Monday, 31 January 2011

STAR BLUES on 30th January 2011 at 22:00

In the wake of the revelation that Neil Jones’ name translates as “Rock God”, we just had a Chain and a white tee-shirt in answer. The armful of blues and a smidgeon of trivia saw us through the two hours of STAR BLUES in the merest trice.

Both links in our chain were written by Pomus and Shuman: the first for Elvis Presley but done for us by Ry Cooder as he was the closer to the last show. His “Bop Till You Drop” album in 1979 was the first entirely made using digital technology, something taken for granted these days. Our closer yesterday was “Lonely Avenue” that was a hit for Ray Charles at Atlantic in 1956. In truth we could have chosen any of dozens of great songs from one of the best writing partnerships known to man. As for next week, you’ll have to be with us at ten next Sunday…

It would have been Janis Joplin’s birthday during the week so we had good reason to go to her landmark “Pearl” album for “Move Over” – her voice still gets to those neck hairs. Our back to back feature went by way of Solomon Burke’s original of “Stupidity” to the version done by Dr. Feelgood in 1975 that gave them a number#1 album. The line-up of the band is one of just two lists of trivia that everyone should know: Big Figure, John B Sparks, Wilko Johnson & Lee Brilleaux. (BTW the other essential list is the 1966 England World Cup winning team).

Texan Lloyd Glenn decamped to California in 1947 and hooked up with T-Bone Walker and Lowell Fulson; he also did some sides under his own name for Swing Time, one instrumental - “Chica Boo” - got an outing last night in the feature “You Me and1001 Blues”. The playing influenced Ray Charles and got to number#1 in the R&B charts in 1951. Real shame that a quick Google only brings forth entries on John Glenn the astronaut. Better luck (but only just) when searching for the “Spirit of Memphis Quartet” who did a rousing gospel performance for us. The core three voices were in groups of 4 to 8 men at various times, I’ve made a note to find out more of their Duke and King recordings.

Diddling on the piano, Fats Domino, Dr John and Bob Hall (sadly one at a time, two from New Orleans and one from Blighty). Wizardry of the six string axe showed up in several guises from Guitar Shorty and Otis Grand through to Josh White, Big Bill Broonzy and Michael Roach. I managed to squeeze in the best harp solo in recorded blues from Walter Horton for Jimmy Rogers then it was all over leaving me wondering if that was really two hours. Your company was really appreciated you made me so welcome, I hope we can do it again next Sunday, until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you

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