Blues for Peace

   Home Page
   Warning!
   BFP Toolbar

   Blues Guitar
   Blues Jam
   Blues Heroes
   Guitar Mojo
   Concert Mp3

   Blues Music
   Blues Mp3
   Blues Video

   Guitar TAB
   Music Books

   Blues Lyrics
   Jazz Lyrics
   Rock Lyrics
   Search Site
   Contact Us

Blues Improvisation
Blues Improv

Blues For Peace

Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger

Beatles, Rollings Stones, Elvis Presley

How blues music affected their careers

The Beatles, Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones all played the blues. How did blues music affect their careers and music? Read this side by side comparison of how blues music wove its way into their songs and sound.

Elvis Presley

At first glance Elvis Presley was a plain ol' country boy, soft spoken and shy. Yet, Elvis had a special talent, he was a white man that could sing like a black performer. He rose to stardom in the early 1950's with songs like "That's All Right" and "Hound Dog". In fact, many of Elvis Presley's early hits were blues songs or based on the blues.

Yet within a few years, Elvis Presley was writing and singing pop music, appearing in movie musicals and recording Christmas albums. Did Elvis abandon the blues? Not really. Like many great blues musicians of that era including B.B. King, Elvis viewed himself as an entertainer. In his early movies, Elvis was portrayed as a rock n' roll singer trying to make it in show business. In later movies, Elvis played different roles as he moved away from the blues and rock n' roll that launched his career.

The Beatles

In the late 1950's, early 1960's the Beatles were just another English skiffle band that played folk music, rock n roll and the blues. These bands took a simple approach to music and played on semi-professional and even home-made instruments. For example, Ringo Starr's drum rolls, Paul McCartney's Hofner Bass and John Lennon's harmonica and George Harrison's solos.

Like Elvis Presley, blues and rock n' roll helped launched the Beatles' and they recorded rock n' roll songs like "Roll Over Bethoven" by Chuck Berry and "Tutti Fruiti" by Little Richard. They also recorded "Matchbox", a classic blues song by Blind Lemon Jefferson.

In another Elvis Presley move, the Beatles began to make movies. Faced with writing songs to match the mood and plot of "A Hard Days Night" and "Help", John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote songs in many new styles in the best tradition of Tin Pan Alley.

And then along came Mary... a few tabs of LSD and suddenly the movies were playing the Beatles' heads. The result was a kaleidoscope of pop, acid rock, country, swing - When I'm 64 - and classical style - Eleanor Rigby..

Rolling Stones

While Elvis Presley and the Beatles were influenced by the blues, the Rolling Stones were hell bent on "living the blues". Even their name - the "Rolling Stones" - was a tribute to Muddy Waters after his song by the same name.

The Stones later performed with Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf and recorded many blues classics such as "Love in Vain" and "Smokestack Lightning". Another milestone was the "London Sessions" recorded by Eric Clapton and Bill Wyman with their mentors Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters.

Meanwhile in the United States, the lack of exposure of blues music among white youth reflected the segregation of the times. Oddly enough, it was English musicians like the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, John Mayall and Jimi Hendrix (via England) that made white American youth aware of the blues.

Both Eric Clapton and Keith Richards said they felt it was their mission to make people aware of the blues. In the process, they brought joy to their fans and helped create awareness and respect for black culture in America. By Johnny Mayer.

Beatles Shea Stadium / Beatles Song Magic

Look inside this title
Elvis Presley: Elvis Elvis Elvis - 100 Greatest Hits - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Elvis Presley: Elvis Elvis Elvis - 100 Greatest Hits Performed by Elvis Presley. For voice, piano and guitar chords. Format: piano/vocal/chords songbook. With vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. Rock 'n' Roll and Rockabilly. 256 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.306610)
See more info...

Look inside this title
The Beatles: Beatles Best - 2nd Edition - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
The Beatles: Beatles Best - 2nd Edition Performed by The Beatles. For voice, piano and guitar (chords only). Format: piano/vocal/chords songbook. With vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. 512 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Hal Leonard.
See more info...

The Rolling Stones Guitar Anthology - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com The Rolling Stones Guitar Anthology Performed by The Rolling Stones. Guitar Recorded Versions (Authentic note-for-note transcriptions). With notes and tablature. Size 9x12 inches. 304 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (690631)
See more info...

© 1998-2009 Blues for Peace Corporation. All rights reserved.

Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton

Artists & Bands

Allman Brothers

paul Bbutterfield

The Beatles

ChuckBerry

Eric Clapton

Albert Collins

R. Gallagher

JImi Hendix

B.B. King

Albert King

Freddie King

John Mayer

Bonnie Raitt

Santana

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Johnny winter

ZZ TOP Band