When the March for Freedom and Jobs was announced, some feared mass race riots - though in reality the consequence was actually longer lasting with big changes to Civil Rights and Voting Rights which can be said to have started that day in Washington with the "I have a dream" message and has so far produced an Afro-American president. While those on the ground will say there's work to be done, it's incredible what has been achieved in the duration of a single lifetime. Our gospel spot went to a field recording of "Ninety-Nine and a Half" made in Birmingham during 1963 captured for the Smithsonian.
I almost made an error in a muddle-headed belief that Autumn 1963 was the first tour to Europe by the AFBF, further research soon revealed the dates played in Manchester (among others) in 1962. No matter that second Festival tour had Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, Victoria Spivey, the second Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters and Big Joe Williams. I recommend the DVD package and we had a couple of tracks last night. The music is out there on cd but you may need to listen to the SBW tracks before you buy (because some issues cleaned up the sonic howl for some reissues, not on others). The artists in other combinations came annually through in the Seventies and the 1963 date is a goodun. Otis Spann's work as accompanying player is particularly nice.
The Seventies pop music I heard growing up was - almost without exception - dire beyond words and the bigger the chart success the more I came to wade through wodges of dross. How foolish was I when I had to admit I was listening in the wrong places? Case in point: Little Johnnie Taylor's "Part Time Love", surely a candidate for the most perfect three minute single of them all - and a number one record in 1963. Other chart toppers were Otis Rush and Bobby Bland (not to mention artists at the edge of our purview like Jackie Wilson). wow.
For the most part we tarried in the pages of the four issues of BLUES UNLIMITED between April and August 1963. So we had every excuse to play what John Broven called Lazy Lester's best work so far, showcase how good Fenton Robinson was on one of his last sides cut for Duke, and dip into the series of budget albums of Modern recordings then newly out on Crown via John Lee Hooker. It was a tough call to do that one or the one on Smokey Hogg1 The Elmore album would have been particularly welcome for a very popular guitarist; little did the editors know that they'd soon need to do an obituary piece.
Buddy was in our running order three times, once for himself, once at the landmark "FolkSinger" album sessions Muddy Waters did in 1963 then as the credited bass player for Howlin' Wolf's "Built For Comfort" almost exactly 50 years hence to the day. (Hubert Sumlin had lead guitar duties (of-course)). On his day Buddy was, and still is, way out in front. I touched on his new project last week with half of it being a masterclass in modern blues playing, the other being a masterclass in classic rock pyrotechnics.
The guys writing for the magazine were coming across the music for the first time, almost on our behalf. Its easy for me in a white tee with half a century of research and easy availability of the music to miss what they achieved most likely at their own expense and time. Sure they made a few errors of fact but there were few errors of judgement, there weren't very many reviews that missed the mark. They'd have also been thrilled to get albums compiling pre-war artists like Leroy Car and John Lee (Sonny Boy) Williamson. Other features in those first magazines looked at B B King, Arhoolie and Delmark record labels and a listing of pseudonyms used by gospel and blues artists in the pre-war period. They also were in eager anticipation of the very first blues bible from Goodrich and Dixon. We take that work for granted now (as well as the post war counterpart from Leadbitter and Slaven), here was the prospect of a single tome to collate music for collectors.
Two hours was scant time to do there subjects properly, many thanks for your kind invitation to your place while I tried. We don't ever claim to be the best but we will do our darndest to be different to back up our claim as Britain's Other Blues Show. Hear for yourself again on Sunday at 10pm (BST), until then take care of yourselves and take care of those that take care of you
|Homework||Otis Rush||8||Theme Time Radio Hour||Various Artists||ACE|
|When My Left Eye Jumps||Buddy Guy||5||Stone Crazy||Buddy Guy||ORBIS BLUES COLLECTION|
|Built for Comfort||Howlin' Wolf||6||Complete Recordings 1951-1969||Howlin' Wolf||CHARLY|
|Sugar Bee||Crochet, Cleveland||27||The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll - Volume 7||Various Artists||ACE|
|Lonesome Highway Blues||Lazy Lester||20||I'm A Lover Not A Fighter||Lazy Lester||ACE|
|Sanafee (Not Welcome Anymore)||Baby Boy Warren||14||Let Me Tell You About The Blues: Detroit||Various Artists||Fantastic Voyage|
|Part Time Love||Little Johnnie Taylor||21||Birth Of Soul Vol. 1||Various Artists||Kent (U.K.)|
|Mississippi Steamboat||Fenton Robinson||3||Dave's Dukes||Fenton RobinsonLarry Davis|
|Wondering||Little Junior Parker||5||Ride With Me, Baby: The Singles 1952-1961||Little Junior Parker||Fantastic Voyage|
|Drifting From Door to Door||John Lee Hooker||11||Original Folk Blues ... Plus||John Lee Hooker||ACE|
|Goin' Down Slow||Otis Spann||10||Lost Blues Tapes/More American Folk Blues Festival||Various Artists||ACT|
|C.C. Rider||Lonnie Johnson||12||Lost Blues Tapes/More American Folk Blues Festival||Various Artists||ACT|
|Ninety - Nine - And - A - Half Won't Do||Various Artists (Uncredited)||21||Sing For Freedom||Various Artists (Uncredited)||SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS|
|My Home is in the Delta||Muddy Waters||157||The Complete Muddy Waters 1947-1967||Muddy Waters||CHARLY|
|It's Your Voo Doo Working||Charles Sheffield||1||Louisiana Gumbo||Various Artists||Putumayo World Music|
|Stormy Monday Blues||Bobby 'Blue' Bland||11||The Voice : Duke Recordings 1959-69||Bobby 'Blue' Bland||ACE|
|Cry Baby||Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters||7||Time Is On My Side: The Jerry Ragovoy Story||Various Artists||ACE|
|Play on Little Girl||T-Bone Walker||4||T-Bone Blues||T-Bone Walker||SEQUEL|
|My Home is a Prison||Lonesome Sundown||10||It's Your Voodoo Working: The Best Of Excello||Various Artists||universal music operations|
|No No Baby||Clarence Garlow||20||Rhythm 'N' Bluesin' By The Bayou||Various Artists||ACE|
|i don't care||tabby thomas||2||Rhythm 'N' Bluesin' By The Bayou||Various Artists||ACE|
|Dust My Blues||Elmore James And His Broomdusters||7||The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956||Elmore James And His Broomdusters||ACE|
|I Believe I'll Make a Change||Leroy Carr||33||Sloppy Drunk||Leroy Carr||CATFISH|
|Good Morning Little Schoolgirl||Sonny Boy Williamson I||21||The Best Of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour||Various Artists||CHROME|
|big roll blues||big joe williams||14||Lost Blues Tapes/More American Folk Blues Festival||Various Artists||ACT|