100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

The First “Blues” Song Published And Copyrighted

The term “Blues” originated in 1798 with the introduction of the George Colman’s one-act farce “Blue Devils.” The term associated “the blues” with melancholy and sadness.

In March 1912 Hart A Wand is an American fiddler and bandleader from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma published the “Dallas Blues” but did not copyright it so the date cannot be confirmed. Although the opening bars of the earlier “Oh, You Beautiful Doll” is in blues structure, “Dallas Blues” is the first published twelve-bar blues song. In Summer 1912 highly popular southern African-American pianist H Franklin “Baby” Seals composed “Baby Seals Blues” as part of his vaudeville act with Miss Floyd Fisher.

On August 3, 1912 Arthur “Baby” Seales published and copyrighted “Baby Seales Blues in the form of sheet music. It is the first blues song to use the word “blues” in its title.

“Baby Seals Blues”
copyright August 3, 1912

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