cue: “And welcome back to the show...”
Outcue (at 1:57:10): "...next time, right here on Blues Unlimited."

Note: from 1:57:09 to 1:58:59, an instrumental by Lightnin' Hopkins, "Lightnin's Stroke," closes the show.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Key To The Highway Big Bill Broonzy The Big Bill Broonzy Story. Verve 1957 02:32
Ain't Nothin' Like Whiskey Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, Big Joe Williams Rediscovered Blues. Capitol 1960 07:57
Baby, Please Don't Go Big Joe Williams Piney Woods Blues. Delmark 1958 03:10
99 Years Jesse Fuller Jazz, Folk Songs, Spirituals & Blues. Good Time Jazz 1958 03:35
Penitentiary Blues Lightnin' Hopkins Lightnin' Hopkins. Folkways 1959 02:55
Going Down To The River Mississippi Fred McDowell The First Recordings. Rounder 1959 04:20
Livin' With The Blues Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee Rediscovered Blues. Capitol 1959 03:59
'Bout A Spoonful Mance Lipscomb Texas Songster. Arhoolie 1960 03:27
Death Don't Have No Mercy Blind Gary Davis Harlem Street Singer. Bluesville 1960 04:47
Thumbing A Ride Robert Pete Williams Free Again. Bluesville 1960 04:39
When My Baby Left Me Furry Lewis Back On My Feet Again. Bluesville 1961 03:24
Diving Duck Blues Sleepy John Estes The Legend of Sleepy John Estes. Delmark 1962 03:50
Make Me A Pallet On The Floor Gus Cannon Walk Right In. Stax 1963 03:07
Aberdeen Mississippi Blues Bukka White Mississippi Blues. Takoma 1963 04:14
Illinois Blues Skip James Great Bluesmen At Newport. Vanguard 1964 02:27
Preachin' The Blues Son House Rare Blues. Takoma 1964 04:43
Coffee Blues Mississippi John Hurt Best of Mississippi John Hurt (Live). Vanguard 1966 03:19
Devil Got My Woman Jack Owens Goin' Up The Country. Decca (UK) 1966 05:14
I Don't Know Johnny Shines Last Night's Dream. Blue Horizon 1968 03:33
Canned Heat Houston Stackhouse Blow My Blues Away Vol. 2. Arhoolie 1967 03:06
Cairo Is My Baby's Home Henry Townsend Tired of Bein' Mistreated. Bluesville 1961 03:42
'Buked And Scorned Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, Big Joe Williams Have Mercy!. Tradition 1960 05:22
The Prodigal Son Rev. Robert Wilkins Memphis Gospel Singer. Piedmont 1964 10:05
Lightnin's Stroke (excerpt) Lightnin' Hopkins Last Night Blues. Bluesville 1960 01:50

Related Website

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