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Blues ballad

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Blues ballad

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The blues ballad synthesizes blues feeling and attitudes (using the blues scale and chord progressions) with the conventional 32-bar popular song from Tin Pan Alley.

Among the best known blues ballads are Percy Mayfield's love song in the form of a prayer, "Please Send Me Someone to Love" and Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell for You", most successfully recorded by Lenny Welch. B.B. King has recorded several blues ballads, "You Know I Love You", his second hit, and "Sneakin' Around". Bobby Blue Bland recorded as many blues ballads as he did straight blues. Clarence Carter's "Slip Away" is another notable example.

Blues ballads are also popular in country music. Hank Williams's "Your Cheating Heart" and Freddy Fender's two classics, "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and "Before the Next Teardrop Falls", for example.

The blues ballad differs from conventional blues in its structure. Blues ballads have the 32-bar A-A-B-A form of verse-verse-bridge-verse, while blues songs have the 12-bar A-A-B form or its 8-bar A-B variant. Both blues and blues ballads rely on the mainstay three chords and the blues scale.

Conversely, the blues ballad differs from bluesy pop songs like Harold Arlen's "Blues in the Night" by simpler harmonies and more direct language. That said, in the hands of a skillful and emotional performer like Dakota Staton or Etta James songs like "Mean to Me" or Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" can be hard to distinguish from formal blues ballads.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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