Monday, October 1, 2012

Gambling and the Blues : Hand in Hand


Negros From Cotton Plantation Gambling, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1939

I spoke about alcohol and it's relation to the blues previously... another vice I have to bring up is gambling.

Gambling has always been associated with nightlife; the sleazy backroom, the bright casino... and with the night comes music! Back in the day wherever there was jazz there would be some kind of dealin' going on... especially during the Prohibition & the Great Depression in the USA in the 20's and 30's. 

Of course, playing craps, poker, blackjack, and other games usually lead to barfights, murder, loss of money  and debt... and all these things lead to the blues. 

Several musicians have sang about gambling... and here are a few I put together for you. Keep those songs in mind the next time you gamble your life away (and put me in on 32 red please).

Blind Willie McTell

The Dying Crapshooter's Blues

Jimmy Rodgers 
Gambling Bar Room Blues

Lightnin' Hopkins
Gambler's Blues

Otish Rush
Gamblin' Blues

Eric Sardinas
Gambling Man Blues

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