Early Monday Moanin: The Teachers Pet (Early Monday Moaning Book 1)
They'll just find something new to whine about. So we're into December, which, of course, means Christmas music on the radio, and in the streets. I recently completed an online survey www. It's this: We need some new good Christmas songs. Take the energy that would be put into re-re-re-re-re-recording that standard and write something new.
- Crossing the Line: A Bluejackets Odyssey in World War II: A Bluejackets Odyssey in World War Two (Yale Library of Military History)?
- The Game of Logic (with new illustrations)?
- Foster Me Up!
- The ABC of A Spiritual Journey.
- See a Problem?.
Country and western artists are specifically excluded from this call to action, being as they are responsible for a lot of the worst of new holiday tunes. Not that the original artists can save a truly bad piece of work, but I've addressed that before The Markives , 2 December Let's focus on the future. For two reasons. For two: There are new tunes coming from them. On all three of their Christmas CD's, truth be known, but this is the one I listen to the most. Of course, not everything that is new is good, just as not everything that is good is new. There are vomitrocious Christmas songs of relatively recent birth, to which I am loath to give publicity by mentioning them.
But just as I have my list, you probably have yours. Save the singing of classics and standards whatever the difference between those two may be for the shower. It seems to me that "Mistletoe and Holly" is ripe for a remake, provided that it lands in the lap of someone who's capable of carrying a tune. Harry Connick, Jr. This applies particularly to hymns, which don't work on mainstream radio.
Another entry in the continuing saga, "Lighten Up, America! Let's start with this one: It must be nice not to have any real problems. And then this: It's actually kind of a depressing reflection on the political correctness inanity in this corner of the universe. We've put so much time and energy into elevating the status of any group that can claim "victim" status that it works for anyone seeking attention or stumping for a cause--valid or silly--to portray themselves that way. I have no compunctions about being wished "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", or even gasp!
If Hanukkah has meaning to the person issuing the greeting, and they're wishing me good tidings o' the season, I have no objections. Even if it's their season and not mine. I draw the line at "artificial" holidays, though. You know the ones. This may well be the dumbest sentence uttered in my memory by a government official not named Bush. From FCC chair Kevin Martin, speaking on the issue of regulating TV programming : "Y ou can always turn the television off and, of course, block the channels you don't want, but why should you have to?
A public official coming out for active censorship is something I find amusing. And more than a little distressing. I admit to being intrigued by the idea of a la carte cable channel selection, but:. I refuse to believe for even a minute that that will make cable TV cheaper. Not that they'd notice, but I would. Largely as a goof. So it's a Tuesday morning in Michigan, and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who has coached 26 regular season games, is the senior coach as measured by time in current position of Detroit's four major professional sports teams.
Wrap your brain around that--things have certainly changed in the Motor City. My take on the Steve Mariucci firing is this: Were I the owner of the Lions, and had my fifth-year team president come to me asking for permission to fire the third-year coach, my response would have been something along the line of "Go ahead, but you'll be out the door right after him.
Accountability, in this situation, would seem to me to rest with the guy who put the current team together. Unfortunately, that totally undeserved five-year extension that Matt Millen got this past year made that highly unlikely. The reality of the situation, though, is that the Lions aren't likely to get any better unless there's an ownership change. Stay tuned. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson , "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.
In the hometown of The Markives , we're facing a modern version of that credo: "Buy a slot machine [better or not; the standards are different now] and the College will beat a path to your office. Evidence here , in a brief article taken from the new-look alumni magazine. No negative fallout Some of the questions and answers they didn't use are pretty amusing, as well--but those will have to wait for my autobiography. No more are college football aficionados across the country being assaulted by the idiotic proposal that the SEC champion should get an automatic pass to the BCS championship game.
Which is to say, all's right with the world. What LSU's victory last weekend saves us from is another round of whining from the Southeast about how the best brand of college football in America is axiomatically played in their corner of the world and how it's just wrong on so many levels that an unbeaten team from the SEC is left out of the BCS championship game--as we had last year with Auburn.
Part of the problem here is divisional--that it's probably easier than it should be for a university to move up to Division I-A without really having a football program that could be called "major". A bigger part of the problem is that some major schools are intent on inflating their schedules with games against absolutely unworthy opponents for the purpose of making themselves look better on paper.
Kansas State rode this train from obscurity to prominence in the late 's, but that doesn't make it right. This, of course, should be stopped--and it can be done with only a minor BCS rule change:. I'm open to negotiation on that "5 years" rule. I picked 5 because it's the period of an individual player's eligibility, thus after 5 years in I-A, it's reasonable to assume that no players from the college's days in I-AA or D-II remain.
Hence, at that point, you're truly dealing with a Division I-A football team, albeit probably a weak one. Now we can go back to concentrating on important things. Michigan-Ohio State is this Saturday. That having been said, it's better than the recent trend of merely attaching city names Seattle, San Francisco--though those names are now in the past or corporate sponsors MPC Computers, EV1. I responded by using this double crime in the next class. We need to define some terms up front here.
These, of course, flared briefly onto the radio landscape in the mid's or so before fading--you don't see too many of these anymore. The questions at hand, then, is this: Will variety hits find a semi-permanent place on the American radio landscape, or will its rise, like Arrow, be that of a supernova, flashing brightly for a brief time before crumbling to ashes?
I think that the VH format will be around for awhile, and I base this on one simple rule: The formats that make it in commercial radio, by and large, are those that have the ability to evolve. And make no mistakes, VH still has a lot of evolving to do. Now, one of the alleged features of VH is said to be its ability to sound like an iPod on shuffle play. Fair enough. I would, however, challenge the assumption that many iPods have this kind of music mix loaded, or that there's a lot of overlap among the serious fans of those artists.
People Eric, for one speak of the unusual diversity of the playlists under this format, but I'm not completely convinced yet that that represents something that people really want. They're putting songs on the radio that have been gone for quite some time--which is a net plus--but there's still a glitch or two to be worked out regarding the small details.
