List of blues standards

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File:Barack Obama singing in the East Room.jpg
"Sweet Home Chicago" performed at the White House with Barack Obama joining B.B. King on the chorus

Blues standards are blues songs that have attained a high level of recognition due to being widely performed and recorded. They represent the best known and most interpreted blues songs that are seen as having permanent value. Blues standards come from different eras and styles, such as ragtime-vaudeville, Delta and country blues, and urban styles from Chicago and the West Coast. Many are also performed in styles that differ from the originals and reflect various music trends, including rhythm and blues and rock.

Each song listed has been identified by five or more music writers as a blues standard. Nearly all have appeared on major music singles charts. Since many of the songs were developed in American folk music traditions, spellings and titles may differ; the most common are used.

Title First recorded by Year Charting single(s) by[1] Sources
"Ain't Nobody's Business" Anna Meyers with the Original Memphis Five 1922 Jimmy Witherspoon (1944) [2][3][4][5][6]
[7]
"Baby Please Don't Go" Big Joe Williams 1935 The Orioles (1952), Them (1964) [2][8][9][10][11]
[12][13][14]
"Baby What You Want Me to Do" Jimmy Reed 1960 Etta James (1964) [2][15][11][12]
[16]
"Boom Boom" John Lee Hooker 1962 John Lee Hooker (1962), Animals (1965) [17][2][18][19]
[20]
"Born Under a Bad Sign" Albert King 1967 Albert King (1967) [21][22][23][24]
[25]
"Catfish Blues" Robert Petway 1941 Muddy Waters (1951 as "Still a Fool") [26][27][28][29]
[30]
"Crosscut Saw" Tommy McClennan 1941 Albert King (1967) [2][31][32][33]
[23]
"Crossroads" Robert Johnson 1936 Cream (1969) [11][32][34][24]
[35]
"Dust My Broom" Robert Johnson 1936 Elmore James (1952) [2][36][37][38]
[39][40][30][41]
[42]
"Every Day I Have the Blues" Pinetop Sparks 1935 Lowell Fulson (1950), Joe Williams (1952 & 1955), B.B. King (1955), Billy Stewart (1966) [2][43][22][44]
[45][30]
"Five Long Years" Eddie Boyd 1952 Eddie Boyd (1952), Junior Parker (1959) [46][47][11][48]
[49][50][51]
"Goin' Down Slow" St. Louis Jimmy Oden 1941 Bobby Bland (1974) [52][11][53][54]
[55]
"Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" Sonny Boy Williamson I 1937 Smokey Hogg (1950 as "Little School Girl") [2][56][57][11]
[53][58][59]
"Got My Mojo Working" Muddy Waters 1956 Jimmy Smith (1966) [2][60][61][53]
[62][30]
"Help Me" Sonny Boy Williamson II 1963 Sonny Boy Williamson II (1963) [2][11][63][64]
[65]
"Hide Away" Freddie King 1961 Freddie King (1961) [66][67][68][69]
[70]
"Hoochie Coochie Man" Muddy Waters 1954 Muddy Waters (1954), Jimmy Smith (1966) [2][71][22][72]
[73][30][74]
"How Long Blues" Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell 1928 [75][22][76][77]
[30][78]
"I Can't Quit You Baby" Otis Rush 1956 Otis Rush (1956) [2][79][11][76]
[77]
"I'm a Man" Bo Diddley 1955 Muddy Waters (1955 as "Mannish Boy"), Yardbirds (1965) [60][11][80][81]
[82]
"I'm Ready" Muddy Waters 1954 Muddy Waters (1954) [2][83][11][80]
[77]
"It Hurts Me Too" Tampa Red 1940 Tampa Red (1949 as "When Things Go Wrong"), Elmore James (1965) [2][84][22][85]
[86][87][88]
"Kansas City" Little Willie Littlefield 1952 Wilbert Harrison (1959), Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (1959), James Brown (1967) [2][89][4][90]
[91]
"Key to the Highway" Charlie Segar 1940 Little Walter (1958) [92][93][71][4]
[94][95][96]
"Killing Floor" Howlin' Wolf 1964 Howlin' Wolf (1964) [2][97][11][94]
[98][99][82][100]
"Little Red Rooster" Howlin' Wolf 1961 Sam Cooke (1963), Rolling Stones (1964) [79][11][101][77]
[36][102][74]
"Mean Old World" T-Bone Walker 1942 Little Walter (1953) [2][11][103][49]
[40]
"My Babe" Little Walter 1955 Little Walter (1955), Willie Mitchell (1969) [83][22][104]
[105][74]
"Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" Bessie Smith 1929 Nina Simone (1960), Bobby Womack (1973 as "Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out") [22][106][107]
[108][109]
"Reconsider Baby" Lowell Fulson 1954 Lowell Fulson (1954) [2][110][11]
[101][111]
"Rock Me Baby" Lil' Son Jackson 1950 B.B. King (1964) [2][22][112][36]
[113]
"Rollin' and Tumblin'" Hambone Willie Newbern 1929 Canned Heat (1967) [114][115][11]
[116][117][39]
[24][30]
"See See Rider" Ma Rainey 1924 Bea Booze (1942), Chuck Willis (1957 as "C.C. Rider"), LaVern Baker (1962), Animals (1966) [75][118][4]
[119][120][121]
[122][6][123]
[124]
"Sitting on Top of the World" Mississippi Sheiks 1930 [11][125][126]
[127][128]
"The Sky Is Crying" Elmore James 1960 Elmore James (1960) [2][11][129]
[130][131]
"Spoonful" Howlin' Wolf 1960 Etta James & Harvey Fuqua (1961) [2][93][79][11]
[132][24]
"Stormy Monday" T-Bone Walker 1948 T-Bone Walker (1948), Bobby Bland (1962), Latimore (1973) [2][133][60][4]
[134][113][30]
[135][136]
"Sweet Home Chicago" Robert Johnson 1936 Junior Parker (1958) [2][137][22]
[138][38]
"The Thrill Is Gone" Roy Hawkins 1951 Roy Hawkins (1951), B.B. King (1970, Aretha Franklin (1970) [2][139][140]
[11][141][142]
"Trouble in Mind" Bertha "Chippie" Hill 1926 Dinah Washington (1952), Nina Simone (1961) [143][11][144]
[107][145][146]
"Walkin' Blues" Robert Johnson 1936 Muddy Waters (1948 as "I Feel Like Going Home") [2][147][11]
[148][149]
"Worried Life Blues" Big Maceo 1941 Big Maceo (1945 as "Things Have Changed"), B.B. King (1970), Junior Parker (1970) [150][151][152]
[153][154]
"You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling" Tampa Red 1938 Freddie King (1961) [84][155][87]
[86][88]

