The blooming of Bob Dylan

  Blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield’s part in the blooming of Bob Dylan and how Bob went electric way before 1965. To folk music fans of yesteryear, this is going to sound like sacrilege; so please excuse me. But I loved it when Bob Dylan went electric. It brought him out of that touchy-feely folky scene and into the… Continue reading The blooming of Bob Dylan

The YZ of blues and a few numbers. Final part of AMERICA’S Gift Index

The minuscule YZ of blues. The final two letters of the AMERICA’S Gift index, plus some numbers.    A Ziegfeld girl   Why is AMERICA’S Gift’s YZ index so brief?  It goes to show just how few people, places and songs, in the blues lexicon, begin with Y or Z. Virginia Liston’s raunchy old blues song ‘You’ve Got The… Continue reading The YZ of blues and a few numbers. Final part of AMERICA’S Gift Index

The VW of blues … VW figures that DON’T lie

  America’s Gift’s VW Index. Where the figures aren’t fudged.  As you might expect, the entertainment genre, ‘vaudeville’, features on many pages in the book because that’s where most entertainers playing prototype blues in the early twentieth century were performing. You’ll see Muddy Waters gets quite a few mentions, too, even though AMERICA’S Gift doesn’t reinvent the… Continue reading The VW of blues … VW figures that DON’T lie

The STU of blues – dedicated to the unknown Stone

The STU INDEX of America’s Gift: dedicated to Stu Stewart, the sixth Rolling Stone The young Stones with Ian Stewart, left. Ian Stewart was thought too ugly to be a Rolling Stone, even though he was founder Brian Jones’ first recruit. With Mick Jagger on vocals, Keith Richards on guitar, Mick Avory (later of the Kinks) on drums, Dick… Continue reading The STU of blues – dedicated to the unknown Stone

Share Keith Richards’ taste in music

Eight records Keith Richards would take to a Desert Island If we ever needed proof Keith Richards is now an English national treasure, just take a listen to the old Stone smokily cackling away on BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs. Once the genteel preserve of crusty academics, senior politicians and other UK establishment figures, Desert Island Discs… Continue reading Share Keith Richards’ taste in music

The P’s and Q’s of blues, and red hot R’s

Bet Kylie Minogue’s arse isn’t quite the R’s you were expecting. Thanks to the UK Sun newspaper for the picture. The P, Q & R of the AMERICA’S Gift Index The arse above belongs to Australian pop singer and actress Kylie Minogue. It has been voted the best arse in Britain. And if you’re a straight guy or a not-so-straight girl, it’s… Continue reading The P’s and Q’s of blues, and red hot R’s

The MNO of blues – AMERICA’S Gift Index: halfway stage

CHECK THE MNO Index of AMERICA’S Gift below Christopher Marlow: English playwright who greatly influenced Shakespeare The young guy above is Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlow, stabbed to death aged 29 in a London pub brawl  in 1593. But why is he in AMERICA’s Gift? Well, it was Marlow’s play ‘The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus’ that kicked off… Continue reading The MNO of blues – AMERICA’S Gift Index: halfway stage

The JKL of blues: 16 Johnsons, 7 Kings & a lotta London

The JKL Index to AMERICA’S Gift: The untold story of how blues evolved. I welcome any excuse to include a photograph of the great Lonnie Johnson. This shot must have been taken around 1925. Check those spats.  According to the index of AMERICA’S Gift, Johnson is the blues’ most common surname, with King next (although two of these… Continue reading The JKL of blues: 16 Johnsons, 7 Kings & a lotta London

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