- January 7th.,1916-- John Pickens "Bobo" Jenkins
- January 17th.,1949-- Micheal Kevin "Mick" Taylor
- January 30th.,1958-- Karen Lynn Carroll
- January 3rd.,1979-- Walter Miller
- January 17th.,1985-- Jimmy DeBerry
- January 30th.,1976-- Mance Lipscomb
Joe's Blues Blog January 2023
Some January Blues Births:
Answer To The December 2022 Blues Question: The bluesman we were looking for was/is William Lorenzo "Weep" Robinson, aka Weepin' Willie, born July 6, 1926, in Atlanta, Georgia. His sharcropper parents picked cotton, potatoes, beans, and tomatoes, going up and down the East Coast, when he was a youngster. His mother died when he was 10, so he and his father continued to do the same type of work, travelling from Florida to Virginia, but with vegetables, rather than cotton. When he was 15, his father sent him, with a friend, James Henry, to Trenton, New Jersey, telling him he'd be there with him, in a "few weeks", but Willie never saw him again. Willie tried several "careers" after that, picking vegetables, sewing potato bags, milking cows, and washing dishes. After convincing a recruiter that he was 18, he joined the Army, serving 3 years, driving a truck. After his discharge, he returned to Trenton, delivering milk in the Princeton, N.J. area. His musical career started when he got jobs as an emcee and comedian, in various clubs, where he met a lot of the big name bluesmen who performed in them. Some of those booked at the club where he mostly worked, were B.B.King, Jackie Wilson, and Little Richard. B.B. encouraged him to sing, but he told B.B. that he only knew 4 songs, and that they were all King's, to which King responded "then sing em". That started his career. In '59, a woman from Louie's Lounge in Roxbury, a neighborhood in Boston, had heard him in Trenton, and after his set, she said to him "I like your band, do you want to go to Boston ?". He went, and he remained there for the rest of his life. In 1999, at the age of 73, he recorded and released his only album: "At Last, On Time", featuring "Mighty" Sam McClain, who put everything together to make the recording, and Susan Tedeschi, who at that time, was a rising star. If you listen to that album, you'll find two things about it. First, his singing on the slow blues tunes is good, but, second, some of the songs with the others playing, just about drown out his singing, so that you can barely hear him. Of course, that also shows off the talents of the others. By 2005, he was on the street, living in a homeless shelter. When local blues musicians heard about this, they put on a benefit concert, in his honor, to make sure he was getting better care, ie- food, and clothing. Later, he moved to Mount Pleasant Home, in Boston's Jamaica Plain area. He and his band were still performing, and Willie worked a benefit concert with Steven Tyler. He and his band did their last performance on December 25, 2007, at the Mount Pleasant Home. Willie was a smoker, and the Home kept reminding him not to smoke in bed, which was a habit of his. They even put a sign in his room to remind him. On December 30, 2007, he smoked his last cigarette, in bed, fell asleep, and died as a result of the ensuing fire.
Blues Question For January 2023: This bluesman's name should be familiar to you, as he's played in bands and/ or with individuals, darned near every big name in the blues, especially in Chicago. His discography shows only two solo albums, and three more backing others. That'd be incorrect, as he's been recording with others for many years. He's hardly ever even mentioned by casual blues fans, as they don't know his work. Any idea who this bluesman might be ?
Blues Song(s) And Artist(s) For January 2023: The song is "Your Funeral and My Trial", and the artist is Sonny Boy Williamson II. It was recorded in 1958 on the Checker label (a subsidiary of Chess Records), and sold both in 10" shellac 78 rpm, and 7" vinyl 45 rpm. The record number was #894, on both sides. The flip (B) side was "Wake Up, Baby". The BMI numbers were ,on the A side, #8753, and the B side was #8755. It's been covered by many performers since then. I'll tell you why I picked this song, in the February 2023 Blues Blog.
Blues Trivia For January 2023: Sonny Boy Williamson was first recorded in 1951, then went on to record for the Chess- owned Checker label, and then on to Chess Records, where he did the largest quantity of his recording, roughly 70, between 1955 and 1964. His first LP to be released was "Down and Out Blues" in 1959, on the Checker label. It was a collection of his singles recorded earlier. In '72, Chess released "This Is My Story", a compilation album of his recordings on the Chess label. In the early the '60's, Sonny Boy toured Europe several times. Here's the trivia: on one of those tours, while in England, he set his hotel room on fire, by trying to cook a rabbit in a coffee percolator. Also, it's been said that at one of his shows, a fellow known as Robert Plant stole one of Sonny Boy's harmonicas.
Some January Blues Passings:
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Proprietor of The Sound of Blue record shop in Kent, Ohio.