Notes

Citations

  1. Whitburn 1988.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 Barrett & Garcia 2010, p. 74.
  3. Erlewine 2003, p. 71.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Hal Leonard 2013, index.
  5. Herzhaft 1992, p. 436.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Oliver 1968, p. 16.
  7. Talevski 2010, p. 728.
  8. Eagle & LeBlanc 2013, p. 111.
  9. Erlewine 2003, p. 712.
  10. Guralnick 1982, p. 1965.
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 11.20 Hal Leonard 1996, index.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Herzhaft 1992, p. 437.
  13. Komara 2005, p. 39.
  14. Milward 2013, p. 64.
  15. Friedland 2004, p. 80.
  16. Sing Out 1993, p. 81.
  17. Amicone 2001, p. YE-29.
  18. Blues Revue 2005, p. 82.
  19. Edmondson 2013, p. 564.
  20. Morris 2001, p. 70.
  21. Evans & Kingsbury 2009, p. 210.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 Hal Leonard 2005, index.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Murray 1991, p. 141.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Santelli 2001, p. 107.
  25. Stang 1998, p. 4.
  26. Cummings-Yeates 2014, p. 32.
  27. Danchin 2001, p. 275.
  28. Herzhaft 1992, p. 441.
  29. Moskowitz 2010, p. 114.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 30.7 Southern 1997, p. 509.
  31. Goldberg 1969, p. 32.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Herzhaft 1992, p. 443.
  33. Komara 2005, p. 568.
  34. Pellegrino 2012, p. 73.
  35. Verna 1995, p. 152.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Komara 2005, p. 21.
  37. Herzhaft 1992, p. 446.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Milward 2013, p. xiii.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Palmer 1981, p. 128.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Pegg 2013, p. 164.
  41. Talevski 2010, p. 719.
  42. Unterberger & Hicks 1999, p. 196.
  43. Driggs & Haddix 2006, p. 224.
  44. Herzhaft 1992, p. 447.
  45. Rothwell 2001, p. 158.
  46. Blues Foundation 2011.
  47. Erlewine 2003, p. 64.
  48. Herzhaft 1992, p. 448.
  49. 49.0 49.1 Komara 2005, pp. 1014–1015.
  50. Larkin 2013, p. lx.
  51. Wyman & Havers 2001, p. 300.
  52. Blues Foundation 2002.
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 Herzhaft 1992, p. 449.
  54. Komara 2005, p. 732.
  55. Rees & Crampton 1999, p. 105.
  56. Erlewine 2002, p. 482.
  57. Evans 2005, p. 197.
  58. Komara 2005, p. 670.
  59. Palmer 1981, p. 145.
  60. 60.0 60.1 60.2 Ford, Jr. 1979, p. 63.
  61. GPI 2007, p. 7.
  62. O'Neal 1984.
  63. Herzhaft 1992, p. 450.
  64. Living Blues 1991, p. 52.
  65. Unterberger & Hicks 1999, p. 249.
  66. DeCurtis, Henke & George-Warren 1992, p. 398.
  67. Emerson 2004, p. 39.
  68. Erlewine 2003, p. 304.
  69. Herzhaft 1992, p. 451.
