Tuesday, March 03, 2009

USA WHITES: The Most Despicable People on Earth

[This post was posted on March 4th.]

American Whites: Racists; Crooks; Warmongers; Greedy; Believing Seriously in Their Own Special White Male Woman-Hating God; Two-Timers; Backstabbers

I was being a gentleman. Why I hadn't even had a drink or a speedball or several tabs of Oxycontin (the White man's drugs). I was just calm as fallow wine. And I watched one of our lucky White sons of bitches, Charley Rose (why is he thought of as being so intelligent? Just because he's White? I know women think he's pretty--and that counts for so much in terms of Good Ole Boy Charley being on teevee--he's failed on the commercial several times, the latest when he got some bucks from CBS's second-string 60 Minutes "news" show--but that show tanked and Charley's back to his PBS gig) interviewing the opera singer Jesse Norman. And Jesse was prattling on in her picture-perfect highly affected English about how she's putting together a festival that starts today (March 2nd) at Carnegie Hall where she's HONORING, that's how she put it, all great black entertainers and speakers and poets and artists and politicians who have since the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries been out there but have been totally overlooked and mostly dishonored by history--by WHITE history, that is--and though she didn't say that openly, her implications were obvious. She mentioned a few names who, no, I had never heard of--including that of a black opera singer who sang at Carnegie Hall when it first opened back in the 19-teens. All of this promotional prattle about overlooked Blacks and their genius and stuff I'm used to. That doesn't bother me. That's advertising; Miss Norman wants Whites to attend her Festival so I'm sure she's being less controversial with Mr. Charley Rose than she would be speaking at a Black Nationalist rally.

I've been well aware of Blacks through the music they created since childhood. It's a music my father was respecting, deeply loving, and listening to from before I was born. Through him playing his Fats Waller records by my baby bed, I grew up from a baby respecting this special music, gradually deeply loving it, then going further than my father by studying it, listening to it, playing it to records, trying as best I could not to imitate it like most whiteys do when they attempt to recreate Black creations. Given my White defects, and I knew I had White defects the first time I heard an 18-year-old Oscar Peterson playing the piano, I knew I could never successfully even get close to imitating that style of playing the piano, though I got to the point where I let Nature have its way and I developed my own style out of what then to me became a music natural to Blacks but also natural to me, a music open to everyone (and I put myself down by questioning, isn't that how the White man thinks, that everything is open to everyone, especially him, the him that starts with the capital H?). What I mean is it's natural to me because it's a music I was born and raised with, a music I never defined specifically as Black, though I certainly knew that most of the musicians I most respected were certainly obviously Black.

One of the problems we US Whites have--we are impersonators, mimickers--at the same time we are naturally cynical and snide. That's why our "soul" music is so God-damn cold--Northern, not Southern. We whites tried to prove our hipness first by declaring Paul "the" White Man (Whiteman) as King of Jazz and as a great Jazz bandleader--an all-white band, though it did have some brilliant White musicians in it, including Bix Biederbecke and Der Bengal Crosby--and then further proving our even further hipness by declaring Benny Goodman the King of Swing--and Benny had some great dedicated White musicians in his bands--and yes Benny hired Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Charles Christian, and, yes, Benny and Gene Krupa played on stage together with those genius Black guys who kicked Gene and Benny in their asses and made them reach heights they had no business reaching, Benny Goodman not being that good a clarinetist (a better White clarinetist was Buddy De Franco) nor was Gene Krupa the greatest drummer who ever lived--he dragged the beat and pounded the drums so loud the other members of the Goodman band were driven nuts by it--though Lionel Hampton would sometimes play the drums and run poor ole Gene out to an early drummer's pasture). But that's what I mean about Whites saying all musics are open to everybody, though they then try and steal first-place over Blacks with this attitude--and this White critical domination of Jazz that declared Paul Whiteman and Benny Goodman White Kings of Black music, which left more royal Black band leaders with titles of Dukes and Counts and Earls--all of them very sarcastic, which is exactly what Count Basie said in his autobiography about why he took "Count" as his "artistic" title--though there later were King Pleasure and King Curtis--and B.B. King, the King of the Blues. And the Black musicians got to have a High Priest, too, more a Witch Doctor in the good use of the title, to me, than a priest, though certainly Thelonious Monk's music is healing in a magic sense--I mean he plays the piano with magic hands--every thing about Monk is magic. But we Whites couldn't really swing as easily and as simply as the Blacks. Whites just aren't naturally anything but like I said, "Cold." And in that cold sense, down deep, down in that well where we've maybe tried to throw our racism, we may still be thinking like Old Massuh, "We certainly stole the Black people themselves--hell, stole 'em, we owned 'em, so why not steal and own their culture, too?" Of course I'm being factitious, though facetiousness hits the nail on the head perhaps.

