Friday, January 20, 2012

Recent Blues Deaths - Sadness - Etta James, Johnny Otis...

I was saddened this morning to learn of the deaths (earlier today) of Etta James and Tuesday of Johnny Otis.

Both of them affected me in many ways over the years. I listened to the Johnny Otis Show on KPFA in Berkeley, CA for quite a few years and enjoyed his eclectic nature and the music that he loved.

There is a beautiful picture of him with his band from the 1950's in NY Times obit at:

Etta James - was simply herself - a wonderful, wonderful singer.

I was also saddened to hear in recent days of the deaths in December, 2011 of Hubert Sumlin - who played so wonderfully with Howlin Wolf for many years.

Finally, though it was last summer when it happened it was sad to hear a few days ago of the death of David Honeyboy Edwards at the age of 96. He sat in with Michael Frank - at the blues party that my first wife and I had featuring the Lonnie Brooks Band in Chicago in 1977.

My blues awakening began at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1970. Many of the remaining stars from that era are in their late 70's or older now. Thankfully - there are still many wonderful performers to see, but it is sad as they increasingly are dying now.

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