‘The roots of the blues’ outlines the genesis of blues music. Blues music hit the mainstream in 1912, when W.C. Hardy's Memphis Blues caused a national craze. The roots of the blues can be traced to three main musical styles: folk, with its strong lyrical tradition; religious songs, which were taught to African slaves to attempt to replace their native music; and professional music, which included that seen at minstrel and medicine shows. The turn of the twentieth century was a period of great innovation due to improved transport and recording technology. The cycle of imitation this caused means that the true roots of the blues cannot be truly known.