One hundred years ago, the first blues was published—though, of course, blues was born long before that.
In celebration of the centennial of the first published blues, Brad Vickers & His Vestapolitans are pleased to release
a digital single of Hart Wand's “Dallas Blues” to benefit The Blues Foundation’s H.A.R.T. fund. All proceeds from downloads of this single will go to the fund.
As we discovered via Samuel Charters’ book, “The Country Blues”, the first published blues was Hart Wand’s “Dallas Blues,” published (as sheet music) in March, 1912. Lyrics were added in 1918 by Lloyd Garrett. This was not only the first published blues, with “Blues” in its title, but it was actually written in the blues form. It was a big hit (and we think it’s a great song, too!) Later that year two more “Blues”were published. The second was Arthur Seals’ “Baby Seals’ Blues” in August, and finally, W.C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues” in September. Neither of these others were written in the blues form. They followed the popular cake-walk form of the era. You can learn more about Hart Wand and “Dallas Blues” in Charters’ book, and in Hart Wand's entry on Wikipedia. We love the “Hart” “H.A.R.T.” coincidence!
The Vestapolitans are thrilled to have special guest, Charles Burnham on violin. (Hart Wand was a violinist!) Also playing are Brad Vickers - guitar, vocals; Margey Peters - vocals, 2nd fiddle; Jim Davis - clarinet; Matt Cowan - baritone sax; Michael Bram - mandolin; Dave Gross - upright bass; and Bill Rankin - drums.
Download “Dallas Blues” to hear the first published blues, and to make a difference by contributing to The Blues Foundation's HART Fund!