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Alan White.
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Chris Powers.
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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 – Rufus 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 missed. 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
 


Rufus Thomas, Irish Centre, Leeds 1996
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Memorial 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 Otis Redding. Whenever possible I’ll play an Otis “45”.

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.I’ve recently 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 Louis Prima – I could go on and on but I think you get the picture as to what floats my boat.
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.