Many a blues legend were bred from or have paid homage to St. Louis, Missouri. Chuck Berry hailed from St. Louis while others, such as W.C. Handy, wrote about the city. So it only makes sense that the first National Blues Museum will be built there.
Depending on the final design, the national museum dedicated to the genre will be opened in St. Louis next year. Museum chairman Rob Endicott told Reuters.
The museum is a part of the city of St. Louis' riverfront revitalization focused on drawing traffic to the Downtown area. Included in the $500 million "Gateway Arch park rehabilitation" is the construction of retail and residential space, a hotel, movie theater, restaurants, and the museum.
Though the genre has a long, storied history Endicott said the space will be tech-heavy, focusing on an interactive experience with artifact and memorabilia-driven exhibits. Site renderings on the museum's website shows a "Blues Lab" where visitors can record and jam with what looks like holograms of their favorite musicians.
The main page of the site states, "The Blues is not a melody. It's not a chord. Or a beat. Or a rhythm. Or a tone. The Blues is a state of mind. It's the human condition. The Blues is a way of life. And should be preserved as such."
Now, in honor of legends from across the nation, here's a slideshow of some of our favorite blues musicians to grace this country:
Dubbed the "Father of Blues" W.C. Handy is one of the oldest recorded blues musicians. "St. Louis Blues" is one of his most well known songs.
Bessie Smith is one of the most famous female blues musicians. She made 160 songs while with Columbia, was the highest paid black musician of her time, and was inducted into a handful of hall of fames, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Born Chester Arthur Burnett, Howlin' Wolf gained his nickname through his gruff singing voice (and his size; he was 6 feet 6 inches and 300 pounds). The multifaceted musician was known for growling his booming voice into the mic, solidifying the blues he sang.
Muddy Waters has been credited with founding the Chicago Blues style. By adding an amplifier to essentially all aspects of the band, and his catchy lyrics and rhythm, Muddy became a success.
Chuck Berry took blues, added a little rock 'n' roll and made it all his own. With songs like "Johnny B. Goode," Berry rocketed to fame. The St. Louis native even has a statue dedicated to him in his hometown.
Now on to Modern Blues. B.B. King is one of the most well-known modern blues musicians. His guitar skills are phenomenal -- Rolling Stone ranked him third in their list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."
Ray Charles was a maverick in the world of blues. He took a genre with long-standing traditions and added a mess of influences, from soul to gospel and everything in between. What he created was a sound so sweet, so rich, and oh-so blues.