June 27, 2018

Key to the Highway    
2018-06-25   2-5pm           
Jimmy Reed   
Roy Brown  
Blind John Davis
I’m sorry it has been so long since my last entry but in April I had a surgery which will keep me from driving for several months ahead.  I am doing okay but just have to do everything possible to avoid infection, including staying off my feet absolutely as much as possible.  My cousin and his family are down from Vancouver and wished to see the station, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this show.  We also intend on seeing Johnnie Cozmik’s J.C. Smith Band at Mountain Charlie’s in Los Gatos in the evening before they head back north.  There Johnnie, I got that plug in!
Today’s show has been in the planning stages since the beginning of the year and, since it was intended to follow the pre-Jazz marathon show, I wanted it to be as strong a purely Blues edition as I could get while maintaining the format I have been sticking to.  What better representative could we have from the pure Blues vein than Jimmy Reed?  Filling the requirement of a horn-based entry, we have the dynamic voice of Roy Brown.  And true to our habit of finding a complementary third performer often being a pianist, we have Blind John Davis.  One thing missing from today’s airing is a power guitar player from Chicago’s 60s and beyond, but there will be few shows coming up with that same omission.
Since I’ve had these three artists chosen for almost six months now, you might think I had this essay in the can a long time ago, but I told you guys before that I’m a procrastinator and work best with a deadline, so I’ll be lucky to have this finished by Tuesday night before the show.
So make yourself comfortable and check out the show.     enjoy
In 1953, Jimmy Reed was disappointed that he had been turned down by the dominant Blues label in Chicago, Chess Records, due to their being too busy with established stars like Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf, but this decision wound up in no way hurting Mr. Reed as the upstart Vee Jay Records signed him to what would ultimately become one of the best pairings in Blues history.
Born Mathis James Reed in Dunlieth, Mississippi on September 6th 1925, he was one of ten children of sharecroppers Joseph Reed and Virginia Ross.  He was brought up with Spirituals, becoming an integral part of the Gospel group at Meltonia’s Baptist church in his teens, but music for the most part would just be a diversion from the everyday field work.  He did, however, make it a daily habit to be home for Sonny Boy Williamson’s fifteen minute King Biscuit Time broadcast out of Helena, Arkansas.
His friend Eddie Taylor taught him enough guitar and harmonica to get him performing and busking the streets of the area.  Whatever it was the youthful Reed did to antagonize a white boss, he was quick to heed a brother’s advice and take a fast train out of town, winding up in Chicago where he could stay with another brother.  Despite his all-too-limited rural education that still left him illiterate, Jimmy was anxious to pull his own weight and, after a brief stint as a cleaner, settled into a job with a coal company.
A 1993 collection of articles mostly from Guitar Player Magazine titled Blues Guitar: The Men Who Made the Music, is a wonderful resource for this essay and, I’m sure others to come, using today a 1976 entry by Dan Forte; not really an interview because he appears to ask no questions but just lets Jimmy tell his tale, as these examples attest.  “Didn’t nobody teach me how to play the guitar.  I just started off trying to fool with a box ever since I was about nine or ten years old.  I wasn’t making too much progress at it then, but I just kept trying to do it.  Eddie Taylor and me were raised up in the cotton patch together in Mississippi, and we’d fool around with guitars when we got off work in the fields.”
“When I was eighteen I went into the service, and when I come out, at about twenty, I wanted to try it all over again.  I was working in the steel mill and listening to that old Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, The Aces, all of them.”  (Noteworthy to me is his inclusion of The Aces, an underappreciated backing trio whom I hope to highlight in the near future.)
In 1943, not too long after his move to Chicago, Reed was drafted into the Navy but missed being deployed overseas when he came down with the German measles and wound up as a kitchen worker in California; this appears to be when he acquired his lifelong love of liquor.  Discharged in 1945, Jimmy returned to Mississippi and farming with his parents.
Within a year or two, Jimmy married his girlfriend Mary before moving on to Gary, Indiana, where he toiled for the Armour meatpacking company, worked the streets with single-string guitarist Willie Joe Duncan, and joined the Gary Kings, headed up by guitarist John Brim.  Indeed, it was the Kings' drummer Albert Nelson (a later name change informs us that, yes, the famous left-handed guitarist known as Albert King began as a drummer) who later got Jimmy to look into Vee Jay.
“So this friend, Willie Joe Duncan, had this piece of wire.  Him and me used to get together and fool around in the alley, drinking and going on.”  Although the pair was making more on the streets than their day jobs, Duncan pretty quickly relocated to California and eventually recorded for the Specialty label.  This was also about the time Jimmy fashioned a neck rack so his harmonica could accompany his guitar, something unique at least in the vicinity.
While in the Gary / Chicago area, Jimmy would find work in the steel mills and foundries and at a mobile home company, all the while expanding his musical companions to include guitarist Floyd Jones, pianist Blind John Davis (whom we will hear in another of today’s segments), but most importantly regrouping with Eddie Taylor.
Reed had prepared some demo discs and the first place he took them was to Leonard Chess.  “I asked him what he thought about them.  He said, ‘Well, I tell you what: they sound nice.  But I’m so tied up now with Muddy Waters, Walter and Wolf, I can’t accept nothing else right now.  You’re going to have to catch me again later.’”
Mary, later to be known as just “Mama” Reed, also recalled the incident.  “They would have recorded him….but they wanted Muddy Waters to play guitar for him and Little Walter to blow harmonica.  And Jimmy said, ‘No, I’m playing my own harmonica.  I don’t need Muddy Waters and Little Walter’.  So he just forgot about Chess.  And Leonard and them talked about that for years later:  ‘Sure wished I had ‘a cut Jimmy Reed.’”
