February 18: Ray Charles recorded What’d I Say in 1959

Ray_Charles_-_What'd_I_Say

I’m not one to interpret my own songs, but if you can’t figure out ‘What I Say’, then something’s wrong. Either that, or you’re not accustomed to the sweet sounds of love.
—Ray Charles

The feel comes from gospel but the resulting witty, elegant essay on rhythm and sex and why they’re inseparable is purely pagan.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock & Soul)

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February 16: The late Otis Blackwell was born in 1931

otis blackwell

I like this town, it’s really great. They’ve put me in The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This town is about music. It’s about the kind of music I like.
~Otis Blackwell

I used to go down every year for the remembrance of Elvis’ birthday. Memphis State College invited me to sit in the auditorium and speak to the people for one of those Elvis days.
~Otis Blackwell

Blackwell’s songwriting style is as identifiable as that of Willie Dixon or Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller. He helped formulate the musical vocabulary of rock & roll when the genre was barely breathing on its own.
~Bill Dahl (allmusic.com)

All Shook Up -Elvis Presley:

Great Balls Of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis:

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February 11: Hank Williams Lovesick Blues was released in 1949

hank williams lovesick blues

I got a feelin’ called the blues, oh Lord
Since my baby said goodbye
Lord I don’t know what I’ll do
All I do is sit and sigh, oh Lord

Hank Williams signature song was released 69 years ago today.

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Jan 29: The Legendary Willie Dixon died in 1992

willie Dixon2

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.
~Willie Dixon

“The blues will always be because the blues are the roots of all American music.”
~Willie Dixon

I Am The Blues (Full documentary)
This documentary captures the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame member in the twilight of his career, during a 1984 concert with the Chicago Blues All-Stars in support. Among the highlights of the gig are a spunky rendition of “Built For Comfort” and the stirring, little-known composition “Peace”; its simplistic lyrics and heartfelt sentiments make it a bluesy first cousin to John Lennon’s Give Peace A Chance. Interspersed with the great music are warm recollections from Dixon as he covers topics ranging from composing to his mid 1960s re-emergence in England via cover versions of his best material courtesy of The Rolling Stones and Cream (which featured long time admirer Eric Clapton):

Jan 29: The Legendary Willie Dixon died in 1992

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Jan 27: The Late Great Elmore James Was Born 100 Years Ago – 1918

No two ways about it, the most influential slide guitarist of the postwar period was Elmore James, hands down. Although his early demise from heart failure kept him from enjoying the fruits of the ’60s blues revival as his contemporaries Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf did, James left a wide influential trail behind him. And that influence continues to the present time — in approach, attitude and tone — in just about every guitar player who puts a slide on his finger and wails the blues.
~Cub Koda (allmusic.com)

Dust My Broom:

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