Dirty blues  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
I Just Want to Make Love to You

Dirty blues encompasses forms of blues music that deal with topics that are sometimes considered taboo in society, including sexual connotation and/or references to drug use of some kind. Due to the sometimes graphic subject matter, such music was often banned from radio and only available on a jukebox.





  • The Harlem Hamfats - Formed in 1936 by musicians that were not even from Harlem, New York and led by trumpeter Herb Morand, the group performed mostly Chicago blues and East Coast blues while backing jazz musicians. The members were Kansas Joe McCoy, Charlie McCoy, Odell Rand, John Lindsay, Horace Malcolm, Pearlis Williams and Freddie Flynn. The group's inclusion in the dirty blues genre is due to such songs as "Gimme Some of that Yum Yum" and "Lets Get Drunk and Truck", along with lyrics in various other songs dealing with themes including drug use, prostitution or criminal behavior.




  • Dinah Washington - (August 29, 1924december 14, 1963) Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Washington's inclusion on this list is really only due to two songs. Otherwise she performed traditional pop, jump blues and ballads. The songs were Long John Blues about her dentist, with lyrics like "He took out his trusty drill. Told me to open wide. He said he wouldn't hurt me, but he filled my whole inside." She also recorded a song called "Big Long Sliding Thing" about a trombonist.


A list of Dirty Blues singers would not be complete without "Tampa Red", one of the greatest resophonic guitar players whose songs included "Let Me Play With Your Poodle" (later covered by [Lightnin' Hopkins]) and "What Tastes Like Gravy?" Entry will be updated with more information soon. While his songs are not as readily available as some others, much of his work is available on iTunes and similar services.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dirty blues" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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