Coming back to the point of format evolution: Arrow wasn't a long-term success, in my opinion, for the simple reason that its playlist was artificially restricted. A similar fate afflicted classic rock, which I regarded from its inception as an impotent format--yes, the stations are still there, but their number is not nearly what it was in the late 's. It bugs me when people get nostalgic for someone else's past. VH doesn't have that restriction--it'll be a simple matter for stations programming this format to tweak their playlists to include newer tunes along with the recurrent stuff.
Add in the economy of a DJ-free on-air presence, and you have some ingredients for a winning format. I think it's a natural. Given my standard signature, "Mark-Arrow" might be a combined format worth hoping for, but I don't see that happening, for reasons detailed above. Part of my response to that was to launch the Late Night Laugh Attack, and so carve out an hour of my airtime when I wouldn't have to be playing that stuff.
As I type this, they're apparently playing "Monster Mash", so the flip has not yet happened. No word yet from WMGC. Evidently they did so at P. WMGC hasn't. Other markets are no doubt also poised to drop--we'll see if the link from last year that followed this sort of inanity works again. It could be argued that I'm looking for trouble--that since this hasn't infected mid-Michigan radio yet, I'm complaining about nothing.
Once again, I'm trying to be out in front of the curve. Sounded about right then, and would sound about right in The last time was ; the next time will be Still, I'd rather hear " Oh God! I'm An Ocean Buoy " from their oeuvre. Link is optimized for high-speed connections. I had nothing to do with these selections, but in the course of a three-hour shift, I would have played all of them--were it not for something called the "Late Night Laugh Attack" that occupied hour 3 of my shift.
That's Saturn in the background, with its rings edge-on near the bottom. You'd have a hard time concocting a better argument for unmanned spaceflight than this. It's a safe bet that the rings around Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune are approximately as old as the Saturnian ones. A couple of things I've learned in the past week:.
It's slightly strange to drive a car where the steering wheel no longer controls the front tires. Hey, that extra arm and leg I had were just making my clothes fit funny. To be sure, it's not as easy as finding a dentist in Las Vegas who's open on Saturdays and takes walk-ins 3 in the phone book under "A" alone , but I suspect that that may not be an entirely fair comparison. A messy repair bill is still cheaper than buying a new car. Usually this is just the news crawl at the bottom of the screen, but In each of the last two episodes 2 and 9 October , I have noticed what purports to be a sports score probably basketball, judging from the magnitude of the numbers between Santa Fe and Nashville.
Santa Fe and Nashville? As an advocate of bringing major league sports to New Mexico, I welcome this fictional development If it were up to me, the Albuquerque Thunderbirds would be taking their most-excellent name and logo to the NBA this fall instead of to the D-League. I can't help but wonder why Santa Fe was chosen, though. Does someone at TWW have roots in the oldest state capital in America, or is this just a matter of 7 letters and one space fitting the graphic better than 11? It appears that no one else on the I'net is admitting to having caught this.
Another watch begins. Caution to those clicking through: this site is loud. Oversight : The best quote from Animal House is neither "Toga! While I have no quarrel with the second, and great respect for those who would vote for "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Almost as good from this movie is " Janie, make a note. We need to schedule more events where somebody gives me a really big fish. More's the pity. I had, at one point, really held out hope that there would be a manned landing on one of Jupiter's moons by Leave out the medical implications of this development.
He's wrong. George Carlin was right about the stupidity of the median person. The amount of study and training necessary to give these issues the consideration they deserve is beyond almost everyone on the planet, and the progress of science is invariably impeded when we stop to take a poll.
I am certainly aware that some unpleasant things have been performed in the name of science, but that's no reason for handing over any measure of control to an ill-informed segment of the population. I look so you don't have to. I'm not buying it. Frankly, the lack of respect for disciplinary expertise has been a source of much chapping to me for a long time. Any day now, I expect to see Brian Williams interviewing a bedraggled Houstonian who says something like "They said it was a 5, but it felt like a 4 by the time it got here.
If you're not a practicing meteorologist, or someone with enough of an understanding of weather to comprehend what this numerical shorthand means, stick to "It was real windy! And rainy too! Better yet, get out of the way.
Sickest verse in a rap song!!
It's not like hurricanes catch minimally-aware people by surprise. Thank goodness that Saffir-Simpson doesn't use decimals. Except for the guys who have to go out and stand in the rain. Once again, my talents as a critic take a hit. I hope the folks calling the shots at the Albion Shell are paying attention. However, redemption is not far away. The new TV season started officially last night, and the first three new shows I watched have all failed the Minneapolis Test The Markives , 5 November Fox's " The War at Home " appears to have a Long Island base this discerned from the area code of a non phone number that showed up in the first episode without any need.
On CBS, " How I Met Your Mother " makes no effort to hide its hometown, and while " Out of Practice " wasn't blatant about this, the reference to traveling to a World Bank protest on the subway tells me what I need to know, until and unless they clarify things. Speaking of the new season My TV Deathwatch is back on. Each year, I watch the TV critics' columns quite closely, looking for the first new show to be canceled. Hey, someone has to. Here's the current collection:. I didn't think so. Tracking these things has become a bit trickier the past few years, what with Fox tweaking the start of the fall season, and thus the early cancellation date cutoff, by more than a little bit.
I've found myself turning to " of episodes" as a separate criterion--if a show debuts late but runs fewer episodes than the first official cancellation, it goes on the list. That's what makes so cluttered. I'll have to go back and throw some business their way as a thank-you. It'll be my pleasure. As does this: photo courtesy of Albion College--soon to appear in an alumni newsletter. Note well that the slot machine is stopped on a winning combination. Chicago there was a reference to finding a train station, hence we need good public transportation , and Minneapolis lots of doctors means decent Mayo Clinic tie-in.
A couple of amusing developments for the new fall television season have caught my eyes and ears. With an exception or two aside, I submit that almost every Mackenzie in America is a lot more worried about what she's going to wear to her junior prom than about the messiness of governing this country. Appropos of nothing, it's worth pointing out to the trendoids that the prefix "Mac-" means "son of", which puts the recent "Mackenzie" glut among young girls in its properly-mocked place.
