Most school kids don’t know that blues music — the only made-in-America art form — forms the basis for all the music they listen to today. Whether they’re fans of pop, rap, or rock, they have little chance of learning about the impact of the blues on everything that came after. There’s no blues on MTV or VH1. Many blues artists perform mostly in clubs or other venues that don’t readily allow children. Even the Grammy nominations for blues recordings are buried at the bottom of the list, rarely ever listed in the print media, let alone mentioned on radio or television. Without B.B. King’s duets with U2 and other mass market artists, many children might not even know blues music still exists.
That’s where the blues societies of the world come in. And that’s the educational fare that the many Blues in the Schools programs bring to the table. Helping children learn about the wide-ranging influence of the blues. Introducing them to the basis of what Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were doing at the beginnings of rock and roll. Telling them about the blues and mountain music coming together with Jimmy Rogers. Showing them the fine line between the music of Saturday night and Sunday morning. Making sure they understand that this powerful music originated in a minority population in the American South.