Evolutionary Blues … West Oakland’s Music Legacy

The Blues is an earthy, soul-stirring mélange of roots music and personal narratives that became the defining soundtrack of Black America. Wherever Black people settled that soundtrack took on a local flavor. In Northern California, the influences came from the musicianship of Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. Seventh Street in West Oakland supported and bolstered Blacks who answered the call of the war effort in the late 1940’s. Entrepreneurship created a fully contained community that provided work, homes and all the necessities of life including a fully developed music scene. Watch as more than 30 local musicians share their inspiration and describe the trajectory of the Oakland Blues: how it evolved and what it has become.

  • Cheryl Fabio
    Director
    Director/Producer
  • Mike Munson
    Director
    Executive Producer/ KTOP TV
  • Meadow Holmes
    Director
    Editor
  • Thurman Watts
    Writer
    music journalist
  • Sugar Pie DeSanto, Bob Geddins, Jr., Bob Geddins, Sr., Marvin Holmes, Faye Carol, Larry Vann, Jim Moore, Lenny Williams, Ronnie Stewart, John Turk, Leon Williams, Lee Hildebrand, Alabama Mike, Ron Wells, Fantastic Negrito, The Hartfield Brothers, Freddie Hughes, Wylie Trass, Jesse James, Lady Bianca, Tom Bowden, and D’Wayne Wiggins. Legends such as Charles Sullivan, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, Big Mama Thronton, and Omar Sharriff are incorporated through short vignettes. Many, like Johnny Talbot and De Thangs or Larry Graham are talked into the story.
    Key Cast
    Musicians