Following Albert King’s suggestion, Jimmy went to a record store in Gary run by Vivian and Jimmy Bracken, who were just starting up their Vee Jay label.  As Vivian recalled, “At first when he came, he just played regular Blues.  No gimmicks, no nothin’, just Blues.  So I said, ‘Jimmy, you gotta get a gimmick.  So just sit there and play your guitar and maybe you’ll hit on something’. …And there after seven hours he hits this: da-doom da-doom da-doom da-doom.  I said, ‘That’s it, Jimmy!  Just play it over and over and over’.  And that took him for over fifteen years”.
Calvin Carter, an influential member of the Vee Jay team, recalled it substantially differently to writer Mike Callahan in Goldmine: “. . . he was playing harmonica for a guy named King David that we were interested in.  So we were having a rehearsal with them one day, and we heard Jimmy play.  We asked him. . . .‘Do you have any songs you’ve written?’  And he answers, ‘No, but I’ve got some I’ve made up.’”
He did his first session around June 6th 1953 backed by an unremembered bass player and a couple of his Gary Kings bandmates, guitarist John Brim and drummer Albert King, although the name Morris Wilkerson is also mentioned as possibly the drummer.  The date produced Jimmy’s first two single releases, High and Lonesome b\w Roll and Rhumba and Jimmie's Boogie b\w I Found my Baby.  The Brackens were just getting established so they gave initial distribution and promotion for the first pairing to Chance Records, but quickly reissued it as Vee Jay #100.
After his Vee Jay session, in December 1953 Jimmy joined the Brims, John and his drummer wife Grace, for their Parrott single of Tough Times and Gary Stomp, the latter considered to be possibly Jimmy’s career-best harmonica segment.
Reed was not really a good instrumentalist, leading to his writing much of his own material and creating a somewhat crude sound unique in the Blues, with songs interpreted by many but never duplicated.  A major factor in Reed's success was his teaming up again with guitarist Taylor; nobody knew better how to complement Reed’s musical abilities (or lack thereof) than his childhood companion.  Eddie was there for Jimmy’s second session in December of 1963 along with drummer King and guitarist John Littlejohn and was present almost without exception through 1959.  The December date’s result was Jimmy’s first chart posting with You Don't Have to Go b\w Boogie in the Dark reaching #5 after entering on March 5th.
“. . . she had Eddie Taylor there to play background behind me!  So on some of them records there was him, me, (guitarist) Lefty Bates, a drummer – and my son (Jimmy “Boonie” Reed, Jr.) had been fooling with my guitar and got pretty good himself.  So I had something like four guitars, and the drums made five, and I was blowing harmonica, too, just like I do it now.  The one that made me want to get a harmonica was old man Sonny Boy Williamson -- the original (John Lee Williamson), the one that did ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”.  He could play some stuff!  I was fooling with it in Mississippi and started playing with a harness in about ’52.”
As Eddie Taylor recalled the early sessions to Mike Rowe, “We teamed back up together.  At that time he wasn’t going nowhere.  Wasn’t hitting no nothing.  Just rapping on the guitar and blowing on the harmonica.  So I just told him lighten up off his guitar and blow his harmonica and I PUT THE BEAT TO IT.”
Here’s a quote about Taylor from the Forte article: “He helped me on all my records but about two.”  And his son: “He don’t like the Blues.  He’s a Rock and Roll type. . . .  I think he was, I should say, ten or eleven years old when he first played on a record of mine.”  According to Charley’s liner notes to the 6CD box set The Vee Jay Years, which is the source for all of today’s Jimmy Reed music, Jimmy Reed, Jr. first appeared in 1961.
“Back in 1954 Vee Jay put out this thing I had cut about You Don’t have to Go with Boogie in the Dark, a stone instrumental, on the reverse side.  One evening I was coming home from the Armour Packing Company – I’d quit the iron foundry and was working as a butcher – and I heard this old number about You Don’t Have to Go over the air.  The guy on the radio said, ‘That’s Jimmy Reed; he’s going to be out in Atlanta, Georgia, this Friday and Saturday night’ – and this was Thursday evening!  I didn’t know that I was booked in Atlanta.  I headed home, grabbed my junk, headed to the studio to cut a couple of numbers, and told Eddie Taylor, ‘Eddie, I’m supposed to be in Atlanta, Georgia.  You going down there with me?’  He said, ‘Yeah, wherever you want to go!’  So we bought a little jug and struck out driving to Atlanta.”
Taylor recalled to Living Blues, “Jimmy ain’t never had no band.  He’d always get one guy to drive and he’d do his own show, play with the house band.  Mostly, we’d play for white.  That’s all they’d ask for – Jimmy Reed and Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino.”
“That was the first time I had went on the road or played anywhere before the public.  I’d just been playing up and down the alley or at friends’ houses.  I went to see other guys in Chicago playing in clubs – go by just to holler at them.  I didn’t want to play or see the show either; I just wanted to speak to them.  Muddy Waters, B.B. Kin, all of them big cats – ‘Oh, you’re Jimmy Reed?  I’m so glad you came down here to see me.  How much they charge you to come in?’  ‘Oh, they let me come in for nothing.’  ‘Well, come back in the dressing room.‘  And I’d go back and listen to them talking about this, that, and the other, but it didn’t mean too much to me; I didn’t know nothing.”
One session Taylor was not there for was a July 1955 date which featured two of Howlin’ Wolf’s sidekicks, pianist Henry Gray and drummer Earl Phillips.  Phillips’ inclusion is especially noteworthy because, after sitting out Reed’s next two sessions, beginning in October 1956 he began a streak backing Jimmy on every recording through 1961.  This July date brought out Jimmy’s next hit at #12 after I Don’t Go for That, paired with She Don’t Want Me No More, hit the charts on September 24th and set Jimmy’s career away from the local club scene, instead appearing with artists like Laverne Baker, Big Maybelle, and the Flamingos in package tours such as The Cavalcade of Rock and Roll along with concerts at high schools, stadiums and nightclubs throughout the next decade.  Hometown Chicago became just a place to recuperate and record.
It was personally upsetting to me when, around 1967, a band I hung out with at most of their gigs, The Druids, appeared as the opening band for Reed at Losers North, a full alcohol club so I could not get in.  Hell, none of these guys was over twenty-one and the lead singer was almost two years younger than me!
After Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby was released in February 1956, it became the biggest hit of Jimmy’s career, climbing to #3 R&B.  With two more chartings that year and four in 1957, the last two also appearing in the Pop rankings, Reed was no doubt a major star of the Blues.
