Dave “I invented the big beat” Bartholomew 1918-2019. Born Davis Bartholomew in Louisiana in 1918, Dave helped write and record some of early rock ’n’ roll’s most enduring hits, including ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ for Lloyd Price in 1952, ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ in 1955 and ‘Blueberry Hill’ in 1956 for Fats Domino, and ‘I Hear… Continue reading Rock ’n’ roll colossus signs off, aged a Hot 100.
It’s indisputable, I’d guess, that most top lead guitarists are people who are good with their hands, whose fingers exude dexterity. They excel at fixing and making things, DIY, working with wood, constructing models, tinkering with car engines, that sort of thing. That was never me. As a kid in the 1950s, when model airplanes… Continue reading Realising I’d never be a top guitarist.
Black guitar owners – rare as gelding balls before 1890s. If you read my last post, you’ll know I featured Henry Sloan, the African-American farmer in Mississippi who taught Charlie Patton how to play early Delta Blues guitar around the turn of the 20th century. But where did Henry Sloan Henry – born in 1870, just… Continue reading When blues guitarists were counted on one hand.
An unbelievable true story crying out to be told. Below is a rough cut of my latest historical documentary, Battle for San Francisco. It’s a true story seemingly whitewashed from history. While not about my usual historic blues or rock, the soundtrack does include an early blues from Lonnie Johnson with Eddie Lang, plus seasoned… Continue reading Battle For San Francisco – a film
I’ve just re-read one of the seminal books on the evolution of rock & roll, 47 years after I first obtained it, so if that doesn’t date me, nothing will. Perhaps I was given it by the author. I simply can’t remember. When I say ‘evolution’, I mean the history of rock music from the… Continue reading Iconic rock book, but no rock prophesy.
There’s a bit of a misconception about the first electric guitar blues put on vinyl, with ‘Hittin’ the Bottle’ often being put forward as the earliest. This 1935 track featured the Texan multi-instrumentalist, Eddie Durham, playing his blues-nuanced guitar through a home-made guitar amp for saxophonist and swing bandleader, Jimmy Lunceford. Well, such sources are… Continue reading Earliest Electric Guitar Blues.
UPDATED November 23 2017 The difference between rock ‘n’ roll and rock & roll (or rock and roll)? For a long time now, it’s been fashionable to describe great rock music as rock & roll. But have you ever wondered when this second era of rock & roll began? And have you noticed the general… Continue reading When did rock & roll get hip again?
[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] I was whisked back to the 1960s last night, swaying away to great live British blues in a small, intimate club. At least the drummer was British, that suave giant (in more way than one – he’s 6ft 6in) of English blues, Mick Fleetwood. Mick,… Continue reading Mick Fleetwood still has what it takes to beat out the blues
[et_pb_section admin_label=”section” transparent_background=”off” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” custom_padding=”50px|||” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] At last! It’s only taken me 10 attempts to upload this video onto YouTube over the last two days. YouTube! What are you playing at? But finally, the Original Chicago Blues Part Three… Continue reading The Original Chicago Blues: Part Three
When Things Go Wrong (It Hurts Me Too) and Key To The Highway: two of the most covered blues songs of all time This second clip in the Original Chicago Blues series concentrates on the most prolific blues recording artists of the 1930s and 1940s: Tampa Red and Big Bill Broonzy. Both recorded for Lester Melrose… Continue reading The Original Chicago Blues: Part Two