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Blues Hall Of Fame Podcast

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United States

Language:

English


Episodes

Blues Hall of Fame - 026 - Dinah Washington

1/3/2018
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Dinah Washington was the most popular black, female, recording artist of the 50’s. During the peak of her career it seemed like everything she touched turned to gold. Obviously, she had made a lot of fans. She also counted the other musical stars of the day as ardent devotees. Her talent, charisma, and hit-making ability were undeniable and everyone wanted to record with her. But the critics weren’t always so nice. See, Dinah was a blues singer, they felt. And they wanted her to stay a...

Duration:00:11:21

Blues Hall of Fame - 021 - Son House

12/20/2017
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Born into in rural, baptist Mississippi in 1902, Son House felt called to be a preacher at the young age of 15. But it just wasn’t meant to be. As he matured into adulthood, he developed an affinity for alcohol. It proved to be a strange mix of ideals. The one evening, while drinking and gambling with friends, House tried his hand at singing the blues. The die was cast. The preacher’s booming voice filled the room, the bottleneck guitar answered, and a bluesman was born. Son House...

Duration:00:10:49

Blues Hall of Fame - 025 - Bukka White

12/20/2017
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Booker T Washington White, aka Bukka White, was many things. Like most African Americans born into the oppressive, Jim Crow era in the Mississippi Delta, he grew up sharecropping and picking cotton for plantation owners. He also drove mule teams. Bukka was a wandering Delta nomad, a professional boxer, a preacher, he played professional baseball in the Negro Leauges, and he even spent time working on a chain-gang. But, he’s best known for playing the blues. His first instrument was the...

Duration:00:09:52

Blues Hall of Fame - 024 - Bessie Smith

12/6/2017
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We continue the series with Bessie Smith, the Empress of The Blues. Bessie Smith wasn’t born into royalty. She had to work her way up. But, she had the talent and she most certainly had the determination to overcome her humble origins. At 9 years of age, Bessie was orphaned and earning money for food by singing with her older brother on street corners in Chattanooga, TN. He ran away to pursue a better life with a vaudeville troupe, but he eventually returned to get her when she was 18....

Duration:00:10:46

Blues Hall of Fame - 023 - Charlie Patton

11/29/2017
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Charlie Patton was the very first bluesman to record and popularize the blues. Born in 1891 in Bolton, MS (in the southern part of the state), Charlie and his family relocated to Dockery Farms around 1900, looking for opportunity and a better way of life. The towns in the northern delta were less established and in need of labor - as a result, black workers were treated better on the northern plantations than those in the southern, more established part of the state. At Dockery, his family...

Duration:00:10:50

Blues Hall of Fame - 022 - Ma Rainey

11/15/2017
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If Bessie Smith is the acknowledged “Queen of the Blues,” then Gertrude “Ma” Rainey is the undisputed “Mother of the Blues.” Or, as one historian famously said, “If there was another woman who sang the blues before Rainey, nobody remembered hearing her.” Ma Rainey was born Gertrude Pridgett in, 1886 in Columbus, Georgia. She made her performing debut at the age of 14 in a local theatre show. In her late teens, she married and soon found herself touring with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. She...

Duration:00:11:55

Blues Hall of Fame - 021 - Son House

11/1/2017
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Born into in rural, baptist Mississippi in 1902, Son House felt called to be a preacher at the young age of 15. But it just wasn't meant to be. As he matured into adulthood, he developed an affinity for alcohol. It proved to be a strange mix of ideals. The one evening, while drinking and gambling with friends, House tried his hand at singing the blues. The die was cast. The preacher’s booming voice filled the room, the bottleneck guitar answered, and a bluesman was born. Son House...

Duration:00:10:49

Blues Hall of Fame - 018 - Fats Domino

10/25/2017
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Fats Domino was born into a musical, French Creole family in the Lower 9th in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1928. His first language was Creole French. His talents blossomed early. His musical gifts, along with with his laid back and easygoing demeanor, created a lot of demand - everybody wanted to work with Fats. He had his first hit by the time he was 21, and he invented New Orleans-style rock n roll with it. That 1949 hit for Imperial Records - ”The Fat Man” - sold over a million copies...

Duration:00:11:50

Blues Hall of Fame - 020 - Honeyboy Edwards

10/18/2017
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Honeyboy Edwards was Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen. Born to a poor, but very musical family, his early life consisted of hard labor in the fields. His prodigious talents soon took him away from all that, and his life became a journey through the pages of blues history. Edwards was Robert Johnson’s close friend and travelling companion. In fact, he was with Johnson the night he was poisoned and died in 1938. Honeyboy Edwards called many of the first generation of bluesmen...

Duration:00:11:55

Blues Hall of Fame - 019 - Ray Charles

10/4/2017
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Ray Charles, blind since the age of 7 and orphaned at 14, did blues, jazz, and gospel as well as anyone before or since. And, by doing them all together at once, he pioneered what we soon came to recognize as Soul. That’s right. Ray Charles is the father of that whole genre. Furthermore, he took these forms of Black American music, mingled them just enough with contemporary pop sounds and had massive crossover success. Ray Charles was one of the very first African American artists to be...

