Posts Tagged ‘Lonnie Johnson’

Saturday Matinee – Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Willie Dixon and a Big Wad of Blues

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Sister Rosetta Tharpe‘s  version of “Didn’t It Rain” (Manchester, England in 1964). She exemplified the musical connection between gospel, blues and rock and roll. The song first appeared as piano sheet music in 1927, but I’d guess it dates to the 1800s [h/t Bunkessa].

What a treasure trove this is [via]. In the early 1960s The Blues was largely ignored in the U.S., yet many classic artists found a receptive audience  in Britain. From the Utoobage description:

“Recorded live for TV broadcast throughout Britain, these historic performances have been unseen for nearly 40 years. Filmed with superb camera work and pristine sound, 14 complete performances and 4 bonus performances are included by Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Johnson, Big Joe Williams, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Joe Turner, Junior Wells, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.”

Spotted Willie Dixon on bass in that vid, so let’s post this:

Yeah, he stuttered in real life, yet Dixon wrote and performed an incredible amount of classic blues tunes.

This compilation should hold you for a while. Have a great weekend, folks, and may you never be nervous.

Saturday Matinee – Froggy Chillin’, Leon Redbone, Lonnie Johnson, Bob Brozman, Bonnie Raitt & Roy Rogers

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Froggy be chillin’.

“I’m just an entertainer, and I use music as a medium for entertaining. But I’m not really an entertainer either, because to be an entertainer it implies you have a great desire to want to entertain.”
Leon Redbone

Leon Redbone‘s take on Lonnie Johnson’s “Mr. Jelly Roll Baker” in 2009. (BTW, “jelly roll” was slang for something other than a pastry.)

On growing up in New Orleans Parish: “There was music all around us, and in my family you’d better play something, even if you just banged on a tin can.”
Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson created the single-note guitar solo in the 1920s, and decades passed before the guitar was regarded as more than a background rhythm instrument. I don’t know who’s on drums or piano, but that’s Willie Dixon on bass, and the vid is likely from the mid to late 1960s.

My first impression of “ethnomusicologist” Bob Brozman was that he’s a pretentious jerk. On the other hand, he’s crammed some great country/Delta blues licks into his American Steel.

Let’s wrap this baboso up with two of the greatest modern day slide guitar players, on stage together in Austin: Bonnie Raitt & Roy Rogers jamming “Gnawin’ On It.”

So gnaw on that, folks, and have a great weekend.


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