But Jimmy’s musical status was not paralleled by any type of business acumen, spending his royalties on fine clothes and a Cadillac, all the while under an alcoholic cloud.  Reed suffered savagely from alcoholism to the point that Mary, better known as Mama Reed, would famously have to whisper the lyrics in his ear at his performances, even in the studio, all leading to a 1957 inaccurate diagnosis of delirium tremens when, in actually, it was epilepsy.
“I wasn’t never no pot smoker, and I never did fool with any of that cocaine or junk or crazy pills, but I’d drink me some liquor.”  Somewhat of an understatement.
To assist Reed, a minder cum manager was appointed in Al Smith to oversee Jimmy’s spending, try to keep him sober enough to play, to save him from beatdowns or possibly even being shot.  The Charley notes relay one example, “recalled by Red Holloway whilst working with Reed in Florida in 1958, when a promoter hearing of Reed’s drunken state (and possible cancellation of the gig) called the police to help out….Jimmy saw the police, and Al Smith said, ‘Jimmy….the man said that you’re drunk and that you wasn’t going on….and they’re gonna put your black ass in jail’.  The threat was enough to sober Jimmy up enough to play.  So, Al said to the policeman, ‘Hey, you wanna job?  Just stay with us so we can keep this fucker in line’.  Smith would remain with the Reeds into the 70s.
Byther Smith saw one upside to Jimmy’s drinking, as he explained to Norman Darwen in Blues & Rhythm.  “He would ensure that we got paid before we did the show.  He would say to the owner that he may be drunk at the end of the evening.”
Jimmy’s chart success slowed down with only one R&B hit in each of 1958 and 1959, but Down in Virginia did reach #93 on the Pop listing.  The first two Reed sets today are a chronology of his chartings with Vee Jay and this concludes the first playlist.
Despite the drop-off of recent hits, there was no such drop-off in Jimmy’s touring popularity, and things fell back in place with three more entries in both 1960 and 1961.  It is hard for me to realize that my favorite Reed hit, the March 1960 release of Baby What You Want Me to Do, would only make it to #10, but perhaps the musical tastes had changed since none of his other tunes would climb higher except the September 1961 release of Bright Lights, Big City, which would tie for his all time high at #3.  It appears that from 1962 on, the R&B charts may have been dropped and everything went into the Pop standings, but that is merely an observation, not a fact. 
I would also note that, while it was more likely during the 50s that Reed would not include a bass player on his recordings, the habit seems to have changed in the 60s and Willie Dixon played on the March 1960 session that included Big Boss Man.  Unfortunately, the Charley CDs do not list the composers but I seem to recall an A. Dixon being listed, and Willie’s participation on the song leads me to wonder if he didn’t assign authorship to a family member, an action not uncommon, but this too is unfounded conjecture.
By this time, 33&1/3RPM LPs were becoming a strong part of a label’s arsenal and Jimmy became the first Blues artist to make it to the album charts with his August 1960 release Found Love, which featured recent tracks recorded between March of 1959 and March of 1960.  All told, Vee Jay put out fourteen albums, many failures.  One successful double release combined At Carnegie Hall (recorded there but not in concert) with The Best of Jimmy Reed.
Another LP was Jimmy Reed Sings the Best of the Blues, where Reed played some classic numbers, as Mama Reed explained to Living Blues, “Jimmy never wanted to do anybody else’s tunes….Boy, we had a hassle with him.  Calvin (Carter) was tryin’ to get him to do these tunes….Take Out Some Insurance on Me was another….Jimmy did not want to record.  Because he said it looked like everybody that recorded these type of tunes, they didn’t live long!”
Likely the worst album was one where they took some of Jimmy’s tracks and deleted his vocal, replacing it with a twelve string guitar for the melody.  How does that qualify as a Jimmy Reed album?  More like the Hollyridge Strings!
In November 1964, Jimmy did a month long tour of England which included an appearance on the BBC’s radio show Ready!  Steady!  Go! where he mouthed his September hit Shame Shame Shame and Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby.
Jimmy did his last session for Vee Jay in 1965, not long before the label folded.  Reed came up with one more hit in 1966, Knocking at Your Door for the Exodus label.  ABC-Bluesway released the album The New Jimmy Reed; and other albums of new material were released but failed in comparison to his older material which was still available at more reasonable prices.
Reed made it to Europe again in 1968, this time with The American Blues Festival, but his drinking affected his performances and the next year his alcoholism and health were so bad he had to give up appearing.  In 1971 he made a return with new subpar recordings and a busy road schedule.
His comeback was halted in 1973 by further mental and physical health issues, not to mention a breakup with Mary.  Jimmy spent much of 1974 in rehab, putting a lot of time into playing, as he told Mr. Forte, “During my first two or three records I wasn’t doing nothing but blowing the solo on the harmonica and starting off the intro on the guitar.  Then the rest of the band would haul off and head into it. . . .  I started trying to play my intro part, as much of the lead part as I could get in, do my singing part, blow the solo on the harmonica, and play the bass part all the way through, too.  I started doing all that myself, which was a pretty hard thing.  But it got me to the place where if I ain’t playing the lead part, it don’t sound right now, since I been doing it a few years.”
Jimmy was now over his alcoholism and 1975 saw a return to his touring until his death in Oakland from respiratory failure on August 29th 1976, eight days shy of his 51st birthday.  He is interred at the Lincoln Cemetery in Worth, Illinois.
An abbreviated list of artists who recorded Jimmy Reed tunes would include The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds (with Eric Clapton), The Animals, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Jr, Lou Rawls, Van Morrison (when he was with Them), Charlie Rich, The Grateful Dead, Wishbone Ash, Etta James, Hot Tuna, Johnny and Edgar Winter, The Steve Miller Band, even Bill Cosby (back when we thought he was a human being).  Kent “Omar” Dykes and Jimmy Vaughan put out a full album in tribute, On the Jimmy Reed Highway.  Jimmy was voted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and both Big Boss Man and Bright Lights, Big City (coincidentally, two of the songs you can hear Mama Reed keeping him on tempo) are included in the latter’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

