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Story of the Blues, Part 1 [We'll Bring this Course Back in the Fall] (Closed)

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Course Description:

The Story of the Blues series seeks to provide an opportunity to explore, honor, and appreciate this unique contribution of African American culture to the musical world. This first session of the series will place the blues in their historical context of the experience of rural African Americans, including “hollerin” songs of slaves and prisoners and the gospel music of the black church. Using video and sound recordings, we will follow this trajectory into the rural country blues that is the foundation for the rest of blues music. We’ll hear the music of Son House, Charley Patton and Lead Belly, among others, and recount the story of Robert Johnson’s midnight encounter with the devil. We’ll also hear examples of how these legends’ music has been interpreted by contemporary artists.


Tuition: $35.00

Additional Fees: $0.00

Registration Closed


Mondays, Apr. 6, 13, 20 *3:30 - 5:30pm* (3 sessions)


CSUMB at Ryan Ranch, 8 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Monterey


Brian Simmons, Ph.D, is a professor in the Social Work Department and a former dean at CSUMB. He is a life-long fan and avid historian of the blues and owns over 2,000 records, tapes, CDs, and videos. He has attended hundreds of live music performances, including those of some of the legendary blues artists highlighted in this series.