In the other direction, Fox has cleared a show called " Bones " with a lead character named "Temperance". Unless this show is set in Salt Lake City or 18 th century New England--which it's not--this makes no sense. I understand I think what ABC's up to--they're trying to make that character sound modern.
The Teachers Pet (Early Monday Moaning)
They've succeeded in making her sound like a year-old. Not the best way to go for someone who, from the few clips that I've seen out there, is spending a lot of time trying to convince people that she's capable of handling the job. She should start by changing her name. This Mackenzie thing won't become an issue for the country for about 40 years, of course--right around the time that the nursing homes of America will be filling up with Amy's and Debbie's, which will be another amusing name shift.
Fox completely escapes me, though. If every episode includes ol' Temper and using an archaic name like that would be just barely under the threshold of acceptable if she actually goes by that nickname explaining her name with the line "My parents were idiots" or some variation, I'll let this one go. I don't think that will happen. It's time for a reality check here--and this has an actual track record. She turned 30 in an episode, thus placing her birth year as Some enterprising pre-I'net researcher did some serious digging and claimed that no Hannah's were born in the greater Chicago area the location of the show and of the character's roots in The effort to give a fictional character a certain image with a name that is totally out of step with the time frame of the show needs a name.
Until and unless I come up with something I like better, that is. Let the watch begin. Eastern hour again they did, briefly, on Sundays in , giving us two shows I and very few others enjoyed: " Flying Blind " and " Woops! No matter how many Super Bowls they air. There may well be no new ideas left First things first: According to this site , the depths of which are crying out for plumbing in a later post, "Katrina" ranked on the most popular names for newborn girls in The name peaked at 87 in and has been on something of a downward trend since 93 that year.
Recent events aren't going to help reverse that. End whimsy. I submit that that's not a comparison among equals; that if we look at a more accurate set of comparative cities, New Orleans gets off far better than its peers. Version 1 : There's no doubt that New Orleans is getting more attention that its fellow-sufferers in Mississippi and Alabama. No one not directly involved seems too concerned about the decimation of the gaming industry in Biloxi although the reality that restricting casinos there to water-based operations might have been a bad move has received the play it deserves or the devastation in the rest of that state.
As someone else has so rightly said, having the French Quarter and an NFL franchise has focused a lot more attention on N. Version 2 : For a more detached approach, consider this: My World Almanac states that, according to the latest-available data, New Orleans is the 34th-largest city, by population, in America. If a disaster of similar magnitude had struck either of those two towns, I sincerely doubt that there would be anywhere near the reaction that we're seeing today.
No one would be suggesting that the Super Bowl be moved permanently to Ohio, or that the Republican party should book its convention for New Mexico. Or vice versa--thus giving a little more credence to the "an NFL franchise matters" theory. Indeed, I would submit that the question of " should we consider not rebuilding New Orleans " wouldn't be anathema if asked about Cleveland--folks would be far more inclined to say "Let it go!
On the one hand, that was certainly newsworthy. On the other hand, a roll call of corporations and what they're donating to hurricane relief becomes, if this is possible, even less interesting the second third, fourth, And they never mentioned Bob Denver 's death. Not once. It seems like the passing of a man who's never been off television since might merit a brief mention on television somewhere along the way. One might hope for more than a brief mention, truth be told. Same thing, after all.
What do you get when you cross a catastrophic hurricane with a sportswriter who's looking at spending a week and a half in Detroit this coming winter? Undoubtedly well-intended, but ultimately self-serving, silliness like this. And if I could look forward to an all-expenses-paid junket every winter, I might think this is a good idea. Needless to say, I don't. This is approximately on the level of the equally-dimwitted proposal that the New York Yankees simply be awarded the World Series title without playing the games, on the grounds that it might help the city recover from the terrorist attacks to be awarded something it didn't earn.
Leaving out my previously-stated antipathy to domed stadiums in southern cities 12 October , this idea is a financial windfall that no city deserves. Indeed, given the amount of money said to pour into a city hosting the Super Bowl, I submit that the pendulum should swing in precisely the other direction: that the Super Bowl should be rotated equally among all 31 of the league's cities New Jersey may have two teams, but since they play in the same stadium, they get one game between them.
That, however, isn't going to happen--climate considerations alone guarantee that there won't be an outdoor Super Bowl in the north until global warming gets a lot further out of control. In order to move closer to an ideal, though, here's an alternate proposal: The Super Bowl should be on some kind of strict regional rotation schedule. The implications of that rule for the folks ultimately charged with replacing the Superdome are left as an exercise.
I've been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, incidentally , and while it's a nice enough place to visit, I'm in no real rush to go back there--and that was before recent weather events. That having been said, they do make a good root beer down there. As annoying as that is, it's not the point of this entry.
One of the most inane components of the recent media coverage of gasoline price insanity has been the repeated pointing out that "adjusted for inflation, gas cost more per gallon in than it does today". That being the case, it's difficult for me to find any sort of comfort in this economic pronouncement. Actually, this seems to me to be an excellent opportunity to separate the baby boomers membership in which I reject for myself and the much-maligned Generation X. If this bit of economics matters to you, you're probably a baby boomer or older. Another list that's gotten a lot longer these days.
After a couple of months, I recognised that it was on Chip Night that my mood would be lifted and I made the link that my feeling happy was down to the very fact that it was Chip Night. I would regularly receive portions of chips that were very small but such was the relief to be getting something other than potatoes and because I was new to prison life I still managed to get in turn with my grateful side.
To make up for the minuscule portions of chips I would attain four slices of bread laden with butter and stingily apply approximately single chips per slice. If I got a really small portion of chips I probably would only use three out of the four slices of bread as I always liked to finish the meal with half a handful of chips with the meagre piece of fish. Nowadays I have learnt various tricks of the trade to ensure that Chip Night is a good night. Over the years I have had to become adept at the art form of Chip-raising as Chip Nights generally occur twice in a week throughout the prison estate and one of those nights is universally on a Friday.