While Roy Brown gained his fame as one of the early Blues shouters, he began his career as a crooner in the style of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, etc.  While his first released and most famous song, Good Rockin’ Tonight, only reached #13 on the R&B charts, primarily because Wynonie Harris’ version came out immediately afterward and essentially absorbed all of the energy in the room, he had a full dozen top ten hits between 1948 and 1957, seven of them in 1948 and 1949 alone and two of those reaching #1.  In 1956, Elvis Presley also had success in taking the Brown-written song to a new generation, as the tune became one of the most recorded numbers since versions came out through the decades by the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Ricky Nelson, James Brown, The Doors, Bruce Springsteen, Montrose, and even that great “Rhythm and Blues master” Pat Boone (quotation marks provided to show sarcastic intent).

One of many black artists of the era whose birthdate falls into some dispute, it is considered most likely that Roy James Brown was born on September 10th 1920 in or near New Orleans, Louisiana.  Roy and his mother, with the unique name True Love Brown who sang and played the organ in church, moved about the area and, at age twelve and living in Eunice, Louisiana, Roy became part of a spiritual quartet.  After their performance of their original song Satan’s Chariots Rolling By in church had the members clapping, shouting, tapping their feet, and just generally feeling the rhythm, Roy expected his mother to be pleased but instead received a whipping for jazzing up the spirituals.

Relocating again, the youthful Brown would work in the sugarcane and rice fields between Morgan City and New Iberia.  Roy listened to the field workers’ rhythms and lyrics but, always remembering his earlier punishment, he dared not join in the singing.

True Love Brown died of pneumonia when he was fourteen and Roy dropped out of high school and moved to Los Angeles.  Strengthened by his work in the fields, Brown decided to take up professional boxing in the welterweight division for a while.  Needing money, Roy went against his deceased mother’s wishes and began a less painful livelihood by crooning in amateur night competitions, including winning the Million Dollar Theater prize with his rendition of a Crosby number, There’s No You (Proper’s liner notes say it was I Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle).

By late 1943, Roy had relocated to Texas where Bill Riley hired him at his Shreveport club, Palace Park, because Brown was a black man who sounded white when he sang.  It was during these nine months that Roy began to infuse Blues numbers into his repertoire.

All during the war being kept out of the military due to flat feet, in 1946 Roy moved on to Galveston, Texas, where he continued his crooning at the Club Granada.  The Granada was run by Mary Russell, who also ran a brothel and dealt drugs, keeping her nightclub open by bribing police and municipal leaders and thus was able to employ the top local musicians including Roy’s six piece band, the Mellodeers, who even assisted in selling marijuana between sets.  It was this colorful environment that was Brown’s inspiration to write and first perform Good Rockin’ Tonight.

Resulting from an affair with the wife of a Grenada financier, Roy departed quickly to New Orleans, arriving early in April 1947.  Needing money, Roy wrote down the words to his song on a grocery bag and offered them to one of his idols, Wynonie Harris, who was performing in town.  “When I was in high school, I used to attend the auditorium dances when Wynonie Harris was singing with Lucky Millender.  I’d always say if I was ever going to be a Blues singer, I’d like to be that guy.  He was flamboyant, a good looking guy, very brash.  He was good and he knew it.  He just took charge, I liked the style.”

Just off the bus, clothes disheveled and with cardboard covering the holes in his shoes, Roy walked to where Harris was appearing, only wanting a few bucks for his song just to get him by.  Wynonie was a hugely popular Blues shouter, but he was just as well-known among the music world for his rude ways of dealing with people and his meeting with Roy was no exception, refusing to waste his time by even reading the lyrics.  Brown recalls, “He’d walk into a bar and shout, ‘Here come the Blues . . . the drinks are on me – get to the bar’.  Now you talk about conceited.  I thought I was conceited, but this guy!  He and Joe Turner would be on the same stage.  He’d walk up to him and say, ‘What you gonna sing, fat boy?’  Joe Turner couldn’t read or write and Wynonie would say, ‘Sign this autograph!’”

Roy then walked a few blocks to where pianist Cecil Gant was playing.  Unlike Harris, who didn’t even look at the song, Gant asked Brown to sing it.  He was impressed by the song but even more by Roy’s voice and, despite it being 2:30 in the morning, called Jules Braun, the president of DeLuxe Records so Brown could sing it to him over the phone.  The drowsy Braun listened once, then asked Roy to sing it again and, without a response, asked Brown to return the phone to Gant, reportedly telling him to “Give him $50 and don’t let him out of your sight.”

After quickly signing Roy to his label, Braun set up a session on May 12th 1947 at the Black Diamond and asked Roy to have four numbers ready, the other three being Lollypop Mama, Long About Midnight, and Miss Fanny Brown.  It was a small studio in the rear of a record store and a tight fit for Roy and the members of Bob Ogden’s band, consisting of drums, bass, piano, trumpet and tenor sax, known as the Flashes of Rhythm.  Roy was quick to credit the band.  “I merely sung the song.  They did a very good job, they did the arrangements . . .  It was a good rockin’ thing, you know, and man, I just started singing . . . and I felt right at ease.”  The tune is mentioned as the first recording incorporating Gospel into the Blues.

Cosimo Matassa, just starting out his studio and the man who would soon be responsible for recording much of the important R&B and Rock ‘n’ Roll that came out of New Orleans from the late 40s into the 70s, was in the control room.

Roy would always remember Gant fondly.  “He didn’t have a sensational voice, but he had something in that voice, something catchy . . . he made you feel what he was trying to convey to you.  He was terrific, he was beautiful, he was responsible for my career.”

Roy’s stay with De Luxe brought in fourteen chartings from mid-1948 through 1951, with 1950’s Hard Luck Blues being his top seller.  Brown stayed with De Luxe through 1952 but began recording for King Records the next year and Imperial in 1957.  In 1952, Roy became one of the very few black artists of the 50s to win a lawsuit for back royalties.  This might be linked via blacklisting to his sudden drop in recording success, but Brown was still capable of drawing good crowds even as the music scene was trending toward Doo Wop and Rock and Roll, the latter owing much of its existence to folks like Roy Brown. 

Brown also had a problem with the IRS, even going to Elvis Presley for help, who wrote him a check on a brown paper bag, but that was insufficient to keep him from serving time for tax evasion.  In order to get by in the 60s, Roy would sell his rights to Good Rockin’ Tonight and found jobs outside of music, including selling encyclopedias door to door.

He made a brief return to King in 1959 and continued to record occasionally during the 60s to little success, but his appearance at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival as one of the lead vocalists in the Johnny Otis Revue, resulting in one of my favorite live recordings of all time, brought him back into the limelight enough to sign with Mercury who had a hit with Love for Sale and later, in 1973, an album for ABC-Bluesway.

Brown’s life was taken on May 25th 1981 at the age of 56 by a heart attack but, as I hope today’s show attests, his music still throbs.  He died near his home in the San Fernando Valley and the Reverend Johnny Otis performed the funeral service.  Not long before his death, Brown performed at the Whisky A-Go-Go in West Hollywood and was among the headliners at the 1981 New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival.  As B.B. King said, “As a singer, he had balls.  He belted out tunes like Rockin’ at Midnight and Boogie at Midnight that everyone wanted to hear . . .  Listening now, these records sound like early Rock ‘n’ Roll – but then again, so does Louis Jordan.”  Roy was inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981.

