The "Blues" Make You Happy

1 decade 1 year 10 months ago Friday, July 20 2007 Jul 20, 2007 Friday, July 20, 2007 3:41:23 PM CDT July 20, 2007 in News

It's the place where W.C. Handy composed what's possibly the most famous of all blues songs: "St. Louis Blues." Handy published his composition in 1914. It's been recorded hundreds of times over. And yet, many blues experts will also tell you that Kansas City is the place in Missouri to find the best blues today. Those experts might have some advice for you. Make a b-line to this place, BB's lawnside barbecue, where the food is great, and the music is even better. On this Friday night, there was a performance from one of Kansas City's hottest blues bands, Trampled Under Foot, otherwise known as TUF. TUF is a trio, two brothers and their sister. Nick Schnebelen says blues is in TUF's blood.

"The blues picked us really, more than we picked the blues," Schnebelen said.

The siblings are Kansas City born and bred. They grew up around places like BB's.

"When we were very young our parents would let us play blues and really had a great time doing it," Schnebelen said.

One thing interesting at BB's is a mural on the wall above the stage, depicting many of the great blues artists, all of them black. Most of the blues fans at BB's are white. Blues music didn't start out as a crossover genre. With its roots at the turn of the last century, it was largely considered "race music," music recorded for and marketed to blacks. This was the heyday of stars like Ma Rainey, Louis Jordan, Bessie Smith, and Kansas City's own Big Joe Turner. Today, the legacy of these greats has a guardian of sorts. His name is Chuck Haddix, director of the Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

"What is compelling about the blues is that it tells a story," Haddix said.

Haddix co-wrote a book on Kansas City music and hosts a weekly blues radio show.

"You have the great blues shouters coming through Kansas City and St. Louis," Haddix said. "They'd playing St. Louis then Kansas City. So you had this blues explosion happening in the early 1920s."

He says the blues came to Missouri with artists who toured the country.

"It's just like the record industry today only a cruder version of it," Haddix said. "You have the artists coming through and the records are available, people buying the records."

The Marr Sound Archives even has one of the most famous of those records: an original version of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." Haddix says the blues are still the blues, even in 2007.

"You don't stray too far in the blues... you still have your songs about drinking and your woman done you wrong and all that stuff and people respect that tradition," Haddix said.

So what is it that keeps the blues alive and well in the 21st century?

"It's just people baring their souls," Schnebelen said.

And Chuck Haddix's theory?

"Somehow when you listen to the blues, it makes you feel better... It makes you happy," Haddix said.

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY - People in Callaway County are cleaning up extensive damage after storms came rushing through Tuesday night. ... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 1:26:00 PM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's corrections officers are some of the lowest paid in the country. That's created staff shortages, leading... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 1:05:00 PM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - North Jefferson City has been ordered to evacuate by 5 p.m. due to flooding. An emergency... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 12:10:00 PM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma was bracing Wednesday for more rain, with parts of the state already flooded following days... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 11:50:05 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Many roads across mid-Missouri are closed due to recent storms and heavy rain, and with more storms... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 11:37:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas paid out-of-state law firms at least $899,000 in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to defund... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 11:09:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin-based convenience store chain Kwik Trip has removed some vegetable trays from its stores after several... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 9:36:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - NASCAR is buying International Speedway in a deal worth about $2 billion. International Speedway... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 9:27:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge has reversed the Missouri Department of Public Safety's revocation of the peace officer... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 8:51:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT - A community effort to hold back flood waters began in Rocheport Wednesday morning. With recent rain causing... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A severe storm in the St. Louis area is forcing Lambert Airport to temporarily halt all... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:51:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
FULTON - After three years and $140 million in construction, the Fulton State Hospital is ready to start celebrating. ... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:33:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - People looking for work will have a chance to mingle with about a dozen employers at a hiring... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 5:39:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri River could crest over flood stage because of ongoing storms, according to Jefferson City's Department of... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 5:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY -- Several abortion rights groups gathered throughout the state, Tuesday to protest Missouri's newly-passed anti-abortion bill. The... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:49:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Tuesday due to the heightened flood risks through a large... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:49:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in Weather
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Sand volleyball courts at a park in Cape Girardeau are closed after knives were found buried... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:14:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Emergency Management Director Tom Hurley said the department's staff is "all hands on deck" for Tuesday's... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:02:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 82°
4pm 85°
5pm 84°
6pm 81°
7pm 79°