If you have a bad Chip Night on Friday it will kick your weekends off in dreadful fashion and you cannot afford bad weekends because they can turn into bad weeks, bad months and so on. Here are a few tips into the art of Chip-raising. Be good friends with the servery workers 2. Bribe the servery workers 3. Spot a fellow inmate who does not like chips and do the same to him as the servery workers 4. Spot a person who is going for a visit early Friday afternoon and make the request as he comes back from the visit 5.
Never fall out with your chip donors 6. A chip server will experience heat like no other and I do not envy his position. Being in prison is huge test in itself but surely serving chips on the servery has to be the toughest test of them all. I have witnessed even the strongest of inmates succumb to the pressure of chip serving. Let me make an observation. If you see a prisoner serving chips, and he has been doing so for some time in perceived comfort then that is an indication that he is underworld connected. I speak no more and move swiftly on. In an attempt to make the prison cuisine better over the years I have attended many food forums.
A food forum is where a couple of inmates from every wing have a meeting with the kitchen manager and the governor and discuss the catering in the prison. The inmates put forward their issues and ideas of improvement and they are discussed and solved or revisited at the next forum. You always manage to get some idiot on the forum asking to introduce more soup to replace crisps or biscuits. What a mug! I prefer to call it flavoured water.
Irrespective of whether there are enough chips or not I always argue for more. I have often questioned my affinity with chips and asked myself, is this even healthy? My jail experience has taken me away from her and I think subconsciously the chip thing is my way of staying close to her. I yearn to eat a portion of chips with my mother again. I have come to realise that nostalgia is a very powerful tool. A simple thing like eating chips with my mother has ended up becoming a very significant experience that would not have been expected to make such a mark on my life.
I remember being on a visit with my mother and somehow, we got talking about food. This made me chuckle again. I often joke with fellow inmates if we were in certain American states we could be receiving our last meal for the crimes we have committed. I then asked them what their last meal would be. On a personal note, I would be spoilt for choice because I love so many foods but I know that the carbohydrates would definitely be chips.
However, there is no getting away from chip talk in prison. Gifted a Tangerine the size of a fat orange plump dimples presaging juicy tumescent sacs an inviting nipple of peel — motherly not loverly — offers itself as the gateway. The less than gifted, gifter waits, expectant eyes eager to vicariously consume the exotic prandial pleasure — emotional onanism masquerading as altruism. The pliant peel willingly succumbs to impatient digits sliding between firm, but supple fruit purses and velvety pith. As luscious skin is shed loose gaps between pipless portions selflessly present themselves for immolation: evolution, designed for reproduction, de-engineered for impotent consumerism.
The giftee carefully separates the eight segments, laying them as a smiling face on a Penguin edition of Nausea. The gifter ogles this dismemberment and post a shameful pre-prandial completion nods and walks away satiated but empty. Baggy Skinned. Wee white fluffy baw awe joy O, although you look so innocent Ma teeth quiver wae anticipation The taste awe coconut an marshmallow It melts in ma mooth lik a drop a snow Ma belly welcomes you wae satisfaction. From my cell widow I see the long curves of the Downs, like great whales stranded on the unseen shore, the rising of their great chalk bulk built from millions of skeletons, white beneath the green skin of grass.
Then on TV I see breaking news — on the coast, upon another shore, a family of fabulous creatures like pictures from an old story: whales, stranded like refugees, helpless victims of our tides with a one-way ticket to oblivion. Whales HM. No, it was more the feeling at the back of our minds that something else was wrong. The way he refused to walk long distances.
The way his balance seemed off-key. The way he leant over the railings on the central pier during his last day and was violently sick. February 9th. I forgot to buy the chicken for your dinner party. I told you a chicken joke and you forgave me. April 7th. I broke your favourite vase during a bout of resented dusting.
I found another one online. You cried when it arrived. June 19th. I came home drunk while your mother was visiting. I bought your mother flowers and you kissed the top of my head. April 20th. I found him at 3am in the rain. You called me your hero. November 11th. You died. When you have been in prison for as long as I have, and you have no concrete release date, you begin to wonder if you even exist at all.
Surely the whole point of existence is to have an effect. To leave something behind perhaps. Even if that is just a thought or an emotion within someone else. Jail is like purgatory. You are still around, but you have no impact. No effect. The point of your existence is void.
You slowly begin to die. But there are two ways out of purgatory. One is a torturously meandering and slow death. The other is to fight back with an all-consuming desire for life. This included my beard trimmer, camping stove, a spare pair of shoes, and a pair of second hand British Airways first class flight pyjamas an incredibly bitter loss. One thing for sure about donkeys, they can stand and stare. Hard work, it was to pull him out of the mud.
Are these donkeys homeless? Maybe one of the donkeys got wounds all over very disappointing. Nice house. Peaceful, to me is a dancing whipped hand tied fly a Gold ribbed hares ear nymph, or a Greenwells Glory. Peaceful, to me is the naked flame of a campfire, a smoked brown trout and a dram of whiskey. Finishing the letter took me more time than I thought it would. Rodent watched my every movement like a sharp-eyed teacher looking for something amiss. He sits back on his hind legs, stumpy half-tail swishing back and forth.
His little dish-like ears twitch at every sound. I look over the finished letter, my cramped writing filling pages. Carefully, I fold the paper and slip it into the envelope: all under the watchful gaze of Rodent. He scampers away into the night. I can see the glint of lamplight off his small eyes as he looks back at me. Welcome to junk town. Plug in and change your mind. Wash your hands. Hygiene is a…coffee pot. Just add fuel. Smoking seriously harms you. Probably that or that bad cheese you ate. A craving only lasts three minutes. Every little helps.
