Don't act like y'all don't know where we be neither.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back to the Shuck and Jive

Last night, Martha bought tickets to see B.B. King in January. We're takin' the Big Man and I can't wait. He's still chapped about not being able to go in the clubs when we were on Beale St.. Every time I go to work in Memphis...I have to explain to him that I am not going to Beale. I'm going to the boring part of Memphis. He never looks very satisfied with that answer.

I was maybe ten before I had a stereo of my own. Before that I carried a tape recorder around. The only cassette I had was a collection of  B.B. King's Hits. I just kinda took possession of it. Daddy didn't seem to mind too much.

He was up all last week.

Recently, Martha actually took some time to read the blog. "No wonder you love your job so much," she laughed..."your out there every day with your people." They're my Daddy's people too...and that's never lost on me.

As a kid, nothing tickled me more than his stories from the road. The seafood market owner that ran numbers...the murderous wives..."When you see that nigga you tell him I'm comin' to kill him"...collecting money in Jukes on a Friday nights...clearing out of a house with the owner because a snake had slithered into the kitchen. Nothing much has changed.

(Daddy was born in a house...probably deeper in the woods than Otis)

Macon, Georgia was the scene for a lot of these stories. The place has a kinda hold on him and he loves it but, I don't think it was always a happy time. He seems to have been kinda in between. He lived in efficiency and didn't own any more than could be thrown in an short notice. Some clothes and a hi-fi.

He jokes about having pheasant under glass for Thanksgiving at Ocmulgee. Translation: sitting on the side of an Indian mound, drinking Wild Turkey...watching the river.

He laughs...a kinda squeezed cackle that I've inherited.


  1. No tickets have been purchased. Stop lying to your people.

  2. I just got a reminder about that...and a call I have to make.

  3. Growing up with that music must do something very deep to you. I only came to the blues as a student - probably too late for the lasting effect - but it still speaks to me. Get those tickets and GO!

    1. Yes ma'am...but, of course, the music is very much an expression of where I grew up. It's a congenital condition. :)

  4. NO WAY.

    Not at all jealous

    The man is a legend

    1. There was gonna be a tie in with your rediscovering old songs...but, this one took a different direction.

      We'll get back to that.

      The man is still with us and yet...he has his own day in this state.

  5. Hmmph, I want a kid I can take to BB King concerts. Oh wait . . . .

    1. Somebody is obviously very comfy where they are.

  6. There is some very cool handing-down going on in your family! Your dad had his BB King cassette and his home-like MGB and your son not only knows who BB King is but will see him live before he's even hit double-figures. And you and Martha in the middle. Impressive!

    1. It's an interesting story about my Daddy and music. I've mentioned before that he's older than my Momma and most of my friends parents. He's not a baby-boomer.

      While those people never tired of telling you how they had invented rocknroll (and of course how we were all squandering what they'd done) took me years of peicing casual comments together to figure out that Daddy was listening to rocknroll before there really was such a thing.

      As a kid, he got sick of listening to the Grand Ole saved his own money. Bought a radio and found Randy's Record Shop radio program on WLAC outta Nashville.

      He mentioned once that he had been listening to Chuck Berry for a couple of years before he showed up on television but, because he's not obsessed with his own life, I don't think he realizes just how on the edge his tastes were.

      Of course, those tastes were very natural considering where he was from.

      As a quick Momma's mother hated Patsy Cline for being a sellout. Ha.

      Too bad we haven't also been passing that MG around.

  7. BB King was featured returning to Indianola for a concert in a BBC TV travelogue/documentary last night. It was presented by one of the UK's top TV chefs, Rick Stein, who has transformed Padstow, the Cornish town where my wife and I married, by opening a bunch of restaurants there, including a swanky fish restaurant, a cafe and a superb takeaway on the water-front serving the best fish and chips I've ever tasted. Anyway, Rick was travelling around Mississippi celebrating the food (the mouth-watering stuff you feature on your blog) and the Blues: he's evidently crazy about both.

    Two reflections: first, you're probably a regular visitor to every eaterie featured in the programme; second, I wonder if your state doesn't have a greater hold on the imagination of Brits than it does on the rest of the US. Anyway, Stein was having a great time - but, boy, was he sweating! Stein said he'd never experienced greater hospitality. It's worth watching just to see the goofy grin on his face after he meets BB King - evidently a hero of his - outside the Great Man's trailer.

    You probably can't access "A Taste of the Blues" in the US - and you obviously won't learn anything from it - but, in case you can, it's here:

  8. I'd love to see that but, sadly I can't. I can get the radio podcast but, video is restricted to UK. God knows BBC America won't play it...they don't even air shows about Britain. Just Dr. Who...and that's about it.

    I'm sure I'd learn something. There are still places I haven't eaten around here. I have never been to Does Eat Place
    Which is silly...all the time I spend up there and all the restaurants I go in. I've never been.

    There's always something to learn.

    I'm glad he had a good time and was treated well. That's more important than the music and the food...though both help in the process. :)