Part 1 WOKE UP THIS MORNING
Blues is usually described as the sound of racial suffering and feeling sad, but this documentary argues that the blues began as a form of black pop music. First appearing in the Southern states of the USA around 1900, blues created by the poorest people in the richest nation on earth took America by storm. The film look at the early years of the blues to discover how Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Charlie Patton used the latest media to bring their music to the public. With contributions from Keith Richards, Taj Mahal and Chuck D.
Part 2 BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY
After 1945, artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker rooted the blues firmly in the city, where it contributed to the musical desegregation of America by spawning Rock 'n' Roll. As the blues conquered the world and the music moved from black to white audiences, arguments developed about what was the real authentic blues. Robert Johnson returned from the dead to sell more records than any other blues artist. By the 21st century, the blues not only retained the earthiness of its roots but was also being celebrated in the White House. With contributions from Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Seasick Steve and Buddy Guy.