Just a quick note to acknowledge the passing of a great one, Donald “Duck” Dunn, on May 13. A member of Booker T & the MG’s, he replaced the original bassist, he is forever connected to Green Onions, even though he was not on the original recording.
He was also notable as a session player for Stax Records, which means he is on about 50 zillion songs recorded there. He also performed with a multitude of bands, such as CCR, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Levon Helm, Bob Dylan and the list goes on and on. He was also the pipe smoking, wild hair bass player in the Blues Brothers.
Georgia Tom, (Thomas Dorsey) is considered by many to be the father of black gospel music. He was born in Villa Rica, Georgia in 1899, living to the ripe old age of 93, passing away in 1993. His early career was spent with such famous blues men as Tampa Red. Later in his career, he turned to gospel, writing many current standards. These include “Peace In The Valley” (recorded by Mahalia Jackson) and “Precious Lord, Take My Hand“. His songs have been recorded by a veritable who’s who of the music world. think, Elvis Presley, think Aretha Franklin, even Roy Rogers. Now to some music.
First up is a blues number sung by the man himself.
Maybe It’s The Blues
This next one is a recording of Mahalia Jackson.
Peace In The Valley
Here is Elvis singing Precious Lord
As a final treat, we have Thomas Dorsey discussing gospel music and the story behind Precious Lord. Great stuff.
Blues-man Michael Burks passed away on May 6, after having a heart attack. He was 54. If you love the blues (like I do), then you will really like what Michael had to offer. He recorded 4 albums between 1999 and 2008, with “Iron Man” reaching number 4 on the Billboard Blues Chart. I have attached a couple of videos in memorial.
This interpretation of the classic “Wade In The Water” by the late Eva Cassidy (1963-1996) is a staple on my iPhone. What a great song. She was an adept singer whose repertoire covered pretty much everything from pop to gospel. A superb singer, taken far to early.
Sweet Joe Russell died on May 5. Best known as a singer for The Persuasions, Joe recorded 22 albums with the group. Strange as it sounds, frank Zappa discovered them and was responsible for their first recording. The group was a capella and recorded songs by such diverse people as Elvis Presley and The Grateful Dead. The clip here covers The Everly Brothers tune, “Dream” and an old gospel song “Somewhere To Lay My Head”. Love this era of music. Very diverse and very fresh, at the time.
Trivia Question of the Day
What was the first album released on CD?
The last Question answered
Q: Who was the first British musician to have a #1 single in the USA.
A: Mr Acker Bilt. He topped the charts in 1962 with “Stranger On The Shore”