I recently got slapped awake to the fact that I actually was still a White racist by a Black woman I've known what seems like forever. "And why am I still a racist, even though I don't believe in the concept of race, except the human monkey race?" I asked this woman, and she said I couldn't help being a racist coming up like I did through a Southern White Racist system, the whole shebang, the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Racist parental system, the White ASP Racist education system..."Until I got to college...," I tried to interject. I knew I was starting to righteously defend myself against her charges--a typical White Racist response by the way. Of course sensible White don't want to be called racists by their Black friends and neighbors or workmates, and there are some Whites who truly believe they aren't racists, though now I understand how Blacks can easily spot the defects in Whites thinking so surely they are not racists. How unintentional White Racist things creep out of our speech maybe; out of the way we cook maybe; out of the way we dance maybe; out of the way we prevaricate; out of the way we are so bound by White-made laws and rules and expect all other "ethnics" to want to be like us--come on, doesn't everybody in the world want to be an American--which to Whites means they want to be like White Americans--aha, that's what I'm talkin' about. "Until I got to college...," my interjection was going to be based on the historical fact that after I was on my own and got established in college, I dismissed thinking in terms of White and Black and Redman and Yellowman and Brownskin, etc.--the racial color spectrum I imagined as being colors from a flower garden, and I saw nothing disturbing about a flower garden filled with mixtures of multimixed-colored flowers--all the hues of the accumulated rainbows.

Though the college I went to was the first integrated college in the Southern Collegiate Association (several years before the Civil Rights Act was passed--it was integrated under Brown v. the Board of Education school integration ruling)--and it was kicked out of that association because of its readily complying with desegregation rulings. But, as I was saying, though it was integrated in terms of students, it was administered totally by White men--and, yes, too, all the teachers and coaches and such were Whites, Liberal Whites most of them, though there were the White Citizen's Council-leaning few there, too. Like I had an English teacher when I was a freshman, a very famous Texas poet, author, and head of the Texas Institute of Letters, the elite organization all fellow-judged-eminent Texas authors were elected to--a high honor for Texas authors--and I'm proud to say my own brother was once head of the TIL--and my brother knew this English teacher, too; in fact, when the old bastard found out I was my brother's brother he really put the spurs to my ass to eventually catch me committing a SPLIT INFINITIVE sin on an essay test! Such a sin against our sacred language constituted an "Instant F" in his eyes, and it didn't matter the color of my skin or who the hell my brother was--in fact (again), the asshole gave me an F-, I swear, and I turned on his old ass full time--a later story...you know, one of those for a later date. Anyway, one day in his English 101 class not one of the Black students was present, and there were at least 5 Black students in the class that I remember. And while he was calling the roll and got to the last Black's name and there was no response, he looked up and said, "All the darkies are absent today. What the hell is it, Lincoln's Birthday?" which got him some ha-has though not many; mostly glares--he was old school, we were progressive jazz lovers; we respected the Beats and nonconformity--we were a new generation, a generation of easy riders or Fuck You nonconformists. We'd heard how much better the jazz band was with the Black players in it--several going on to jazz fame and glory, like James Clay, like David "Fathead" Newman, like Marcus Belgrave, like the Pepper Bros. We knew the additions of Blacks, especially one named Abner Haynes, put our football in the Top 15 one year and Abner led the nation in running yardage for several years and went on after college to be an NFL star with the Detroit Lions. I knew 3 of these Black kids in that English class from my hanging around the Jazz Department. One of them was a girl singer who became my "ideal woman," after I got to know her and was falling in love with her. This woman's idealness has stayed with me even "unto" this day--meaning forever after I met this so talented lady, with a voice soft as Billie Holiday velvet but with a Sarah Vaughn passion for a song--absolutely enchanting to this young White boy from the prairies of the White Old West who had aspirations of baptizing himself in this Black music that he loved so fiercely. Of course, that made Black women jazz singers especially inviting to my attentions and decisions as to what I thought was a beautiful and desirable woman. I'm immediately became attracted to women who looked like this woman, White or Black, and I've met one White woman who looked like this Ideal Woman and I fell madly in love with her until she fell out of a Continental airliner over Nebraska one sad day--another story for another time.