Aw that stuff like stuck you know like stuck in yae. Bobby Rush began his career in music over 55 years ago. Schooled in the music of Chicago in the s, Rush has taken his brand of Soul Blues from the Chitlin' Circuit to stages around the world. In the mids he expanded his touring to include as many mainstream Blues festivals and clubs as possible. Last year, , Rush won his first Blues Music Award. It seems like every year that Bobby Rush is nominated as Entertainer of the Year and Soul Blues Performer of the Year, but he is also well known for his charitable work in Jackson, Mississippi.
From chairing a prison ministry to feeding hundreds of children every week to hosting benefits for the needy, Bobby Rush never stops. Paul Butterfield ranks among the most influential harp players in the Blues. Born in in Chicago, Illinois, he began playing classical flute as a child. He also grew up listening to his father's Jazz records and in he and future band mate Nick Gravenites began to catch Blues acts in the clubs of the South Side.
Fronted by Butterfield's strong vocals and harp and augmented by Bloomfield's Blues-based guitar, the band landed a deal for their first LP with Elektra in and also backed Bob Dylan when the Folk hero famously defected to Rock at the Newport Folk festival that year. The albums released by the Butterfield Blues Band brought Chicago Blues to a generation of Rock fans during the s and paved the way for late s electric groups like Cream. One of the most popular and prolific blues recording artists of the s, Walter Davis was born in Grenada, Mississippi, on March 1, He became a leading figure on the St.
Louis blues scene, working alongside Roosevelt Sykes and Henry Townsend. Sykes was on the pianist on Davis' early recordings; subsequent sessions featured Davis' own idiosyncratic brand of piano. Although Walter Davis is not a name well known among today's blues audiences, his songs of trouble and despair, as well as his double entendre humor, struck a resounding chord with blues buyers of the era: from to , he recorded more than sides, released on the Victor, Bluebird, Supertone, and Montgomery Ward labels. King, J. In his final years, Davis became a preacher in St. He died on October 22, His first recording session at Sam Phillips' studio in Memphis produced what is often called the first rock 'n' roll record' Rocket '88,' sung by Ike's saxophonist Jackie Brenston, but the song was actually a rocking Delta version of Jimmy Liggins' jump blues recording Cadillac Boogie.
Izear Luster Turner Jr. King, Otis Rush, and Buddy Guy. Ike renamed her Tina, and the rest is rock 'n' roll and Hollywood history. Drug abuse and spousal abuse sullied his reputation, but a cleaned-up Ike Turner managed to reemerge as a headliner in the blues world during his final years by re-embracing his blues roots in his performances and recordings. He died at his home in San Marcos, California, on December 12, Fulton Allen, also known as Blind Boy Fuller, was one of the most influential and popular Bluesmen of the s.
He recorded an impressive collection of songs in a short span from on his National steel guitar. The distinctive syncopated rhythm of his self-titled song captured the primal spirit of restless youth of those times. He followed that success up the next year with 'Who Do You Love,' solidifying his place in history as the originator of what has since become known around the world as the 'Bo Diddley Beat. One of the few blues queens of the prewar vaudeville era to enjoy a new round of celebrity in the s, '70s, and '80s, Sippie Wallace began her recording career in She was singing in tent shows and performing with her brothers, pianists George and Hersal Thomas, before moving to Chicago and then to Detroit in the s.
She became a popular act for OKeh Records and toured the T. After recording only sporadically in the intervening decades, she made a comeback in at the encouragement of Victoria Spivey and recorded her most critically acclaimed albums in Europe for the Storyville label. Her career was subsequently boosted by Bonnie Raitt, bringing her more prestigious performing and recording opportunities as Wallace's songs 'Women Be Wise' and 'I'm a Mighty Tight Woman,' among others gained renewed popularity. Wallace died in Detroit on her 88th birthday, Nov.
Forty-five of her songs including both sides of several singles for Mercury Records made the Billboard charts between and Born Ruth Lee Jones on Aug. A club owner gave her the name Dinah Washington in , and the next year her growing renown landed her a job as vocalist with the Lionel Hampton band.
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During her tenure with Mercury, she enjoyed five No. During the World War II years Perkins also drove a tractor on the Hopson plantation near Clarksdale, where an annual celebration is now held in his honor. In Clarksdale he later mentored a young Ike Turner on piano and began working with another prodigy, guitarist Earl Hooker. Perkins first recorded as pianist on a Nighthawk session in Chicago in After recording two albums with the unit, Perkins embarked on his belated solo career. Although he did not have a full album under his own name in the United States until he was 75 years old in , during the next two decades he recorded more than 15 LPs and CDs as the reigning patriarch of blues piano.
Born Feb. He developed a winsome style aided by his smiling persona and the masterful record production of Dave Bartholomew at Imperial Records. In later years he retired except for an occasional special home town appearance. Domino was in the news again in as a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, safely evacuated from his flooded house in the Ninth Ward. Raised in a religious household where blues was banned, in Portsmouth, Virginia, where she was born on Jan. She had five No. Atlantic Records not only paid their housebuilder but also contributed funds to get the foundation started.
Brown, who had begun working as an actress, made a comeback as a singer and became a heralded performer and spokesperson for African American music in her final years. Big Maceo Merriweather was one of the most prominent blues recording artists of the s, famed not only for his powerful piano work but for his expressive singing on hits such as Worried Life Blues. Although he had only a short career, his music had a strong influence on the Chicago pianists who followed, especially Otis Spann and Little Johnnie Jones.
Born Major Merriweather on March 21, , near Newnan, Georgia, Maceo and his family lived on a farm until they moved to nearby Atlanta in There the left-handed Maceo took up the piano, developing a pounding style with, naturally, a prominent left hand that would later distinguish his recordings. In he moved to Detroit, where he began playing the house party circuit which was the bread and butter of piano players in prewar blues.
He also worked the night clubs of Detroit and, during the s and '50s, Chicago after he moved to the Windy City. Maceo recorded for Bluebird and RCA Victor under the supervision of Lester Melrose from to , establishing himself as a major name among blues record buyers. The first song he recorded, the poignant Worried Life Blues, is considered such an essential blues work that it was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in the first year of the Classics of Blues Recording balloting, years before Maceo himself was inducted as a performer.