Blind John Davis was born in Hattiesberg, Mississippi on December 7th 1913, but moved to Chicago when he was three.  His vision loss occurred when he stepped on a nail at the age of nine and he took up piano in his teens in order to be able to earn an income playing at his father’s “sporting houses”.  Mostly into Blues and Boogie Woogie, he could also fit some Jazz or Ragtime in, even a Tin Pan Alley tune every now and then.
He had the talent to become one of the key figures in the stable of famed producer Lester Melrose, creator of the “Bluebird sound”, from 1937 to 1942, backing such stars as Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, Memphis Minnie and Merline Johnson, whom he had performed with since his early days.  He was also vocalist on his own recordings.  He paired up with Lonnie Johnson in the 40s after being a part of several of Johnson’s sessions and appeared on most of Doctor Clayton’s later recordings. 
From 1949 to 1952, he recorded with his own trio for MGM, then in 1952 made a tour of Europe with Broonzy, believed to be the first such engagement by any American Blues artists.  Davis became better known in Europe than at home so he made most of his later recordings there.
In 1955, Davis’ wife died in the fire that burned down his Chicago home, at the same time destroying his collection of 1700 78s, many of which were unissued.  He died on October 12th 1985 at the age of 71.
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
You Don’t Have to Go
I Don’t Go for That
Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby
Can’t Stand to See You Go
I Love You Baby
Honey Where You Going
Little Rain
The Sun is Shining
Honest I Do
Down in Virginia
I’m Gonna Get My Baby
I Told You Baby
   Jimmy Reed   33mins
Good Rockin’ Tonight
Lollypop Mama
Hard Luck Blues
Roy Brown Boogie
Miss Fanny Brown
Trouble at Midnight
Boogie at Midnight
Long About Midnight
Rockin’ at Midnight
Ain’t Rockin’ No More
   Roy Brown   28mins
Paris Boogie
O Solo Mio
Everybody’s Got the Blues
How Long Blues
Home Town Blues
Davis Boogie
   Blind John Davis   19mins
Baby What You Want Me to Do
Found Love
Hush, Hush
Close Together
Big Boss Man
Bright Lights, Big City
Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth
Good Lover
Shame, Shame, Shame
   Jimmy Reed   25mins
Bar Room Blues
Love Don’t Love Nobody
Queen of Diamonds
Big Town
I’ve Got the Last Laugh Now
Rainy Weather Blues
Please Don’t Go
Cadillac Baby
Black Diamond
Mighty Mighty Man
   Roy Brown   28mins
I Ain’t Got You
You Got Me Dizzy
State Street Boogie
Caress Me Baby
Goin’ to New York
Blue Carnegie
I’m Mr. Luck
Take Out Some Insurance
Goin’ by the River (part one)
   Jimmy Reed   23mins

March 28, 2018

Key to the Highway                 
2018-03-28      2-5pm                    

Pete Johnson                                           
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Charlie Christian
Harpdog Brown

For my last show in March each year since she passed in 2014, I have had my mother on my mind.  She was born on March 31st, 1921, and always joked that she was born a day too early.  Well, this year April Fool’s Day will also be Easter Sunday so, even though I am not a religious man, you will be hearing a good dose of the Spiritual (and some of her Blues) singing of Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

My mother took so many piano lessons in her youth that she never wanted the instrument in her own home and, even though it was not what she would choose, she always enjoyed a good Boogie Woogie such as what you will hear played by Pete Johnson.  She would say she liked anything with a beat, the same thing my fourteen year old granddaughter told me recently when I queried her about her musical taste.  I guess that is pretty much universal.

The music of her generation was Swing and she was a fan of Benny Goodman, so it is a good time to present his guitar player, Charlie Christian, the earliest influential electric Jazz player in about a half hour live, more Bop styled performance.

In August of 2014, my brother and I took the train to Vancouver, Canada, to lay her ashes to rest in the town we were born.  Since one of the bands I heard there last summer is making a return to the Bay Area at the end of the month, I’ll be fitting in some of the Harpdog Brown material I didn’t play when they came down last year.

Phyllis Bernice Coyle, I am thinking of you as always.
Born Kermit H. Johnson in Kansas City Missouri on March 25th 1904, Pete Johnson would become known as one of the Boogie Woogie Trio along with fellow pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis following their inclusion in John Hammond’s fabled Spirituals to Swing concert of December 23rd & 24th 1938 at Carnegie Hall.  Ammons and Lewis paired up as one act in the concert while Johnson backed up Big Joe Turner.  Originally, Hammond wanted Turner to front the Count Basie band but Big Joe wanted neither to learn the material of Basie’s singer Jimmy Rushing nor deny Rushing the privilege of appearing in the concert himself, and Big Joe was more comfortable anyway performing with only his piano playing partner Johnson. 

Having never met previously but housed in the same hotel for the concert, the Boogie Woogie Trio became friends and remained in New York after the concert performing along with vocalist Turner at both the uptown and downtown locations of the Café Society through the summer of 1941.  Notably, the café was integrated in both its players and its audience.  As Billie Holiday recalled her January 4th appearance for her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, “Meade Lux Lewis knocked the crowd out.  Ammons and Johnson flipped them on a battered old piano; Joe Turner just killed them; Frankie Newton’s band sent them; and then, I came on, and man, this was a real audience.”  The trio also appeared in a 1941 film short, Boogie Woogie Dream.

Regarding his early life, Pete’s father left early on and his mother tried to raise him but had to put him in an orphanage when he was three years old, but he ran away and back to his mother.  By the time he was twelve, Johnson was working to help the two get by, taking on jobs in a factory, a print shop or as a shoe shine boy, dropping out of school by the fifth grade.  Musically, he switched from drums to piano in 1922, learning the instrument at first while working as a water boy in a construction site in a church. 

Pete was about seven years older than Big Joe, but Turner would remember in Kansas City, “When I was sixteen or seventeen, I started hanging around the Backbiter’s Club which was on Independence Avenue.  I sat outside and listened to Pete Johnson play the piano.”  Turner would eventually convince the club owner that he was old enough to work in the bar and would make himself popular by singing along with Pete as he was doing his chores; Joe’s voice was so strong he needed no microphone to be heard above the din of the place.

