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Memphis blues

The Memphis Blues is the title of a tune and song published by W.C. Handy in 1912. It is not the first blues published, but was an important early blues influenced hit.

The Memphis blues is a type of blues music that was pioneering in the early part of the 20th century by musicians like Sleepy John Estes and Willie Nix, associated with vaudeville and medicine shows. It was in the Memphis blues that groups of musicians first assigned one guitarist to play rhythm, and one to play lead and solos -- this has become standard in rock and roll and much of popular music. In addition, the jug band arose from the Memphis blues, mixing the sound with jazz and using homemade, simple instruments.

After World War II, the Memphis blues became electric, thus helping to give rise to rock and roll.