He never regained the strength or stature he had once enjoyed, though, and, like a number of top blues recording artists of the era, was never able, even at his peak, to translate his fame into a successful touring career. Blues promoters, agents, and clubs were only beginning to coalesce into what we know as the chittlin circuit, and the big theater circuit was the domain of jazz and swing bands and uptown blues shouters and crooners. Big Maceo made his final records for Specialty in and Fortune in , in addition to an unissued session for Mercury in He died of a heart attack on February 26, , in Chicago.
Her first hit was 'The Wallflower' for the Modern Records in She continued to record hits for the Modern, Argo and Cadet labels throughout the 's. Her battle with drugs became a focal point during the teen years of her career but as a testament to Etta's talent and personal fortitude she returned to recording and performing in James is heralded as a purveyor of great music as she has embraced songs from different styles and molded them into her own. A journey through the music of Etta James' career declares her as a great translator of music and emotion.
Junior Parker was one of the four most popular blues recording artists of the s and '60s, in a league with B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, and Little Milton, based on the number of records that hit the Billboard charts during that era. Born Herman Parker, Jr. His Mystery Train didn't sell as well but it did inspire Elvis Presley to record his own version for Sun. Parker's closest associate was Bobby Bland. The two performed together in the Memphis area, and when Parker started going on the road on the strength of hit records on the Duke label such as Next Time You See Me, Driving Wheel, and Sweet Home Chicago, Bland went with him as his valet and opening act.
Sweet Home Chicago, today an all too familiar barroom blues, dated back to Robert Johnson and earlier artists, but it was Parker's record that revived it and inspired the versions often played in Chicago by Magic Sam and many others. Toward the end of his career, Parker was still embracing the blues, and also trying out new musical settings, ranging from a partnership with jazz organist Jimmy McGriff to covering Beatles songs in a very non-British manner. He might well have tapped into entirely new audiences for his blues had he lived, but he died of a brain tumor on November 18, , in Blue Island, Illinois.
Radio personality, entertainer and talent scout, Rufus Thomas the self-proclaimed world's oldest teenager, personifies Memphis music. Thomas' professional career began in the 30's performing as a comedian in minstrel shows, and he heightened his career in the 's as a disc jockey on WDIA, one of the few black managed stations of the era. Rufus Thomas has been a mentor to some of the most influential talent to come from the Memphis. He ran a talent show on the famous avenue for the Blues, Beale Street. His contestants soon turned into legends - B. As patriarch of the Thomas family, Rufus also guided the talent and careers of his children Carla, Vaneese and Marvell.
A major contributor to the resurgence of interest in the blues in the s, Stevie Ray Vaughan inspired a new generation of blues and rock guitarists to follow his lead. Drawing on a variety of blues, rock, soul and jazz influences, including Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, and an array of iconic blues guitarists from Chicago and Texas, Vaughan developed an identifiable sound, one that proved commercially viable outside the limits of the blues market -- his debut album, Texas Flood its title track a cover of a Larry Davis' blues 45 - was the first of a series to hit the Billboard pop charts.
Born in Dallas on Oct. Honing his skills amidst fertile music scene of Austin, where visiting guitarists such as Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Otis Rush provided inspiration on their visits to Antone's famous nightclub, Vaughan and his band Double Trouble named after another blues single, this one by Otis Rush impressed veteran producer John Hammond enough in to sign them to a contract with Epic Records. Vaughan's star rose quickly thereafter, as did his level of substance abuse, but he was going strong again after rehabilitation when he died in a helicopter crash in East Troy, Wisconsin, following a concert on Aug.
The posthumously issued The Sky is Crying album was his most successful album on the Billboard Hot charts, peaking at No. Bandleader, club owner, producer, writer, label owner, DJ, singer, drummer, and vibraphonist, Otis was responsible for recording such artists as Charles Brown, Little Esther Phillips, and Big Mama Thornton, and off and on beginning in the '40s led a revue that featured both big names and new discoveries, in comedy as well as music.
In varying configurations the Otis crew periodically regrouped to tour and record in the midst of the leader's other pursuits, which grew to include hosting a TV show, writing books on race and music, painting, sculpting and publishing a book of artwork, teaching, and preaching at his own church. Although Otis came from a Greek family, he chose to marry a black woman in and live as a member of the African American community. Otis died on Jan. Born in Arkansas, Sykes moved to St. Louis with his family in the early 20's, soon becoming the city's top Blues attraction.
As a credit to his popularity, Roosevelt Sykes was one of the few Blues artists who continued to record during the shellac rationing of World War II. Charm and style earned him the nickname 'The Honeydripper,' and Roosevelt turned around and gave his band the moniker while touring throughout the South before and after the war. One of the first American Bluesmen to tour Europe, Sykes was a constant figure on the road through the 's and 's.
A true musician's musician, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown has mastered the guitar, fiddle, drums, viola, harmonica, piano, mandolin and bass. Gatemouth's smooth blend of Texas style with Jazz, Country and Cajun music has altered the definition of the Blues. His versatility singles him out as an architect of modern Blues sounds.
The club owner Don Robey loved young Brown's performance, and he offered Gatemouth not only several shows at the club, but also a management deal.
Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown's acceptance marked the beginning of this Blues career and soon after he became the first artist on Robey's new Peacock label. Handy Blues Awards he has received over the years. Luther Allison broke onto the national blues scene as the hot young up-and-comer from Chicago in , so highly touted that he even scored a contract with Motown in -- almost unheard-of for a bluesman in an era when funk and soul dominated black music. Allison had plenty of funk and soul in his blues, however, and added a heavier touch of rock guitar over the years.
Born in Widener, Arkansas, on Aug. King-influenced blues. Peoria, Illinois, and Madison, Wisconsin, were other bases for his career at different times. Allison made his recording debut on Delmark Records, worked the blues circuit for a few years, and made big news when he signed to record three albums for Motown's Gordy subsidiary.
