- November 6th.,1941-- Roscoe Lanier
- November 13th.,1942-- John Paul Hammond, Jr.
- November 28th.,1928-- "Little" Sammy Davis
- November 1st.,2008-- Rosetta Reitz
- November 17th.,2008-- Pat Ramsey
- November 24th.,1964-- Edwin Goodwin "Buster" Pickens
Joe's Blues Blog November 2020
First, a couple of notes: The 2021 Blues Calendars with free c.d. are in stock here now, and secondly, we'd like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and hope you can celebrate it with family, whether that be just a small one, with immediate family, or a large one, with many relatives or friends. Please, just be mindful of today's health concerns or conditions or needs of those around you.
Some November Blues Births:
Answer To The October 2020 Blues Question: The bluesman we were looking for was/is "Big John" Thomas Wrencher, aka "One Arm John", born February 12,1923, in Sunflower, Mississippi. Interested in music at an early age, he taught himself to play the harmonica. By his early 20's, he was working as a roving musician, performing in Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois. By the mid to late 1940's, he was in Chicago, playing on Maxwell Street and at house parties, sometimes with other local bluesmen. In the '50's, he moved to Detroit, performing in that area with Robert Henry "Baby Boy" Warren. While living there, he also sometimes travelled to Clarksdale, to perform and/ or visit with family. As I stated in last month's Blog, some blues musicians were injured and got even better at their craft, and he was no exception. In 1958, just outside of Memphis, Big John was injured in an automobile accident. Because of those injuries he lost his left arm, hence, the "One Arm John" name he sometimes used. In the early '60's he settled in Chicago, and eventually spent Sundays playing on Maxwell Street, from around 10:00 AM to around 3:00 PM. In 1964, he was filmed and recorded, with that material to be used in a documentary film titled "And This Is Free" (we have both versions of this, on dvd, in stock here), and these were the earliest recordings of him as a solo performer. He was also recorded on Maxwell Street, as a sideman, with Robert Nighthawk, and also as a member of the Chicago String Band. There are 2 recordings of Nighthawk on Maxwell, one with Big John, the other featuring Carey Bell (Harrington). In '73 and '74, Big John travelled with (in '73) The Chicago Blues Festival, and (in '74) with The American Blues Legends, performing all over Europe. His work on that '74 tour, backed by Eddie Taylor and his band, was recorded and put on an LP, by Big Bear Records, and later released by them, on c.d. In '77, he was on a trip to visit with family, in Clarksdale, and was in Wade Walton's barbershop (that place is on the Blues Trail; check it out), had a sudden heart attack and passed away, on July 15th. One of his recordings with his own band, done on Maxwell, is on LP only, and is considered to be one of the best ever blues recordings. I've seen that one for sale, from different sources, at anywhere from $250.00 to $475.00. If you want more info on his work or recordings, stop in and see me.
Blues Question For November 2020: This bluesman has said he took his name from a song he liked. He did a lot of work with some of the biggest names in blues, and also did some recording of his own. Due to some legal problems, he dropped out of sight for many years, before returning to touring and performing again. He did vocals and played slide guitar. Any idea who this bluesman might be ??
Blues Song(s) And Artist(s) For November 2020: The artist is Shemekia Copeland, and the song is " Apple Pie And A .45 ", off her new Alligator Records album "Uncivil War", which came out on 10/23/20, and is in stock here. This is a good album, but a little on the sad side, as it deals with some of the pressing problems we face today. But-- let me say, there's also a somewhat hopeful note in it's content. We met and worked with her at a festival in New York, at a ski resort. She was 19 at the time, and was traveling with 2 of her aunts, in support of her first Alligator album "Turn The Heat Up", in '98.
Blues Trivia For November 2020: In the October 2019 Blog, I told of Sonny Boy Williamson III, and the fact that he only recorded 4 songs before disappearing. I also said that there is only one cd that has all four songs on it, but that it's out of print, and if you could find one, expect to pay a collector's price for it. It is "Red River Blues; Shreveport Blues From R A M Records". I've since found three of them, one each in France, Belgium, and England, and they're now in stock here. Yes , there is one currently shown for sale here in the U.S., but it's at twice what we have it for. We are always trying to find the things that some others can't, and to take care of all the blues fan's requests for help. May seem trivial to you, but it's important to us.
Some November Blues Passings:
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Proprietor of The Sound of Blue record shop in Kent, Ohio.