My Ideal Woman had a special face, not at all common among Black women, though there are a lot of these Black women faces around...most women who've looked this look could trace their ancestry back to Barbados (Nikki Giovanni, for instance)...light skinned, freckled, a long and narrow nose, high cheek bones, and piercing black-brown eyes...like the Black actress Diana Sands...and, as mentioned, like the Black poet Nikki Giovanni, who I had a big fantasy crush on because of that look after meeting her one Saturday afternoon at the old Loeb Student Center at New York University, where I was a student in their publishing program--and had been for awhile in their Film School, the one Spike Lee came from. And I was introduced to Miss Giovanni by a woman who was in my publishing class and who I'd gotten going-out-after-class close to (to Googie's Bar on Thompson!! I'm sorry, those of you who see the 70s as evil and damaging to our morals (White morals, I assume, too) and ruinous to New York City--the hell with you, the 70s were the sharpest and most progressive years I've lived through--and New York City was the place to be, where all the action was in the arts, in music, in drama, in dance, in painting, in galleries, in jazz clubs, music bars, dance halls, concerts, the Newport Jazz Festival came to NYC then, punk rock abandoned Detroit and took over the NYC White music scene--at the same time Jazz greats like Charles Mingus were regular features at the shambly but perfect music place, the now gone Village Gate and its upper room companion the Top of the Gate jazz venues. And we all mingled and worked together and made music together--and beers were 75 cents a bottle and a shot of whiskey was 50 cents--a dive bomber at a Blarney Stone was 75 cents--a ham sandwich and a Remy Martin brandy was $1.50 at the Canal Street Bar and Rest (the rest of the sign was blocked by the entrance to a subway station)--sorry, folks, those were the best days of my on-the-go years--and the women! Oh my God, New York City women were so cool and hot back in those days--and really they still are. Whoooey, I'd believe in Jesus Christ to be able to return to 1972 and start my life over again. Sorry, folks, I don't believe in sin and morals and shit like that. I believe in comradeship, good times, good entertainment...oh hell, I believe in PLEASURE--and pleasure's what keeps me going full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes. As a result of this Googie's girlfriend of mine introducing me to Miss Giovanni, I got to sit by her, right next to her, all during an Art Blakey and the Jazz Messingers performance (George Cables on piano; Junie Booth on bass; Freddie Hubbard on trumpet; sorry, my infallible memory can't remember who played tenor with Art that day--though I remember Lew Tabakian hanging around with his wife Toshiko). It was during one of the early NYU Jazz Festivals. And Nikki invited me to come hear her read the next day, and I read a lot into that invitation, at a the old Roundtable jazz club on Broadway, a club that Feminists had taken over on Sunday afternoons for Feminist poetry readings. I didn't go. I was married at the time and my wife was a charter member of NOW and I was then trying to stay loyal to my young wife, though there were temptations everywhere, especially at NYU. But I remained faithful--like the part-dog I am.

When I first came to New York City, I immediately noticed how racist White New Yorkers were. I came to New York at a time they were still rioting in Newark and then the Harlem riots happened. I'd come to NYC from Santa Fe, New Mexico, though ruled politically by Whites at that time, a basically Spanish-American city. And, yes, I did live a good life in Santa Fe, and, yes, I guess I did take advantage of my White privilege while there, though my best friend there was a Black piano player and his Black wife who became my wife's best friend as well. And this Black piano player was originally from my home town, and, yes, because his mother was a cook for a rich White family that lived in a mansion on the big Boulevard behind my parents's little Cape Cod house that sat on the back edge of a rather Middle-Class neighborhood. He lived in the servant's quarters behind that mansion and we used to ride our bikes together up and down the alley that separated my neighborhood from the rich folks in the great-ass homes on the Boulevard (all muy ricos blancos lived on Boulevards in those days--gated Boulevards--restricted neighborhoods in both terms of skin color and wealth). And I moved to Santa Fe after living in Mexico City with my--here I go again--young Welsh-Mexican-Choctaw-American wife--what a woman! and I still say it though she divorced my ass and used to tell people that I ruined her life so many moons ago now--though she never married again and kept my name--sometimes I say "Dammit" to that and sometimes I take her word it was for business reasons. And before that we had lived in New Orleans where I had worked in an integrated workplace and one of my best friends in New Orleans was a brilliant big tall nicest-kind-of-guy's with a wife who I remember looking exactly like Michelle Obama. And before we moved to Santa Fe for good and were just visiting there looking for a house to rent, I looked in the New Mexican newspaper one afternoon while we were driving around and saw this Black man's picture there with an article under it saying he was going to be at one of the hotel bar and restaurants's piano bar for a month. Nowhere in the article did this Black man say he was from my hometown. In fact the article implied he was a native of New York, having been intermission pianist at the Embers Club on Forty-Seventh Street in Manhattan, the Jazz Street in NYC from the 30s up into the late 60s when all those old clubs went under, some struggling on into the 70s, though all of them were abandoned by the 90s--and I get sentimental and remember the original old Half Note, where one of the greatest-ever jazz recordings was made in June of '65--when Wes Montgomery got together with the Wynton Kelly Trio (Mr. P.C. (Paul Chambers) on the steady bass and that time machine Jimmy Cobb on drums)--and, oh Jesus, folks, I wasn't there but I've got the CD injecting my brain now with sweet swinging pleasure through my AKG headset--you don't call these "earphones"--with Wes wailing away in my left ear and Winetone and Jimmy Cobb in my right ear, with Mr. P.C. walkin' down the middle--damn 4-channel stereo was great! This came out on Verve after Norman Granz sold it to Polydor, I think it was--a division of ABC Records, if I'm not mistaken. When all the radio networks had recording companies: NBC: RCA Victor; CBS: Columbia Records; and ABC: ABC-Paramount Records. So that night, my wife and I went to that piano bar and sure enough, there was my old hometown Black kid friend and at first he acted like he really was from New York City (wife and two kids there--true), then Washington, D.C. (yes, he was there going to Howard University), then Dallas (yes, he was there playing and recording in a famous Dallas jazz club--where he recorded three albums for the Liberty label--I bought one of those albums off eBay 'bout a year ago), then I asked him, "What about [our hometown]?" Then he stopped opening his pack of Kool cigarettes from the bottom of the pack and looked straight at me. "Wolfie? Wolfie is that you? Son of a bitch. Wolfie!" And for the next five years we were the closest especially after he moved to Santa Fe and settled down and brought his wife and new baby girl there to live.

