St. Louis influenced the Blues as it sat right along the Blues Highway, Highway 61. Historically, musicians stopped and performed in St. Louis as they traveled from the South to the big recording labels in Chicago. Songwriters, such as W.C. Handy, were inspired to write based on their experiences in St. Louis and created monumental hits that forever changed music such as the song St. Louis Blues. Inspired by the Blues Highway’s extensive history, St. Louis was a great place for a National Blues Museum as it sat smack in the middle of it all.
As Bessie Smith says in her hit Long Old Road, “It’s a long old road, but I’m gonna find the end”…After five years of development and fundraising, the National Blues Museum opened its doors for the first time in 2016. The ribbon cutting ceremony included several famous figures such as Bobby Rush and mayor Francis Slay. The opening featured several artists such as Phi, David Dee, Jeremiah Johnson, Jim McClaren, Marquise Knox, Mickey Rogers, Renee Smith, and even the Normandy High School marching band. This $14 million, 23,000 square foot museum continues to stand tall and proud in the MX district of downtown St. Louis. We are open Wednesday through Sunday 12-5 pm, and although we do not have live music at the moment, we encourage you to take a peek at our social media content to learn more about the Blues!