Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy – “When The Levee Breaks” (Original)


TODAY IN MUSIC – June 3, 2015

“Memphis Minnie” has been called the Queen of the Blues. She was born Lizzie Douglas on June 3, 1897, in Algiers, LA, the first of 13 children, and at the age of 13 she ran away from the family home in Walls, MS, to Beale Street in Memphis. Ultimately she recorded around 200 songs, but her best known is probably the one Led Zeppelin made famous. “When the Levee Breaks” was written by Minnie and her husband Kansas Joe McCoy in 1929 in reaction to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Minnie died on August 6, 1973 and is buried in Walls. Here’s the song combined with slideshow photos of the flood that inspired it (posted by youtube user alchemy920). Enjoy!

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