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Today In Blues - April 1

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  • Junior Jackson
    © 2004 L.W. Junior Jackson On this first day of April in 1897 pre-war country Blues and Classic Female Blues vocalist Lucille Bogan was born Lucille
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2006
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      � 2004 L.W. "Junior" Jackson

      On this first day of April in 1897 pre-war country Blues and Classic
      Female Blues vocalist Lucille Bogan was born Lucille Armstrong (or
      Lucille Anderson) in Amory, MS. Bogan also recorded under the name
      Bessie Jackson when she switched from country Blues to classic female
      Blues. Bogan was well-known for her bawdy lyrics and her fearless
      tackling of 'taboo' subjects such as lesbianism,, female alcoholism,
      prostitution and sexuality. In "B.D. Woman Blues" , Bogan confronts
      lesbiaism (B.D. stands for 'Bull Dyke') with the opening line "Comin` a
      Time, women won`t need no men", and often sang about prostitution
      ("Tricks Ain`t Walkin` No More") and sexuality ("I got nipples on my
      titties as big as my thumb, I got something `tween my legs make a dead
      man come" from �Shave `Em Dry"). Her songs have been covered by BB
      King, Leroy Carr, Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women, Anne Rabson, Houston
      Stackhouse, Tampa Red and John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. Bogan had a
      long-time musical relationship with pianist Walter Roland and also
      recorded with Tampa Red and Josh White as accompianists. Check out
      "Lucille Bogan and Walter Roland" on Classic Blues, and "Reckless Woman"
      on EPM Musique.

      Classic Blues vocalist Alberta Hunter was born on this day in 1895 in
      Memphis, TN. Hunter started her career in 1912 and continued it right
      into the 80s. She wrote "Down Hearted Blues", which was Bessie Smith`s
      first hit. Hunter worked for the USO during WW2 and the Korean war. She
      retired from music in 1956 to become a nurse. (She was 61 at the time.)
      She was forced to retire from nursing in 1977 when it was believed she
      had turned 65. (She was actually 82.) Undaunted, Alberta returned to
      singing. She sang regularly in the NYC supper club The Cookery untill
      she was 89. Check out "Beale Street Blues" on Magnum.

      Chicago Blues guitarist Eddie King was born Eddie Milton on this day in
      1938 in Alabama. King was one more example of a high-quality Bluesman
      who toiled in relative obscurity. He started his recording career with
      Willie Dixon and Sonny Boy Williamson 2 in 1960. He then spent 2 decades
      as guitaist for Koko Taylor while fronting his own club band, Eddie King
      and The Kingsmen. His first and only CD is the rcommended "Another Cow`s
      Dead" on the Roesch label.

      Jump Blues and West Coast Blues pianist, songwriter and singer Amos
      Milburn was born on this day in 1927 in Houston, TX. Milburn recorded a
      string of hits for Alladin in the early 50s, mostly good-natured romps
      about the effects, good and bad, of alcohol. His 1950 hit ""Bad, Bad
      Whiskey" led to a string of similar hits like "Thinking and Drinkng",
      "Let Me Go Home, Whiskey" and the original "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One
      Beer". His last hit, in 1954, was "Good Good Whiskey". Alcoholism
      eventually brought Milburn down hard, giving these numbers an ironic
      twist in retrospect. Check out ""Rockin` The Boogie" on Alladin, "Let`s
      Have a Party" on Score and especially "The Best Of Amos Miburn: Down The
      Road Apiece" on EMI.

      The legendary Motown and Soul vocalist Marvin Gaye died on this day in
      1984 in L.A. CA.

      The great ragtime pianist Scott Joplin died on this day in 1917 in
      NYC, NY at age 48. Joplin was the leading popularizer of ragtime.
      Although he only recorded on 'cylinder' records, Joplin's sheet music
      and piano rolls were very popular. His music has been recorded countless
      times. The score from the movie "The Sting" is Joplin's music.

      Chicago Blues guitarist Coleman "Daddy Rabbit" Pettis died on this
      day in 1988 in Chicago. Pettis played with Magic Slim and can be heard
      on the Alligator series "Living Chicago Blues".

      On this day in 1956, Little Willie John recorded the original version of
      "Fever" for King Records. The song would eventually become a big hit for
      Peggy Lee, and emerged again as a pop-rock hit for The McCoys in the

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