- June 3rd.,1916-- Edwin Goodwin "Buster" Pickens
- June 15th.,1938-- Aron Burton
- June 28th.,1947-- Spurling Banks
- June 3rd.,2009-- Cora Walton, aka KoKo Taylor
- June 14th.,1995-- William Rory Gallagher
- June 22nd.,2013-- "Little" Willie Littlefield
Some June Blues Births:
Answer To The May 2019 Blues Question: The bluesman we were looking for was/is Auburn "Pat" Hare, born December 20,1930, in Cherry Valley, Arkansas. As with many blues performers of the early '50's, there is conflicting information. He is shown as joining "Little Junior" Parker and his Blue Flames' band in 1951, with whom he made his first recordings, on the Duke label with Parker, in December of 1953. The band’s name was listed as Little Junior Parker with Bill Johnson's Blue Flames. I also found that his first recording is shown to be in February of 1952, as a sideman, with "Walter Bradford and the Big City Four", at Sun Records, #176, but a copy of that has never been found, which begs the question, was it ever released? He also did some recordings with Rosco Gordon, on the Duke label, in 1952. In the May 2019 Blog I indicated that he (Hare) made a recording (as a sideman) that is considered to be the main influence to hard rock and heavy metal guitarists. That song would be "Cotton Crop Blues", with James Cotton doing the vocal, Mose Vinson on piano, John Bowers on drums, and Hare on guitar. That was on Sun Records, #206, recorded May 14,1954, in Memphis. In a session later that day he recorded 3 songs; the only ones ever done in his own name. They featured him on vocals and guitar, with Billy "Red" Love on piano, and Israel Franklin on drums. Those were unissued at that time, and I'll get to them shortly. All the rest of his recordings were as a session player or sideman with the fore-mentioned Parker, Gordon, and Cotton, but also with Bobby Blue Bland, Howlin' Wolf, Big Mama Thornton, Big Memphis Ma Rainey (Ma Rainey #2, born Lillie Mae Hardison or Harrison), among others. Now, about those 3 under his own name. The "B" side was "Bonus Pay"(Ain't Gonna Be That Way). The "A" side was 2 different versions of "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby", with the second version titled the same, but also tagged with "Cheating and Lying Blues", which was the title of the original, recorded by Dr. Clayton on November 11,1941. In Hare's case it proved to be prophetic. From '54 to '56 Pat lived in Houston (home of Duke/Peacock records), where he recorded with Gordon and Bland, while playing full-time with Bland at gigs. Bland fired him for legal problems Pat was having (supposedly he was in jail). Then Pat got a call from Cotton, asking him to come to Chicago, to play in the Muddy Waters band. He accepted the offer, but before moving there, he situated his wife, Dorothy Mae, and their 3 children in Cleveland. Once in Chicago, he performed and recorded with Cotton, in Muddy's band. The recordings were on the Chess label, but, unfortunately, Pat didn't get along with Leonard Chess. Consequently, when Leonard would do the mix on Hare's playing in the band, he would move Pat's sound to the rear, while bringing another player's sound to the front. Some records indicate that Muddy fired him, because of Pat's drinking, which rendered him hard to control, and sometimes, unable to play. Anyhow, on Sunday, December 15,1963, Pat had been drinking and was in heated arguments with his then girlfriend, Agnes "Aggie" Winje, 49, at their apartment (Pat was 32 at that time). When shots were heard fired for the second time that day by a neighbor’s girlfriend, she called police to investigate. Officers James E. Hendricks and Chester Langaard responded from a couple blocks away. Once on scene, Hendricks, who was a few steps ahead of his partner, went through the doorway first, and was heard by his partner to say "Give me the gun", right before 3 shots were heard. Langaard went through the doorway and saw Pat standing over his partner, with a gun in his hand. Langaard shot Pat twice, then called for ambulances. The first one took his partner to the hospital, where he was pronounced D O A. The second ambulance took Aggie, who'd been shot twice, and Pat to the hospital. She died on January 22, 1964. Hare was then charged with 2 counts of murder, among other charges. The case went to court on February 19,1964. The trial lasted one day, and he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, was immediately bound over to Stillwater State Prison, in Bayport, near St. Paul, Minnesota. While there, Pat started a band, "Sounds Incarcerated". He passed away September 26,1980, of lung cancer.
Blues Question For June 2019: This blueswoman came from a musical family. She learned to play guitar by the age of 8. At 15, she was playing bass professionally, then switched to guitar. Any idea who this blueswoman might be ??
Blues Song(s) And Artist(s) For June 2019: The song is "Take A Look Behind", and the artist is Otis Rush. Recorded in 1971, for Capitol, never released. Otis bought the masters from them and had it released in 1976, on P-Vine, out of Japan. After that, it was released on the Bullfrog label, in the U.S. The title of the album was/is "Right Place, Wrong Time", and is one of his best recordings. It's still available.
Blues Trivia For June 2019: Since the Blues Question answer was so long, I'm going to try to keep this shorter than usual. This ties into that answer, though. When I started researching Hare, I ran into the same thing that I've seen on so many other bluesmen: when looking at bio's of these people, 4,6,8 or however many you run across, all from different people and sources, you'll find that a lot of them are exactly the same. Word for word, sentence for sentence, etc., exactly the same, with some of these people claiming to be the author of said bio. To that I say, I think not! On the info I gathered on Hare, that answer would be 5 times+ longer to document him more accurately. His guitar work on Cotton's 1954 "Cotton Crop Blues" is the first recording of intentionally distorted guitar, using power chords. Yes, others used it during live performances-- I'm talking about recorded. Also, Hare's guitar work on Junior Parker's 1953 recording "Love My Baby", is credited with being one of the big influences on rockabilly guitar. If you talk to or listen to interviews with today's rock or heavy metal guitarists, you'll hear them credit their influence being the first recording of distorted power chord playing, the instrumental "Rumble", by Fred Lincoln "Link" Wray. Not so fast, boys and girls, as that was done in 1958. That recording has been used in movies, on television, and in documentaries, such as The Sopranos, Pulp Fiction, Independence Day, and The Warriors. It's currently being used in Jack Daniels commercials. It's the only instrumental ever banned on radio airplay, in New York and Boston, as "rumble" was a slang term for a gang fight. It was thought that it might glorify juvenile delinquency. Incidentally, Link Wray was of Shawnee Native American descent. Once again, it came from the blues first!!