  70. Smith 2013, p. 46.
  71. 71.0 71.1 Erlewine 2003, p. 214.
  72. Herzhaft 1992, p. 452.
  73. Milward 2013, p. 14.
  74. 74.0 74.1 74.2 Talevski 2010, pp. 134–135.
  75. 75.0 75.1 Danchin 2005, p. 62.
  76. 76.0 76.1 Herzhaft 1992, p. 453.
  77. 77.0 77.1 77.2 77.3 Hoffmann 2005, p. 62.
  78. Talevski 2010, p. 72.
  79. 79.0 79.1 79.2 Erlewine 2001, p. 520.
  80. 80.0 80.1 Herzhaft 1992, p. 454.
  81. Murphy 2008, p. 72.
  82. 82.0 82.1 Shapiro, Heatley & Mayer 2009, p. 53.
  83. 83.0 83.1 Erlewine 2003, p. 421.
  84. 84.0 84.1 Guralnick 1982, p. 1905.
  85. Herzhaft 1992, p. 455.
  86. 86.0 86.1 Journal of American Folklore 1978, p. 742.
  87. 87.0 87.1 Larkin 2013, p. 1932.
  88. 88.0 88.1 Obrecht 2000, p. 4.
  89. Goldberg 1969, p. 12.
  90. Herzhaft 1992, p. 456.
  91. Marsh 1999, p. 125.
  92. Blues Foundation 2010.
  93. 93.0 93.1 Blues Revue 2005, p. 186.
  94. 94.0 94.1 Herzhaft 1992, p. 457.
  95. Komara 2005, p. 563.
  96. Living Blues 1991, p. 78.
  97. Devi 2012, p. xv.
  98. Komara 2005, p. 472.
  99. Moskowitz 2010, p. 112.
  100. Talevski 1998, p. 180.
  101. 101.0 101.1 Herzhaft 1992, p. 467.
  102. Rees & Crampton 1999.
  103. Herzhaft 1992, p. 461.
  104. Hay 2005, p. 75.
  105. Herzhaft 1992, p. 463.
  106. Herzhaft 1992, p. 464.
  107. 107.0 107.1 Morris 2003, p. 5.
  108. Rodriguez 2010, p. 164.
  109. Sandage 2009, p. 268.
  110. Farley 2011, p. 127.
  111. O'Neal 1993.
  112. Herzhaft 1992, pp. 467–468.
  113. 113.0 113.1 Murray 1991, p. 145.
  114. Eagle & LeBlanc 2013, p. 240.
  115. Erlewine 2001, p. 531.
  116. Herzhaft 1992, p. 468.
  117. Komara 2005, p. 722.
  118. Edmondson 2013, p. 938.
  119. Herzhaft 1992, p. 469.
  120. Hoffmann 2005, p. 280.
  121. Komara 2005, p. 190.
  122. Marsh 1999, p. 168.
  123. Talevski 1998, p. 62.
  124. Wyman & Havers 2001, p. 290.
  125. Herzhaft 1992, p. 470.
  126. Oliver 2001, pp. 186–187.
  127. Palmer 1981, p. 110.
  128. Whiteis 2013, p. 86.
  129. Herzhaft 1992, p. 471.
  130. Talevski 1998, p. 191.
  131. Wynne 2007, p. 140.
  132. Herzhaft 1992, p. 471–472.
  133. Evans 2005, p. 104.
  134. Herzhaft 1992, p. 472–473.
  135. Stang 1998, p. 2.
  136. Talevski 2010, p. 390.
  137. Devi 2012, p. 141.
  138. Herzhaft 1992, p. 473.
  139. Big City Blues 2001, p. 48.
  140. Herzhaft 1992, p. 475.
  141. Wiley 1993, p. 275.
  142. Wynn 2009, p. 96.
  143. Driggs & Haddix 2006, p. 220.
  144. Herzhaft 1992, p. 476.
  145. Oliver 2001, p. 205.
  146. Riesman 2011, p. 212.
  147. Beaumont 2011, p. 91.
  148. Herzhaft 1992, p. 477.
  149. Parrish 2001, p. 13.
  150. Erlewine 2003, p. 398.
  151. Guralnick 1982, p. 1906.
  152. Komara 2005, p. 305.
  153. Riesman 2011, p. 142.
  154. Rothwell 2001, p. 89.
  155. Herzhaft 1992, p. 459.

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