Gus Cannon, “Madison Street Rag”

You can trace most of American popular music back to the blues. Rock n’ roll is the obvious one. But with “Madison Street Rag,” a different American music’s roots can be heard: hip-hop’s. Hip-hop is born and bred from the streets. Released on the Paramount label in 1927, Gus Cannon’s gravelly voice sounds like he’s freestlying on the street corner as passersby look on in amazement. Sounds a lot like how hip-hop got its start. Enjoy!

Madison Street Rag (play/download mp3)

Gus Cannon – “Poor Boy A Long Way From Home” mp3

Gus Cannon’s story starts off the same way many other poor black aspiring musicians’ stories started off.¬† At the turn of the century in the South, you had to escape the servitude of the share cropping system to pursue your dreams.¬† Slaves ran away from their families and headed out on the road with little more than youthful optimism as their driving force. This mp3 is a tribute to all the revolutionary musicians of that time who refused to let their dismal socioeconomic status destroy their goal of enjoying a career playing music.

Gus Cannon – “Poor Boy A Long Way From Home” mp3