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Filmography - Popular Music: Blues

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of March 2011

Popular Music Filmography - Blues

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of March 2011. 

Some streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library – including the Music Library located in the Katzen Center. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings please refer to Library Search.




Battle of the guitars. 1985. 1 streaming video file (16 min). Shows the ranging influence of Aaron "T-Bone" Walker throught the performance of Pete Mayes and Joe Hughes at the Doll House Club in Houston. Streaming video.,157

Blues masters: The essential history of the blues. 2002. 1 videodisc (103 min.). Rare performances and historical footage tracing the development of American blues music. MUSIC LIBRARY DVD 92

Cigarette blues. 1985. 1 streaming video file (4 min). As Texas blues singer Sonny Rhodes performs a song about a lover who died from smoking cigarettes, shows a sculpture made entirely of butts from the cigarettes which eventually killed the sculptor, Louis Bunce. VHS 1409 and streaming video,158

Deep Ellum blues. 1985. 1 streaming video file (10 min). This film is about Deep Elum, the main street of an African-American neighborhood in Dallas, Texas during the 1930's and features blues singer Bill Neely. Streaming video.,159

Give my poor heart ease: Mississippi Delta bluesmen. 1 streaming video file (21 min). Presents recollections and performances by B. B. King, inmates from Mississippi's Parchman Prison, musicians in a juke joint, a barber from Clarksdale, and a salesman at a clothing store. Describes the musical vision that developed the Delta blues tradition. Streaming video.,80

The Land where the blues began. 1990. 1 streaming video file 58 min.). Alan Lomax explores the music and culture of the Mississippi Delta, considered to be the land where the blues began.  Lonnie Pitchford, on the one-string electric guitar and singing legend Sam Chatmon are two featured performers. Streaming video.,109

Sonny Ford, delta artist. 1969. 1 streaming video file (41 min). This film focuses on the life of blues musician James "Sonny Ford" Thomas, who plays Delta "gut-bucket" blues in the tradition of Robert Johnson and Elmore James. In addition, it gives us a touching depiction of the daily life and simple pleasures of poor blacks living on the Mississippi Delta. Streaming video.,88

Sonny Terry, shoutin' the blues. 1979. 1 streaming video file (5 min). Focuses on musician Sonny Terry, who plays the blues harmonica. Streaming video.,155

Wild women don't have the blues. 1989. 1 videodisc (58 min.). The story of Ma Rainey, Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Ida Cox, and other pioneering blues women from early in the century. We learn of their vision and their struggle, their pain and their humor. The film recreates the stories of these pioneering women who left an indeliable mark on the music and the heart of America. Includes recordings, photographs, historical footage and interviews. DVD 5890