Once Prohibition ended on December 5th 1933, Turner and Johnson joined up with drummer Murl Johnson and did a Midwest tour including Chicago and St. Louis, but found the appeal of their hometown Kansas City too strong to withstand.  KC was overflowing with jobs for musicians as it had pretty much ignored Prohibition and continued strong afterward.  The boys often played at the Sunset Club, the home of Count Basie, also known as the afterhours place to be for the elite jammers.  Joe again, “… there wouldn’t be nobody in there except the bartender, waiter and the boss, and we’d start playing about three o’clock in the morning. . . It would be in the still of the morning and the boss man would set up pitchers of corn-likker and we’d rock.  Just about the time we’d be starting to have a good time, here would come the high hats and we’d set the joint on fire then and really have a ball ‘til ten or eleven o’clock in the day.  Sleep?  Who wants to sleep with all that Blues jumpin’ around?”  Their three piece group grew to a seven piece and there were even occasional broadcasts from the club.

In January 1936, Hammond came to Kansas City to bring Count Basie’s band back to New York and he offered a position to Turner as vocalist, but Big Joe told him he and Johnson were a team but would go in partnership with Pete.  Hammond was able to find work for the two that summer and Johnson remembered, “We played at the Famous Door for some months.  The great Hot Lips Page was at Kelly’s Stable and we tried out for a job to join him.  But it was a bad year and the wrong time of year at that -- so we went back to K.C.”

Johnson was no stranger to recording studios throughout the 40s, including January 1946 for the album House Rent Party where he starts off playing solo, then adds some of Kansas City’s best players (including J.C. Higginbotham and J.C. Heard) for one song each before bringing them all back for an ensemble jam.  Pete based himself out of Los Angeles from 1947 until he moved to Buffalo in 1950, but by then was in little demand.  He spent most of 1953 washing ice cream trucks and playing in a trio on the weekends.  1954 began no better as he washed cars in a mortuary for $25 a week, but in July he got a six week booking as piano player in the lounge of the St. Louis Forest Park Hotel, which even included some Saturday afternoon broadcasts.  He also made a couple of private recordings during this time at the house parties of a friend, Bill Atkinson.

Pete was in Europe in 1958 as part of the Jazz at the Philharmonic tour, then returned stateside and played the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, where he was part of the backing for Big Joe Turner, Chuck Berry and Big Maybelle, but was partially paralyzed later in the year by the first of several strokes, and diabetes began to affect his vision.  Jazz Report magazine ran several fundraising record auctions and a friend, Hans Maurer, released The Pete Johnson Story with proceeds from both going to Pete.  A 1964 article in Blues Unlimited pointed out Johnson’s inability to recover most of his royalties and, in June, ASCAP accepted him as a member, thus facilitating easier acquisition of at least some of his rightful earnings on a regular schedule.

Pete’s last performance, and his eighth at the Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall in January 1967, was reviewed by Down Beat’s Dan Morgenstern.  "Then for the concert's most moving moment, Lieberson (the MC) escorted Pete Johnson on stage and introduced him as one of the participants in the original Spirituals to Swing and the greatest boogie-woogie pianist. Johnson had suffered a series of paralytic strokes and had not played piano for many years. His old buddy, Turner, took him by the hand, and for a moment the two middle-aged men looked touchingly like little boys. Turner dedicated 'Roll 'Em Pete' to his old friend, as Lieberson and Johnson were about to leave the stage. Instead, they stopped and the pianist seated himself next to Bryant at the piano and began to play the treble part of his old showpiece, Bryant handling the bass. Johnson was a bit shaky but game, gaining in confidence as the number built in intensity."  After this last hurrah, Pete died two months later at the age of 62 in Meyer Hospital, Buffalo, New York, in March 1967.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe was born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, on March 20th 1915 to the traveling missionary and gospel shouter, Katie Bell Nubin, known on the church circuit as Mother Bell.  By the age of six she was adept at guitar and piano and was performing tunes like I Looked Down the Line and The Day is Past and Gone at her mother’s conventions.  The family moved to Chicago in 1921 and both the vocals and the instrumental work of the young Miss Nubin reflected a Blues influence while the strength of her showmanship was not the norm in Gospel.  The family was devoted to the Church of God in Christ, which encouraged rhythmic expression and dancing, had mixed gender choirs and even women preachers

In 1934 Rosetta married Pastor Thorpe, deacon of the Pittsburgh Pentecostal Church; and the family formed a string trio with Thorpe playing ukulele, Rosetta on guitar and Mother Bell switching between banjo and mandolin.  The group took to the road until Thorpe dropped from sight.  At some point, Rosetta changed her name to Tharpe.
In the autumn of 1938, Rosetta became a featured singer in Cab Calloway’s Revue at the Cotton Club, then in October signed with J. Mayo Williams and Decca Records.  Her first two releases, Rock Me and This Train (both recorded October 31st but issued separately) became the biggest Gospel hits of the 30s.  Things moved quickly for Rosetta as producer John Hammond invited her to join in as part of his December 1938 historical Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall, a two day event that featured the best of the Black musicians of the day.     

Rosetta followed her fall season at the Cotton Club as part of Calloway’s Revue with three more seasons there, starting in March 1939 with tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, then summer with Andy Kirk and his Twelve Clouds of Joy and winding up in autumn on a lineup with Louis Armstrong and, once again, Mr. Bojangles. More and more, Rosetta was becoming capable of maintaining an unusual balance of keeping her Gospel audience while at the same time increasingly appealing to a white crowd. While her Spiritual followers were not thrilled with their music being played in this house of lesser morals, Life magazine did a feature about the conflict of playing in church on Sunday and then in this den of inequity throughout the week.  She was back with Calloway again in December 1940, this time at the Apollo Theater.

Rosetta took her guitar into Decca’s studios for solo sessions three straight times, the last being March 13th 1941, but on June 27th that year she was recorded as one of the featured vocalists for the Lucky Millinder Orchestra.  It is my belief that she was never represented better than with Millinder’s men, even though she was accorded only one or two songs on each of the three Decca dates.  The Millinder ensemble, though somewhat overlooked by history, was one of the hardest driving and most R&B oriented of the Big Bands but, even with their enthusiastic occasional handclapping and vocal backing, there is no question Tharpe’s voice was sufficiently strong to be the dominant sound.  Unlike Rosetta, who already had established herself as a popular Spiritual artist, singer Wynonie Harris used his initial success with Lucky to launch one of the most massive R&B Jump Blues careers ever, his popularity perhaps falling only behind that of Louis Jordan or Big Joe Turner, and saxophonist \ vocalist Bull Moose Jackson found success on his own even while still providing the same services in his time working with Millinder, which spanned from 1945 into 1948.