But predictions of crossover stardom failed to materialize. His career in the U. A decade later, he finally began to achieve some measure of the success he had long sought after he returned home and hit his stride with a series of albums for Alligator. With marketing and promotion behind him, his crowd-pleasing, high-energy live show and winsome personality made him a favorite with festival audiences, as well as a multiple Handy Award winner.
Allison made his mark on the blues, but all too suddenly it was over: he was diagnosed with cancer in July of and passed away on August 12, at the age of He left his legacy in capable hands, however, as his son Bernard Allison has continued to attack the blues with the same kind of spirit that drove his father. Amos Blackmore had barely shaken the dust of his native Memphis' streets from his pants cuffs when he began to make a name for himself in Chicago Blues. Soon after the pugnacious year-old moved north with his mother, Blackmore could be found standing shoulder-to-hip with the great Little Walter blowing harp for tips on Maxwell Street.
Four years later he was fronting his own band - the Three Deuces, with the brothers Dave and Louis Myers. And in , at age 19, he made his first recordings as a leader, backed by Elmore James and the drummer Fred Below. His second session, 10 months later, featured Muddy Waters and Otis Spann. Thus began Blackmore's year career as the irrepressible Junior Wells - a genius, a little giant of the Blues. A dynamic innovator who electrified juke joints and international concert halls with his flamboyant steps, funky arrangements, raw yet buttery vocals and his harmonica - the instrument Junior often called his 'Mississippi saxophone' and played like a Chicago Illinois Jacquet.
It was the harmonica that put his star in ascendance. And it was there that he blossomed, smoothing his ghetto-hardened edges into a charming stage persona under Muddy's paternal tutelage. Wells once described himself as 'one set of lungs, one tongue and a whole lot of teeth - like a baby piranha. Together these men defined the sound of electric Blues' second generation. Although Wells was himself becoming a Pied Piper - a musical skyrocket disguised as a derby-wearing dandy whose incendiary performances proved irresistible to streetwise audiences - he was in turn lured by the sound of the then-emerging James Brown.
Wells adopted the Georgia singer's trademarks like driving horns and unison playing for own his bands. He made his vocal phrasing hew closer to the beat. And he punctuated his wailing voice and harp with dazzling splits and spins. In Wells also began one of the Blues' most famous musical partnerships. He and guitarist Buddy Guy tag-teamed in the studio and on stages all over the world on-and-off for 30 years. They opened for the Rolling Stones in and later recorded with members of the group. But their best work together appeared on deep Blues albums for Delmark, Vanguard, Atlantic and other labels, recorded as a duo or under either of their names.
Those include Junior's classics 'Southside Blues Jam' and 'Hoodoo Man Blues,' the first recordings that reproduced the spontaneity and feel of intimate, soulful Chicago club dates. Junior Wells continued to tour and record and make historic music nearly until his death on January 15, His final string of recordings for Tel Arc reflect the diversity of his Blues. The release won the W. In that album's abundance of songs featuring acoustic and National steel guitars and Junior's will-o'-the-wisp harmonica, he conjured up the spirits of the rural Blues man he'd heard during his Delta boyhood.
Most recently Junior had taken to the road with a nine-piece band that embraced every aspect of his repertoire. Later that year he became too ill to perform. After a four-month battle with lymphoma, it claimed him at age Remembering his friend of so many years, Buddy Guy recently observed that 'Junior and me are both from the old school. We were students of Muddy Waters and them. They handed the Blues to us. And we did our thing and have been trying to carry it on to the young people today. Because family records of his birth were lost, he believed for years that he had been born in It was only when he went to apply for a passport that he found out otherwise.
Brownie came by his music naturally. Around the house the family listened to recordings by the likes of Bessie Smith and Lonnie Johnson. His brother Granville was born in Shortly thereafter Brownie contracted polio which shortened his right leg and made it difficult to walk without the aid of a crutch or cane. As a youngster, Granville acquired the nickname 'Stick' because he used a stick to guide the small wagon Brownie often used to get around.
Perhaps because of his inability to interact fully with neighborhood children, Brownie learned to play guitar and piano. Brownie spent his school years in Kingsport, Tennessee where the family had moved without his mother. Brownie began playing guitar, piano, and pump organ for the Solomon Temple Baptist Church. The frequency of his playing forced him to learn to use picks.
He began using a thumb pick and finger picks for all of his guitar playing. When he was in the eighth grade he moved to Maryville, Tennessee. He and Stick began entertaining white people at the Smoky Mountain Hotel and at drinking parties on riverboats. Brownie played picnics, carnivals, medicine shows, and worked for a time in the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. He began playing all over the Piedmont area, thumbing rides up and down the highway, living the life of an itinerant Bluesman. He often slept in graveyards, feeling that others superstitions kept him safe.
He moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where he could be found in 'Brownie's Alley,' which became a hot spot for area musicians looking for work. In , he got rid of his canes and crutches following an operation on his leg sponsored by the March of Dimes. Long was a Durham, North Carolina department store owner who had been managing the career of Blind Boy Fuller and had close ties with the Okeh record company.
Because Fuller's failing health prevented him from making a recording session, Long persuaded Okeh to give Brownie an audition. Brownie's first session was on August 6, The recordings went on for two days and yielded 12 sides. The first song was 'Picking my Tomatoes. Though this was not an uncommon practice at the time, McGhee and his family resented it.
It was at this juncture that Brownie began his longtime partnership with Fuller's harmonica player, Sonny Terry. Brownie learned the subtleties of the publishing business from Buddy Moss at a swap session later in Chicago. With the proceeds from his first recordings he bought the top of the line Gibson J As his recordings became popular in the 40's Brownie became afraid that his audience might grow tired of him.
