Back in 1962/63 I was introduced
to the music of
Alexis Korner, and without realising it the
seeds were sown for the type of music that would stay with me
until the present day. I even bought the L.P. on Ace of Clubs –
‘R&B from the Marquee’ – wonderful stuff. I still have that L.P.
and play it at home.
This introduced me to American
black music and shortly afterwards to one of my heroes –
Thomas. His famous ‘Walking the Dog’ was the start for
me. His contribution to Blues, Rhythm & Blues and Soul music
should never be underestimated – but what a disappointment it
was to him not to be included in the Stax/Volt Tour of Europe in
1967. He was a great believer in “music”. You would never hear
him talk predominantly about “black music” – his great one-liner
was “When you play the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ on the
piano you have to use the black and white keys”. He is sadly
Rufus Thomas, Irish
Centre, Leeds 1996
Stone, Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee
My next big influence was the
solid Stax R&B groove which gave us
Booker T and the MGs – what
a joy it was to see black and white musicians enjoying music
together. They were the house band at Stax and provided that
thumping beat you hear on the up-tempo trax by
Whenever possible I’ll play an Otis “45”.
come across what is probably a bootleg "45" by Otis - ‘Loving By The Pound’
. During the 2008 Colne R&B Festival I managed to have a chat
with Steve Cropper who explained it was cut during the very last
session Otis did at Stax about a week before he died - during
the same session as 'Dock of the Bay' was put down. There
were two takes of 'Lovin By The Pound' - one was horns,
one without. The version on the pictured "45" is the version
with the horns. It's a stonker. A short while ago a Japanese CD
(this format does have it's uses) was issued with this Otis
track on it and it would appear someone has pulled
the track from it and pressed a batch of 45's - Top Man!
Through the sixties the Brit
groups introduced us to music that we thought was new but, as we
all know, so much of it had occurred in the States during the
previous two decades.
Alexis Korner who brought to my
attention Chicago Blues, started it all for me and this led to
hearing the other styles I now enjoy with the 45s of the artists
occupying special places in my record boxes.
And what else influenced me…………….
The New Orleans style of R&B that
Allen Toussaint brought and
still brings us. What a joy it was to see him solo in 2007.
The West Coast Swing and Jump
Jive, the hollering of
Big Joe Turner, the smoothness of
Prima – I could go on and on but I think you get the picture as
to what floats my boat.