Monday Morning Music

It’s the last Monday of February, aka Black History Month. I’ve only posted one video including African American musicians so far this month. That doesn’t seem right at all. Let’s fix that.

First up, quite possibly my favorite blues man, Muddy Waters (1913-1983) performing “Hoochie Coochie Man” at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960.

So many cool blues folks, though. My favorite blues woman is probably Koko Taylor (1928-2009). Here she is in 1967 performing her hit “Wang Dang Doodle” (written by Willie Dixon) with Little Walter and Hound Dog Taylor. Their set was part of the American Folk Blues Festival. (not sure who the drummer is–anyone know?)

Now let’s check out Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973). She was a musical pioneer, a killer guitarist, and gospel music’s first crossover star. She also wrote (and had a hit with) the song that Pete Seeger performs with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee in that video I mention above. Thanks to this Top Ten tune from 1945, she’s also known as the Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Sadly, I couldn’t find a video of Tharpe performing “Strange Things Happening Every Day,” but the song’s important enough to the history of rock ‘n’ roll that I want to share it with you, anyway.

And to finish up, let’s continue the rock’n’roll vibe with another pioneer. Here’s Little Richard (b. 1932), a rocker I’ve loved since The Beatles’ Second Album introduced me to him, with “Long Tall Sally.” This clip is from the 1956 film Don’t Knock the Rock. Dig the “cool” white kids. Ugh.

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