- May 8th.,1893-- Charlie Spand
- May 6th.,1946-- Roger Earl
- May 30th.,1965-- Rick Holstrow
- May 6th.,2007-- Carey Bell Harrington
- May 12th.,1972-- "Big John" Marshall Greer
- May 28th.,1993-- Charles Isiah "Doc"/"Doctor" Ross
Some May Blues Births:
Answer To The April 2020 Blues Question: The bluesman we were looking for was/is Simeon "Blind" Simmie Dooley, born July 3, 1881, in Hartwell, Georgia. When he was a young boy, he worked the streets around Spartanburg, South Carolina, singing and playing guitar, for tips, around 1900. While doing that, he attracted the attention of a slightly younger person, who liked to watch and hear him perform. The youngster introduced himself -- he was Pinkney "Pink" Anderson, who Simmie would teach how to play the guitar. The two would pair up and work the streets, house parties, picnics, fish fries, and whatever else they could work, to make money. From about 1916-18 up into the late '20's, they also performed and travelled with "Doc" W.R. Kerr's Indian Remedy Company Medicine Show. When not on the road, the pair would return to Spartanburg and resume working as they had. In 1928, they travelled to Atlanta, to record for Columbia Records. On April 14th., they recorded four songs, with vocal and guitar duets, and possibly Simmie on kazoo. Two of those were released that year, the other two, the following year. All of them were good sellers. Pink was then invited to record more, but without Simmie. Pink refused to do that without Simmie. Those were/are the only recordings Simmie ever did, and Pink would not record again until 1950. Simmie went back to Spartanburg and continued to work the streets and other small venues, until his health would no longer allow him to perform. He passed away at 79 years of age, on January 17, 1961, in Spartanburg, of heart disease. You can find those 4 songs on compilation cd's, sometimes 1 or 2, never all 4. Some years ago Document Records made 2 different compilation cd's, with all 4 on each of them. I have 1 of each in my collection, and 1 new one in stock at The Sound of Blue.
Blues Question For May 2020: This bluesman, though somewhat obscure, did do quite a few recordings. He took his nickname from the title of one of his first recordings. His ability should put him with the likes of Eric Clapton and Ry Cooder. Any idea who this bluesman might be ??
Blues Song(s) And Artist(s) For May 2020: The song is "Biscuit Baking Woman", and the artist is James "Yank" Rachell. It was done April 3,1941, in Chicago, and featured John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson I on harp, William Mitchell on bass, and Washboard Sam (Robert Brown) on washboard.
Blues Trivia For May 2020: This is just a collection of random thoughts, ideas, and opinions, some mine, others thrown into the mix by others. If any of you have a subscription to a blues magazine, whether it's a printed copy or a digital one, you'll note that they all have a "review" section for albums, dvd's, books, or whatever else is available for sale. They get copies sent to them by independent artists, record companies, etc. to evaluate. It's basically a cheap way to get a published and circulated ad, so it makes good business sense. When you look at the cd reviews, have you ever seen one that politely says "if you like this artist/band or if you just like one or two songs on it, then, by all means, buy it. If you don't like it for one of those reasons, don't waste your money-- skip it. Maybe the plastic in it should have been used to make a license plate frame." Have you noticed that it seems that 75 to 80% of the mag is ads? There are bright spots in them, too. I was just reading Blues Music Magazine (formerly Blues Revue), and in there is an interview/article featuring Charlie Musselwhite. In the interview he says the exact same thing that I've been trying to get across to blues fans for years. I won't quote it directly, just kind of a summary: "any decent musician can play blues music, but the blues isn't just music, it's a way of life. It's a story about life's ups and downs, on a daily basis, and if you really want to understand it, you have to go back and look at the old- timers, as that's where it started-- telling their stories". If I haven't made it clear, please read the article, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Let's shift gears here, a little bit. when I was picking the Blues Song for this month, I was considering one of many that are about different illnesses, diseases that are passed from one to another, afflictions that have plagued man for years, but I thought no, right now, though it's relevant, there's enough grief and suffering with this virus. So, sitting here on lockdown, I'm thinking about good food, and this goofy weather. An a-ha moment-- homemade hot biscuits and gravy, and yes, there are plenty of songs about food. Anyhow, good blues to 'ya, and I hope you're healthy, safe, and happy.!!
Some Blues Passings For May 2020:
Proprietor of The Sound of Blue record shop in Kent, Ohio.