Tuesday, January 24, 2012

etta james I'd Rather Go Blind

My old friend Jim Fuhrman just told me about this song. Jim is the guy who first got me started  listening to really good R&B and Blues when we were freshmen in college.
I had heard good R&B and Rock and Roll in high school like all kids listening to WLAC in Nashville.
But Jim got me onto people like Robert Pete Williams and blues artists. People like Muddy Waters and all the great Chicago blues men like Howling Wolf.
   We listened to a lot of real good honky tonk country also. People like Ernest Tubb and early Johnny Cash and the original Jimmie Rodgers who was from Meridian Mississippi. And the immortal Hank Williams Sr.

Years later I would learn that Bob Dylan up in Hibbing Minnesota was soaking up the same sounds. But his main influences were Hank Williams and Little Richard. Put those two together and you get Bob Dylan.

In his book Chronicles Bob Dylan tells how he wore out a copy of  the Hank Williams as LUKE THE DRIFTER album.
   We had a copy of that album in our frat house in 1958. It was so strange I played it over and over and over. It is pure undiluted Hank Williams. Songs so sad and sorrowful and full of pity that he had to put it out under a different name than Hank Williams. It came out as being from Luke The Drifter. Hank Williams name was not on it.

We had two other albums that made a large impression on me: DOWN AND OUT by Sonny Boy Williamson(including the songs I AINT FATTING NO MORE FROGS FOR SNAKES and DONT START ME TALKING) and LONELY STREET by Kitty Wells.
Click on Sonny Boy Williamson and Kitty Wells in the Labels box below to read what I have written about them before and also to see pictures of the album covers of those two albums.
Scroll down to see those posts after you click on the names.

Scroll down two posts below to hear Etta James sings the great song STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING EVERY DAY. I learned of that song from William Eggleston over the phone one night in 1971. Strange things were happening then and they are happening now. Look for that to continue and maybe get really strange sometime soon.