One shortcoming of the Millinder recordings is that the sister’s acoustic guitar is often left out in favor of the electric guitar of Trevor Bacon, who was also one of the featured singers for the band.  Decca had Rosetta solo in the studio a couple of more times between Millinder sessions

In August of 1941 Tharpe and Millinder did The Lonesome Road, one of their at least three released Soundies, kind of a video jukebox of the early 40s that could be found in cafes, lounges and bars.  On September 5th 1941, the Millinder band was back in the Decca studio and one of Rosetta’s tracks was a remake of one of those Soundies, Shout, Sister, Shout, and it became her first to make the Harlem Hit Parade at #21 in July of 1942.  For her next Millinder session, she set down her acoustic in favor of an electric guitar for That’s All, a repeat of a song from her very first studio date.  December saw her back for four more solo acoustic tunes to wind up a busy and productive 1941.
For their February 18th session, Millinder had written I Want a Tall Skinny Papa which Rosetta sang all the way to #13 in August 1942.  Even though she was always a full-fledged and possibly the most important member of the Millinder revue, she was still able to carve out some time to go on her own, such as having a weeklong residence at the Café Society Downtown or a performance with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, both in 1942.

June 10th was her last opportunity in the studio, with four more solo Gospel numbers, before American Federation of Musicians union President James C. Petrillo shut down all commercial recording on August 1st.  I always like to hear the recordings made specifically for those deployed in World War II, particularly because most of them took place during this union ban, and the first three songs in our initial Tharpe set come from the Armed Forces Radio Service’s Jubilee broadcast of July or August 1943.  The music was transcribed to V-discs for distribution and whether these 15” platters similar to 78s were made available directly to the G.I.s or kept in libraries for easy access I am not sure, but I have read that Rosetta was only one of two black Gospel artists to record to the discs.

The Jubilee broadcasts began in 1942 and were held in the Los Angeles vicinity.  Following her first Jubilee session in August of 1943, Rosetta stayed in Hollywood to fully pursue her own career in the West Coast clubs as Millinder returned to his stronghold in New York City.  Within the next couple of months she did more Jubilee dates with Louis Jordan’s Tympani Five and the big band of Erskine Hawkins.  After one more broadcasts with undisclosed backing, probably Noble Sissel’s Orchestra, Tharpe returned to New York in November 1943 and, since Rosetta was a solo act, Decca brought her into the studio for four songs on November 26th and one more on December 15th, all in defiance of the Petrillo ban.

Throughout WWII she toured with Gospel quartets, her favorite being the Dixie Hummingbirds.  In April 1944, she made one last Jubilee session, possibly with Jack McVea’s small combo but sounding, more likely, again with the full band backing of Millinder and his Orchestra.  On April 21st Decca recorded one solo track and four more September 11th, but these would be the last of Rosetta’s recordings by herself.  In between, she spent the summer in residence at the Café Society Downtown, a popular club with a racially mixed audience.

In the meantime, the big band craze was dying down and many of the best black musicians were moving to either R&B or Bop.  However, Tharpe found a solution in the Sammy Price Trio which not only better fit the times but also brought out her guitar talents in an extremely complementary way.  Price was a longtime standout pianist, born in Texas but establishing himself in the Kansas area in the 1930s and ultimately becoming Decca’s house pianist, talent scout (it is worthy of note that Sam had brought Blind Lemon Jefferson to the attention of Paramount back in the 20s) and generally the man to go to ever since signing on with the label in 1937 when he moved to New York.  Price led his Texas Blusicians in backing many of the studio’s vocalists such as Blue Lu Barker, Trixie Smith and Christine Chapman.  His teaming up with Rosetta was the first time a piano and guitar combination had been used in a Gospel setting.  There was even a familiar face on the first date as Price’s bassist, Abe Bolar, had been part of Millinder’s band going back to her very first session with the orchestra. The oft-recorded Harold “Doc” West was behind the drums for those four tracks laid down September 22nd, which produced Strange Things Happen Every Day and Two Little Fishes and Five Loaves of Bread, together climbing to #2 on the Harlem Hit Parade by April 1945.  While the Five Blind Boys, the Bells of Joy and the Edwin Hawkins Singers all later cracked the Hit Parade, these Gospel groups only charted once whereas Tharpe would show up several more times.  Rosetta would now stick to Gospel tunes, using Price’s trio almost exclusively until 1954, although the individual players would vary.

I had long been curious to hear a good example of Sammy Price and I bought one disappointing CD years ago, but this four disc set from Proper Records, Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Original Soul Sister, has provided that in spades, as well as the label’s usual excellent biographical and discography notations.  Our entire second Rosetta set, recorded between 1944 and 1948, is her with the Sammy Price Trio which, when backing Tharpe, always had Sammy’s piano with drums and bass, the smaller group giving a better chance for Tharpe’s guitar work to shine. After two more sessions with Price, on July 1st 1947 Rosetta laid down two songs that would be performing favorites, her best version of This Train and then sharing the microphone with Madame Marie Knight on the other three numbers, including the traditional Didn’t It Rain.  Knight was a Sanctified shouter born in Florida but based out of Newark, New Jersey, who had just made her recording debut in autumn the year before and would meet Tharpe in the studio a few more times in 1947.

One of those times was again in July while they were performing in Los Angeles and the pair was with Downbeat for a rerecording of This Train and When I Come to the End of My Journey, songs they had just laid down for Decca earlier in the month; no wonder that by mid-December the court ordered all records and masters had to be destroyed despite Rosetta’s using the name Sister Katy Marie.
By the time of their next session, November 27th 1947, the pair of vocalists were now used to accompanying each other and handled the duets more deftly, with Up Above My Head  (I Hear Music in the Air) climbing to #6 on the Top Ten chart in December, a particular favorite of mine worthy of closing this show.  Three tracks laid down with the Price trio November 24th and four more each of the next two days … it was obvious the record companies were building up stock to last through the second Petrillo ban due to begin the first minute of 1948.  Precious Lord, recorded the last of these days and shared with Knight, reached #13 in July 1948.
In 1951, Rosetta married Russell Morrison, who had been manager of the Ink Spots, in an elaborate ceremony where 25,000 guests paid to be included and were entertained by noted Gospel acts like the Sunset Harmonizers, the Harmonizing Four and the Reverend Samuel Kelsey.