Some June Blues Passings:
First off, congratulations to the winners of the 2019 NEOBA Blues Challenge. In the Band category, Mojo Theory, based out of Columbus, Ohio, and in the Solo/Duo category, Jake Friel and Nic Clark (Jake & Nic). And, thank you to all the others who participated! Now, on with the monthly blog.
Some May Blues Births:
Answer To The April 2019 Blues Question: The bluesman we were looking for is/was Wayne Talmadge Bennett, born December 13, 1931, in Sulpher, Oklahoma. As I stated in the question, he wanted to be known as a versatile performer, as he played blues, jazz, and rhythm & blues material. In his life, at different times, he performed in the house orchestras at the Apollo, in Harlem, at the Regal, in Chicago, at the Howard, in Washington D.C., at the Royal, in Baltimore, and at the Uptown, in Philadelphia, theaters. In the blues field he performed (and sometimes toured) with Bobby Blue Bland, John Lee Hooker, Mighty Sam McClain, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Rosco Gordon, Little Junior Parker, and James Cotton, just to name a few. In the jazz field he worked with Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderley, and Dexter Gordon, and others. In the R & B, soul, gospel, and doo-wop fields, he performed with the Soul Stirrers, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Five Blind Boys, Jackie Wilson, Fats Domino, Ramsey Lewis, The Chi-Lites, the Hues Corporation, and many others. That should give you some idea of his abilities, and, yes, he also did some country. In the Question, I also mentioned that he played guitar on a recording and that that had influenced the rock guitar sound of the '60's. That was/is Elmore James' recording "The Twelve Year Old Boy", on April 12, 1957 (released May '57), on the Chief label, BMI # C2402, Chief # 7001. That recording features Elmore James on vocals, both Wayne Bennett and Eddie Taylor on guitars, J.T. Brown on tenor sax, Johnny Jones on piano, Homesick James on bass, and Odie Payne on drums, featuring Wayne Bennett on the guitar solo work. Both Wayne and Eddie were plugged into the same amp, which is what generated the distortion in sound. James recorded this song again in 1963, on the Fire /Fury/and Enjoy Record(s) company, but it's nowhere as good as the earlier version, and didn't feature Bennett or Taylor. Wayne passed away on November 28, 1992, in New Orleans, from heart failure, one week before a scheduled replacement could be transplanted.
Blues Question For May 2019: In some of the past Blogs, I've listed or shown that some of the great bluesmen had gotten their professional start while they were in prison. This time, this bluesman who was already well established professionally, was sent to prison, where he eventually passed away. One of his recordings is often recognized as the beginning of the "heavy metal" guitar sound. Any idea who this bluesman might be??
Blues Song(s) And Artist)s) For May 2019: The song is "Pickin' The Blues", and the artist is Elmore James, on the Enjoy label, #2015, with Johnny "Big Moose" Walker on piano. If you listen to this and your feet aren't tapping, have someone make sure you have a pulse.
Blues Trivia For May 2019: When you're listening to the blues that you like, do you know what type it is? There are many factors and sub-types: acoustic, electric, guitar, harmonica, piano, or horn-driven, also by area or region. When I say regional, I'm referring to style by area: Mississippi Hill Country, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, West Coast, among many others. The one I'm touching on here is referred to as the Piedmont style. That's played acoustically, with the thumb thumping out the bass line, and the index (and/or others) finger(s) supplying the upper or treble notes. You're probably familiar with some of those who play(ed) that style: Blind Blake, Barbeque Bob, Rev.Gary Davis, Brownie McGhee, Josh White, Blind Willie McTell, Buddy Moss, the list goes on and on. Here's the trivia part: I've said, for a long time, that all American music has come/grown out of the blues. One of the not-well-known Piedmont style blues players was Lesley "Esley" Riddle, of African-American descent, born June 13,1905, in Burnsville, North Carolina. Piedmont style blues was common from the Southern East Coast, northward, as far as New York and New Jersey, including West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He grew up with his grandparents, not far from the Virginia border, in an area close to Kingsport, Tenn. As a young man, he worked in a cement plant, where he was injured. That injury required that his right leg was amputated at the knee. While he was recovering, he took up the guitar. Shortly after that, he started working with other musicians, such as Brownie McGhee, Harry Gray, and Steve Tarter. Once, at Tarter's house, he met Blind Lemon Jefferson. In 1928, Esley met A.P.Carter (Alvin Pleasant Delaney Carter), who had just started a "country band", The Carter Family Country Band, consisting of A.P., his wife, Sara, and his sister-in-law, Maybelle. Esley and the Carter family travelled and worked together, performing. That pairing was the foundation of country music as it is known today. Here's a question for you: the banjo was used in the earliest blues string bands, and is now used in folk, country, bluegrass, and Dixieland jazz, so from where did it come??
Some May Blues Passings:
Proprietor of The Sound of Blue record shop in Kent, Ohio.