Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Guitar Shorty ~ 2001

Guitar Shorty,David William Kearney, was born on September 8, 1934, in Houston, Texas, but grew up mainly in Kissimmee, Florida where be began playing the guitar at an early age and began heading a band not long after. During his time in Tampa Bay, Florida, he received his nickname, Guitar Shorty, when it mysteriously showed up on the marquee of the club he was playing as 'The Walter Johnson Band featuring Guitar Shorty.'

He steadily began to garner accloades from his peers and, at the age of 16, he joined the Ray Charles Band for a year. He then recorded his first single in 1957, "You Don't Treat Me Right", under the direction of Willie Dixon when Dixon saw him playing with the Walter Johnson orchestra. Eventually, he would join Guitar Slim's band and move to New Orleans, Louisiana. While in New Orleans, Shorty also fronted his own band which played regularly at the Dew Drop Inn where he was joined by special guests such as T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner and Little Richard.

Shorty next moved to the West Coast at 19 in order to play with Sam Cooke. He played up and down the west coast and Canada until he met his future wife, Marcia, in Seattle, Washington. His new wife turned out to be the half-sister of Jimi Hendrix, who attended several of Shorty's gigs and possibly being influenced by Shorty.

The following years were both good and bad; to get by at one point even, Shorty made an appearance on Chuck Barris' Gong Show, winning first prize for performing the song "They Call Me Guitar Shorty" while balanced on his head. He and his wife eventually settled in Los Angeles, California. Appearances at major festivals like The Monterey Bay Blues Festival, The San Francisco Blues Festival, The Chicago Blues Festival,The King Biscuit Blues Festival, and Alleyfest 2001 brought him to larger and larger audiences.

Get The Long and Short(y) of it here.

Monday, July 9, 2001

The Official Alley Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the golden years of Longview's Alleyfest with "The Official Alleyfest Challenge" :

1. This Southern rocker isn't all wet, he has a full time job working as Hank Williams, Jr.'s saxophonist and harp player.

2. You'd never mistake the two, this performer signed left handed autographs for a nervous John Lee Hooker.

3. This silver haired headliner began his professional career at the age of 14 and appeared on Bobby Boris Pickett's ";Monster Mash" and The Beach Boys "California Girls".

4. Unable to join Otis Redding on tour in 1967 because she was pregnant, this Alleyfest artist was not on the plane that took Otis Redding's life.

5. This Alleyfest performer portrayed Delta bluesman Tommy Johnson in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" with George Clooney and also appeared in "Ray".

6. Orphaned at age 11, this performer was named Chicagoan of the Year in 1999 and performed at both the Clinton and Bush inauguration parties.

7. This Alleyfest performer was band leader for both Little Richard and Sam Cooke, leading the band on rock classics, "Bring It On Home" & "Twisting The Night Away" , "Long Tall Sally" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On."

8. He joined the Dell-Kings, the house band at the Sahara Hotel, and worked with legends such as Jackie Wilson, Judy Garland and Sammy Davis, Jr. -ole' baby.

9. While working in the house band at Clifford Antone's famous Austin blues club, he played with virtually all the stars in the blues world - Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Eddy Taylor, Big Walter Horton, and Buddy Guy.

10. This band's music has been featured in commercials for Tide Detergent, Target, General Motors, Miller Beer, McDonalds, Amtrak, and Smokey The Bear.

11. Belying his "good ol' country boy" persona, which Alleyfest performer was actually a 1959 National Merit Scholar in physics ~ he's a gentleman hog farmer.

12. This Alleyfest artist launched the careers of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie , Mick Fleetwood, Andy Fraser, and Mick Taylor - Eric Clapton has stated, "He has actually run an incredibly great school for musicians."

13. This six time Alleyfest performer was a member of the great B.B. King Orchestra for 7 years.

14. A great guitar player in his own right, the Alleyest performer was also Jimi Hendrix's brother-in-law.

15. This member of the Rock-a-Billy Hall of fame toured with the Lightcrust Doughboys and played drums Paul and Paula's "HEY PAULA" and Bruce Channel's" HEY BABY".

Bonus Round: This Alleyfest performer was an NFL lineman and IS a full time National Park Ranger.

Super Bonus: This ex-boxer hired a driver and picked up a band so he could come to Alleyfest.

Super trivia: These guys know how to Party! Legend around here is,after flying in from California to play Alleyfest these fun loving brothers rented a car proceeded to invest most of their money at Harrah's Casino in Shreveport.

Answers in the comments section!

Scoring: 0-4,You must have been out of town a lot the first weekend of June!
5-9,You were there, but maybe you had too much to drink!
10-14, Hey, I remember you, you were on the front row every year!
15+ Wait a minute, you're me!

Thursday, June 21, 2001

Sir John Mayall ~ 2001

John Mayall, OBE, is a pioneering English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His musical career spans over fifty years. Mayall's father was Murray Mayall, a guitarist and jazz music enthusiast. From an early age, he was drawn to the sounds of American blues players such as Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica. Mayall served three years of national service in Korea and, during a period of leave, he bought his first electric guitar.

John Mayall has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Jon Mark, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya, and Buddy Whittington.

In 1984, Mayall restored the name Bluesbreakers for a lineup comprising the two lead guitars of Walter Trout and Coco Montoya, bassist Bobby Haynes and drummer Joe Yuele. The mythic name did perhaps something to enhance the interest in a band which by all standards was already remarkable. A successful world tour and live recordings achieved the rest. In the early 1990s Buddy Whittington became the sole lead guitarist in a formation which included then organist Tom Canning.

Of the Order Of British Excellence Sir John said, "It's the only major award I've ever received. I've never had a hit record or a Grammy or been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." ~ Wikipedia