Black History Month Playlist

March/Women's History Month Black Rock-Her Playlist


African or Afro-descended music

is futuristic, melodic. It's timeless!

Fiddles, gourd drums, lutes, acoustic

parts of our body were also played

during farm work on fields

and community celebrations in Africa...


##BRU Roots Session ##20. The thing about kinfolk + rockers: take us from our natural habitat 🌍, and our memory is still freedom. Tune in 5:00! ##rock

♬ original sound - Black Rockers United

Banning it didn't make a difference.

Racially targeting Black rock's ancestors and

segregating their lives still led to

American popular music: blues, bluegrass

and soul which non-African American communities

were eager to imitate but couldn't duplicate.


Blues' emotive, gripping notes were born out

of that Middle Passage, really feeling it.

Violin, Play Me The Blues breathed fresh life into

the folk-originated style, and brought Black fiddlers,

harmonica players, guitarists and violinists

to America's nationwide attention in 1926.

Old Hat Records holds a sacred place for blues

because of this historical point: a shift to guitar!

This would be the next sound for a new generation.

We suggest "The Afro-American Fiddler"

by Theresa Jenoure to refresh your memory.

Many Black artists stand in their own genre

and touched hearts beyond them.

Etta Baker, Robert Johnson,

Rosetta Tharpe, Screamin' Jay Hawkins,

Tina Turner, Chuck Berry are blues icons, right?

You can find their imprint through rock 'n roll!

This is how seminal greats like Charley Patton

absorbed more than one skill.

You can read about him in our Blues section.

Papa Charlie Jackson covered so much musical

ground, that we are amazed today.

'Lawdy, Lawdy Blues' was the first recorded

popular male blues track in this country.

He cut tracks with artists Ida Cox

("Mister Man"), fellow legends Ma Rainey

("Ma and Pa Poorhouse Blues"),

Blind Arthur Blake, and Big Bill Broonzy.

 Louisiana-vaudeville roots created

jumpin' jazz, bluegrass and ragtime

influences in Jackson's pre-blues.

Ma Rainey was a blues-rock

soulstress before her time.

Lead Belly represented guitarists unbelievably well!

There is always an opportunity to showcase Black artists,

multi-instrumentalists across the BRU saga.

Blues is the monumental groundwork for American music.

His 1934-43 albums are incomparably great.

Have you heard "Tell Me Baby" or "Rock Island

Line" (a Black prison/work song from Arkansas)?

Respect Lead Belly's craft!

"The King of the 12-String" played

nothing half-heartedly.

This predated truss rods, so his haunting

tone came through "slack", not standard tuning.

Lead Belly sang like a rock star and proficiently

played accordion, guitar, mandolin,

even the piano from our research.

Lead Belly's life/timeline is the #3 most coolest

chronology ever known.

Did you know they toured with Blind Lemon too?

What a great bandmate to have!

"Midnight Special" and these

pre-rock hits are soulful, timeless.

Blind Lemon "could feel his way around" the sound

but still needed walking guides.

Enter "Lightnin'" Hopkins and T-Bone Walker.


Blind Lemon Jefferson 🎸: Texas-born bluesman who scattered the formative seeds across the world—performing folk-blues with a rhythmic guitar style.

♬ original sound - Black Rockers United

Paramount Records and Blind Lemon recorded the

song "Black Snake Moan", later

a famous film with that title.

Memphis Minnie reigns as "Queen of the Blues".

Read it here. We love Black herstory.

Minnie had an incredible gift in banjo

(seven years old) AND guitar picking

(11 years old). That is amazing!

Her signature whistling and fiercely personal

songwriting, the sharp counter-rhythms

won out Big Bill Broonzy in a contest!

She left an impression on everyone

from Chuck Berry, Big Mama

Thornton to Muddy Waters, Led Zeppelin,

Bob Dylan, Little Willie Brown and more.

"Little" Willie Brown called her

"the guitar king" while touring with Son House!

Yes, "When the Levee Breaks" was originally her!

Memphis Minnie had a contract with Chess Records:

the same 1950's label as Chuck Berry.

Recall "Me and My Chauffeur Blues",

"Hoodoo Lady Blues" and more?

African-American femmes crafted this art form.

 Robert Johnson ☆#BRU Spotlight ☆

and his transformative ripple-effect!

He was born on May 8, 1911 to Julia Majors,

and moved to Memphis later.

Can't You Hear The Wind Howl?

The Life and Music of Robert Johnson

is so powerful if you have yet to watch!

Its incredible multi-media/re-enactments

mix interviews only for the film: Son House,

Keith Richards, Honeyboy Edwards,

Johnny Shines and more with Keb Mo'

and Danny Glover's performances.

Netflix's 2019 documentary ReMastered: Devil

at the Crossroads sheds much light, though

it's best to hear from the source.

The Culture Rock Griot's Hall of

Fame Chronicle with Steven Johnson,

Robert's grandson is great!

Robert Leroy Johnson lit fire in The Rolling

Stones, Eric Clapton and #BRU: possibly "the

greatest folk-blues musician that ever lived"!

He rightfully entered the Rock and

Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and

won a 1990 Grammy Award for his

complete recorded work!

Robert Johnson was Black rock

at maximum volume.

Rosetta Tharpe is definitely our beloved

"Godmother of Rock 'n Roll".

☆#BRU Spotlight ☆!

She had roots in the Baptist Church and

an artistically expressive family

who amplified her talents.

Sister left Arkansas for Chicago in the Great Migration.

Her mother performed alongside Rosetta then!

Sister Rosetta told audiences about

 Black faith, pleasure, rebellion, ROCK.

"Rock Me" did what Sister Rosetta promised!

We owe Sister Rosetta Tharpe so much

for paving the way, because her life

redefined this music forever.

It's also worth mentioning: she is one of

the first LGBTQ+ Black blues/

rock musicians out here.

Little Richard, Prince, and many more exist proudly in that legacy.

Chuck Berry was born in Saint Louis, Missouri

(the flashpoint for Midwestern blues like Chicago)!

☆ #BRU Spotlight ☆

"Race music", bawdy R&B grew into rock

through Chuck and his distorted amp, guitar.

Muddy Waters brought Berry to Chess Records

and the rest is history!

"Johnny B. Goode" is a great song

because America doesn't quite

know how to handle Black rock.

Incredible ability and willpower moved

into every song that Berry had.

"Rock 'n Roll Music" was here to stay.

"The Father of Rock 'n Roll" created the blueprint

for Black Rockers United and all of us now.