My brother got a double album anthology for Xmas once called The Story of the Blues. (The same Xmas I got a Lonnie Mack album — WTF?) The first track is an early 1900s recording of some African tribesmen chatting through rhythms that become the foundation of the blues. The second or third track on the album is a 1928 recording of Mississippi John Hurt’s “Stack O’Lee Blues.” I’ve always loved it.
Years later I picked up more recordings from Mississippi John Hurt recorded on actual tape instead of scratch acetate discs. They’re all great.