Tharpe and Knight still toured and recorded together until 1953, when the pair released some Blues songs that met with criticism and indignation from her religious fans.  The two parted ways with Marie going full-bore (although unsuccessfully) in an R&B direction but Rosetta immediately returning to her church roots.  By 1956 Tharpe moved from Decca to Mercury, but still she was unable to counter her embrace of the Blues.  With concerts fewer and farther in between and record sales dipping, Rosetta was happy to let one of her French fans arrange a European tour lasting almost all of 1957.

It took until 1960 that her image became less tarnished and she made an appearance at the Apollo Theater on the same bill as two prominent Gospel acts, the Caravans and James Cleveland, but her voice was not as crisp as it had been.  In 1967 she appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival and continued working the Southern church circuit and European tours, including one package in 1970 with Muddy Waters   During one of these performances, she complained of a sudden, deep chill and was promptly sent back to Philadelphia where she suffered a stroke.  Her speech was hindered and her legs were affected to the point one had to be amputated.

Rosetta stayed home for a year recuperating while her husband toured with the Dixie Hummingbirds, but did small tours in 1972 and 1973.  Three years since her last studio session, she went in to record for Savoy on October 8th 1973 and suffered another stroke.  Sister Rosetta Tharpe lay in a coma for a few hours but succumbed the next morning, October 9th 1973.
From that same box set that provided us with most of our opening set, there is a disc of Charlie Christian at Minton’s; indeed, that is the title of one of the albums it contains.  It shows the original electric guitar Jazz maestro in a live setting recorded in May 1941 at the New York City Jazz nightclub popular among listeners and jammers alike.  Christian was, of course, a member of Benny Goodman’s Swing Orchestra and a key component when Benny broke it down into a small combo as well as with Benny’s vibraphonist Lionel Hampton’s band, but here Charlie is the highlight of an all star ensemble whose 5-10 pieces most notably include, in varying combinations, drummers Kenny Clarke or Harold “Doc” West, pianist Thelonius Monk, trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie or Hot Lips Page and tenor sax man Don Byas.
I was unaware that Vancouver harmonica man Harpdog Brown would be coming down to the Bay Area again this week with his guitarist Jordie Edmonds until hours before my last show but, since this grouping is already a hodgepodge of reasons for artists’ inclusion, I decided to make a little room for them today.  I had a lot of fun with the pair back in November so it was kind of a no brainer.  I already had their two most recent albums and figured I still had some good music left over, but you guys should know that I pretty much already picked over the uptempo stuff, so Dog was kind enough to send me one of his older releases and am I happy with what I got.
The album which you’ll be hearing a few selections from today, Home is Where the Harp Is, is a live recording which wound up garnishing the Muddy Award for the Best Northwest Blues release of 1994 by Portland’s Cascade Blues Association as well as a Juno nomination for Canada’s Best Blues / Gospel Recording, and the album lives up to its accolades.  I wish I had room for more tunes today, but that just leaves me with more for their next California visit.  Obviously, Dog has been playing some good Blues for a long time now.

The CD was recorded May 27th and 28th 1994 at Portland’s Candlelight Café and Bar when Dog’s band, the Bloodhounds, was made up of drummer Guido Thylmann, bassist Pete Turland and guitarist Curtis Scarrow.  Then, as now, Harpdog supplies lead vocals and harmonica, and the four piece is still his preferred lineup.  You can catch Dog and his guitarist Jordie at Biscuits and Blues, 401 Mason Street in San Francisco with performances at 7:30 and 9:30PM, Thursday March 29th, in other words the day after this show.  Filling out the rhythm section will be a couple of Californians,, drummer Jimmy Morello and bassist Greg Roberts.

If you missed the essay from last year, you can find out pretty much whatever you want to know about Harpdog by going into the archives at key2highway.blogspot and scroll down to November 29th 2017.  There you can still find my writings going all the way back to 2014.     enjoy
Since it is still relatively new, I thought I’d mention that KKUP is now streaming on the internet and, while it is still in a developing stage, we have been putting out the word.  I’m not all of that good with high-tech stuff, but it seems pretty easy to access.  If you go to our website at KKUP.org you will see on the home page a strip of options immediately above the pictures of the musicians the next to the last option being LISTEN ONLINE.  By clicking this, it brings up a choice of desktop or mobile.  I can only speak for the desktop but after maybe a minute I was receiving a crystal clear feed.  As already mentioned, this is still a work in progress and we are currently limited to a finite number of listeners at any one time.  I mention this so you will be aware to turn off the application when you are not actually listening.  (I put the player in my favorites bar for the easiest of access.)  Now we can reach our listeners in Los Gatos and Palo Alto, even my family in Canada.  Let your friends elsewhere know they can now listen to your favorite station, and while they have the home page open they can check out our schedule.
Swannee River Boogie
Yancey Special
St. Louis Blues Boogie
J.J. Boogie (Just Jazz Boogie)
South Side Shuffle (with Big Joe Turner)
   Pete Johnson   14mins

Down By the Riverside
Rock Daniel
That’s All
I Want a Tall Skinny Papa
Trouble in Mind
Shout, Sister, Shout
The Lonesome Road
Rock Me
This Train
God Don’t Like It
What Is the Soul of a Man
   Sister Rosetta Tharpe   30mins

Charlie’s Choice / Swing to Bop (Topsy)
Stompin’ at the Savoy
Up on Teddy’s Hill (Honeysuckle Rose)
Guy’s Got to Go (I Got Rhythm)
Lips Flips / On with Charlie Christian
      (Stompin’ at the Savoy)
Down on Teddy’s Hill / Pagin’ Dr. Christian
      (I Got Rhythm-A-Ning)
   Charlie Christian   33mins

Rocket 88
She Felt Too Good
Rockin’ Fool
Nobody But You
Home is Where the Harp Is
My Heart is on the Line
   Harpdog Brown   26mins

Boogie Woogie
The Dive Bomber Boogie
Boo-Woo (with Harry James)
Climbin’ and Screamin’
Shuffle Boogie
   Pete Johnson   15mins

Singing in My Soul
Strange Things Happen Every Day
Two Little Fishes and Five Loaves of Bread
The Lord Follows Me
I Heard My Mother Call My Name
Jesus is Here to Stay
Teach Me to Be Right
This Train
Didn’t it Rain
Oh, When I Come to the End of My Journey
Precious Memories
Up Above My Head
   Sister Rosetta Tharpe   37mins