He began to record under various pseudonyms for various labels. Around , he cut 'My Fault' for the Savoy Company. The song was a hit and stayed on top of the Billboard charts for 12 weeks. In , he married his wife, Ruth, with whom he had two daughters. They played college concerts and folk festivals and made a number of recordings up into the 70's. Brownie parted company with Sonny Terry in Most likely somewhere in the mix would be the music of the premiere blueswoman of her generation, the Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor. She certainly has all the tools: a big, gravely voice; a ton of good tunes; a wardrobe of flashy dresses; and a stage personality so compelling, so riveting, that you can't help but watch and listen.
Yet there's also the offstage Koko: sweet and humble, focused and directed, cheerful and energetic. The one who delights in 'making people happy all over the world with my music. She sang in the local Baptist church choir and, along with her three brothers and two sisters, played music on homemade instruments. Koko's instrument was her voice. The young woman heard deejays Rufus Thomas and B. She remembers they 'rode to Chicago with 35 cents and a box of Ritz crackers. The couple went to clubs to hear music almost every weekend. Through a connection she met the man who would be her first music business mentor, Willie Dixon.
After a couple unsuccessful efforts at other labels, Dixon started recording Koko for Chess. Koko had arrived on the scene as the popularity of blues was fading with the black audience, and soul was catching fire. Nevertheless, Koko's recording success led to regular work in Chicago, plus trips to black nightspots in the South.
As the s began, she started singing on Chicago's Northside at Wise Fools Pub with Bob Riedy's band, then added Kingston Mines, then Biddy Mulligan's, as these new clubs opened and her audience and the blues' became increasingly more diverse. Powerfully dynamic and successful performances, including the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, led to national touring, and a connection with Bruce Iglauer, owner of the then-fledgling Alligator Records. I consider her music firmly in the tradition of the first generation of Chicago blues artists.
She never wanted to sing anything but the blues, and she likes to leave the raw edges showing. In fact, she injects that rawness into all the music she sings. Undaunted even by a van accident that left her with a broken shoulder, broken collarbone and four broken ribs, Koko keeps on, in her words, 'carrying the torch for the many great names that have passed on - Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Albert King, Albert Collins, Luther Allison - all over the world.
Koko's first gig back after a six-month recuperation was on the main stage at the Chicago Blues Festival. Talk about guts and resilience! Note: Koko married tavern owner Hays Harris in She says 'I'm still on my honeymoon, still smiling. In addition to creating exciting recordings and inspiring performances, Koko is now passing on the fruits of her nearly three and a half decades in the music business by mentoring a new generation of female blues performers. I'm reaching for the sky, but if I fall somewhere in the clouds, I'll still be happy. I'm gonna keep on doin' what I'm doin', and hanging in there for the best.
David "Honeyboy" Edwards defied the odds by only increasing his stature as a performer as he aged into his nineties with his skills and charms still intact. Both as a singer-guitarist and an oral history source, Edwards, was treasured as a living link to the Mississippi country blues of his old friends Robert Johnson, Tommy McClennan, and Big Joe Williams.
Born June 28, or according to some Social Security and census records , Edwards rambled and gambled his way through the Delta and beyond in his early years. He first recorded for the Library of Congress in Clarksdale in but only sporadically during the next two decades. Moving to Chicago in the s, he continued playing in a style that resembled that of his mentor Big Joe Williams, the king of the rambling blues bards, in its idiosyncracies -- a trait that later served him well as a senior statesman of Delta blues, but one which rendered him a secondary figure for years on the more structured postwar Chicago blues band scene.
As the original purveyors of Delta blues faded away, however, Honeyboy was well prepared to carry the tradition into the 21st century. Recording for and traveling with Michael Frank of Earwig Records, Edwards became a favorite at concerts and festivals around the world and may have played in more countries than any bluesman other than B.
When ill health finally sidelined him at the age of 95 or 96 , Honeyboy's fire finally burned out on Aug. Few singers have ever conveyed the troubles, heartache, and loneliness of the blues with a softer, more elegant touch than Charles Brown, one of the most popular and influential pioneers of postwar blues on the West Coast. Brown was born in Texas City, Texas, on Sept. Though he experienced some lean decades as an entertainer, he made his way as a gambler.
Eventually he won a following among new blues audiences in the s and '90s, recording several albums and earning awards and honors for his historic achievements. Although never quite a stage-stopping headliner on a Chicago blues scene loaded with more aggressive personalities, Jimmy Rogers nonetheless played an integral role in the development of the city's electric postwar blues sound. A key member of the Muddy Waters band for years, Rogers also made memorable music on his own, especially during the s with Chess Records.
Especially adept at reworking other artists' songs into his own warm and satisfying treatments, Rogers made classics of 'That's All Right,' 'Ludella,' 'Chicago Bound,' 'Walking By Myself' and others. Rogers was born James A. Lane near Ruleville, Mississippi, on June 3, His music never lost its deep Delta flavor during the odd years he lived in Chicago.
Rogers scuffled after parting ways with Muddy and virtually vanished from the active scene during the s, but returned to action and eventually claimed a respected position in the blues world. His final album was an all-star collaboration with rockers Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills and others paying their respects as guest participants.
Rogers died in Chicago on Dec. His two No. But his nickname was 'Mr. Blues,' and a blues powerhouse he was, as well as a humorist, showman, and 'a profane and raucous individual' in the words of his lifelong friend Preston Love. Many of his hits for Apollo and King Records were recorded with top-flight jazz accompanists.
Harris recorded sporadically afterwards but never again enjoyed the glory or success he'd known as one of the kings of jump blues. Today he is most acknowledged for laying the groundwork for rock 'n' roll. Harris began his career as a dancer in Omaha, where he grew up. Omaha is cited as his birthplace in his bios Aug. Harris died in Los Angeles on June 14, King covered his songs, too. But Crudup was a classic victim of music industry exploitation, and despite the commercial success of his music, was never able to even support his family from his music.
He worked all sorts of jobs, from stacking lumber to picking cotton to selling bootleg liquor, and finally started his own business transporting migrant workers by truck or bus between Florida and Virginia after he left Forest in the mids. Although Crudup, who was born in Forest, Mississippi, on Aug. In Crudup took his guitar to Chicago and started playing on the streets for tips.