Duration:00:10:58

Blues Hall of Fame - 018 - Fats Domino

9/20/2017
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Fats Domino was born into a musical, French Creole family in the Lower 9th in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1928. His first language was Creole French. His talents blossomed early. His musical gifts, along with with his laid back and easygoing demeanor, created a lot of demand - everybody wanted to work with Fats. He had his first hit by the time he was 21, and he invented New Orleans-style rock n roll with it. That 1949 hit for Imperial Records - "The Fat Man" - sold over a million copies by...

Duration:00:11:50

Blues Hall of Fame - 017 - Don Robey

9/6/2017
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Gatemouth Brown once said of Don Robey, “He pulled off something in America that no one else ever pulled off. We had the only world-renowned black recording company.” That “recording company” included the legendary Peacock and Duke record labels, boasting stars like Johnny Ace, Bobby Blue Bland, Little Richard, and Big Mama Thornton. It also included chains of retail record stores, pressing plants, print shops, a booking agency, and a circuit of nightclubs. It was a giant musical eco-system...

Duration:00:11:35

Blues Hall of Fame - 016 - Rufus Thomas

8/23/2017
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We continue the series with the “world’s oldest teenager,” Rufus Thomas. Rufus Thomas contained multitudes, as they say. His talents and the personality behind those talents knew no bounds. Rufus’ professional career began at the age of six taking small roles in theatrical productions on Beale Street. As a teeneager he starred on the vaudeville and minstrel show circuits that criss-crossed the south. He was a singer, a dancer, a comedian, a radio DJ… and what’s truly incredible is that...

Duration:00:10:54

Blues Hall of Fame - 015 - Sam Phillips

8/9/2017
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We continue our series with one of the most electrifying individuals in the history of popular music, maverick producer Sam Phillips. Sam was an audio engineer, a talent scout, a producer, a studio owner, and a record label owner. He approached all of these endeavors with unbridled enthusiasm, an unparalleled sense of showmanship, and keen understanding of the levers of human psychology. His "laboratory" (aka Memphis Recording Service) delivered groundbreaking efforts from B.B. King, Bobby...

Duration:00:12:48

Blues Hall of Fame - 012 - Muddy Waters

7/28/2017
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We continue the series with the man who brought electricity to the blues, and the blues to the big city, Muddy Waters. Born McKinley Morganfield in 1913 in Issaquenna, MS, he grew up on the Stovall Plantation just outside of Clarksdale. There, young Muddy fell under the influence and tutelage of the travelling bluesmen that came to perform there. Bluesmen like the great Son House and the king of the delta blues himself, Robert Johnson. Muddy moved to Chicago in 1943, taking with him his...

Duration:00:12:57

Blues Hall of Fame - 014 - John Lee Hooker

7/26/2017
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Is there a bluesman more iconic than John Lee Hooker? His face, his eyes, his austere silhouette on stage, that deep southern drawl, that one-chord boogie... everything about the man was distinct and original. Where did it all come from? Like many bluesmen of his generation, he grew up in the country and didn’t have much use for school. He much preferred skipping class and practicing guitar. Yet John Lee wrote some of the most original and most influential blues songs of all time: Boogie...

Duration:00:11:20

Blues Hall of Fame - 013 - Roy Brown

7/12/2017
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Roy Brown may be best known for writing the iconic, genre-warping song "Good Rockin’ Tonight." Brown had a hit with it, then it was re-recorded by his hero Wynonie Harris, who also had a hit with it. Just a few years after that, further cementing the songs rightful place in music history, Elvis Presley recorded the song for Sun Records. But there was more to Brown than Good Rockin'. You know that powerful, quivering, pleading, shouting manner in which most of today’s great singers sing? We...

Duration:00:11:58

Blues Hall of Fame - 012 - Muddy Waters

6/28/2017
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We continue the series with the man who brought electricity to the blues, and the blues to the big city, Muddy Waters. Born McKinley Morganfield in 1913 in Issaquenna, MS, he grew up on the Stovall Plantation just outside of Clarksdale. There, young Muddy fell under the influence and tutelage of the travelling bluesmen that came to perform there. Bluesmen like the great Son House and the king of the delta blues himself, Robert Johnson. Muddy moved to Chicago in 1943, taking with him his...

Duration:00:12:57

Blues Hall of Fame - 011 - Louis Jordan

6/14/2017
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No one had more fun than Louis Jordan. You can hear it in his music. As “King of the Jukebox”, his high energy, hip-shaking “jump blues” enjoyed the kind of crossover success people once considered unimaginable. In his heyday, Jordan had at least 4 hits that sold over a million copies. Just a poor kid from the cotton fields of Brinkley, Arkansas, Jordan developed a highly efficient approach to music. He stripped the 15-piece jazz orchestra down to five essential instruments, and kept those...

Duration:00:12:02

Blues Hall of Fame - 010 - Skip James

5/31/2017
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It's hard to believe that Skip James almost drifted into obscurity. Like most enshrined in the Blues Hall of Fame, he was an absolute original. A genuine musical innovator. These days Skip James is considered by many to be the greatest of the delta blues singers. His songwriting, vocal stylings, and otherworldy ability on the guitar and piano influenced everyone, including a young Robert Johnson. But back in the 1930's, when he was cutting records for Paramount, he didn't look like he had...

Duration:00:12:14