But you know how I knew White New Yorkers were racists? Like I'd get in a cab and tell the cabbie--at that time they were mostly all still native New Yorker cabdriver types--hacks as they liked to call themselves--a lot of Jewish guys drove cabs in those days of big Checkers still rolling on NYC streets--and every time I'd get in an NYC cab and tell them where I wanted to go, they'd inevitably say things like, "That's a Southern accent you got there, right?" Or "What part of the South're you from, pal?" And after I'd say, "Well, I'm from Texas and where I'm from we think of ourselves as Westerners, not Southern...." And they'd say, "Hell, you're Southern as hell. I know my accents." Then they'd continue after they found out I was new to town, "You know what da problim is up here? The same as you got in the South, pal, let me tell you. Da Por-toe Reekcuns and your Blacks are the problems up here, too, pal. They're takin' over. You'll see." I ignored these same conversations as best I could--even pretending not to speak English sometimes. Though I did tell one of these guys one time that I'd appreciate his stifling his racist shit because my wife and mother of my kids was Black--and he immediately started backpeddling like a motherfucker--"Sorry, man, I was just makin' conversation, you know, like you're from the South and...er-ah."

My best friend in New York City back in those glorious 70s was a Black photographer I met while working at Time-Life. I've been with him to discos where they made him show ID and one time said he I could come in a club but he couldn't and when he accused the son of a bitch of racial discrimination, he said, oh no, it's not because you're Black, it's because you're wearing denim" (they made denim suits in those days and they were quite popular and stylish then) "and we don't allow denim in the club." Just as he finished with that bullshit, my friend and I both noticed at the same time a White dude going right on in the club easy-as-pie--and, yes, he was wearing a denim suit.

All of this to say that hearing Jesse Norman on Charley Rose's show putting down Whites in a calm intellectual way didn't bother me at all. I had recently endured a much more blatant, in-my-face, Black put down from my woman friend of forever. I since think I now understand such a Black attitude. It bothers me a little when I first hear it coming and I'll admit, it bothers me to the point I almost try and start defending myself as a White Liberalist, but then I put on the brakes and skid to a halt in my own tracks. I can't defend my White Race against any Black American's pointing out my ingrained White racism. They are absolutely right about MOST of my White brethren and sisters, especially those who are self-blessed, who are privileged mainly due to their Whiteness--and Whites do feel they are closer to the Jewish God than even the Jews. One recent White fundamentalist preacher I heard said that Whites once they become Christians actually become Jews. That's what he said. He said Jesus's teachings were taken up readily by Gentiles (Whites) and the Jews rejected them--therefore, Gentiles became Jews by default when they accepted Jesus as the true Messiah (and there's not much teaching came out of Jesus's Essene Cult mouth--he didn't speak Hebrew--he probably couldn't read or write--and in the Christian White Holy book Jesus is credited with spewing 0nly a few worn-out parables) of who they call their "Lord and Master Jesus Christ (not his real name)." Lords and Masters do mean a lot to US Whites. US Whites really are still wandering in a desert of their own making--since US Whites worship what was originally a desert religion, they have to believe that salvation comes from the sky and not from the sun-sucking-up-brutal earth. Get it? God really didn't make Blacks, if you believe the Anglosized "Old Testesment." Actually, according to this fairy tale, God made the Black race when he turned a White Man, Ham, an appropriate name for the dude, too, don't you think, black! The White Master and Lord God put a curse on this White son of White No-ey--a curse that God said made Ham a SERVANT unto his White brothers forevermore. Plus he and his people were Hell bound without a chance at salvation. If No-ey (that's Noah to Whites) had any daughters they weren't mentioned since this old Torah bullshit considered women and daughters as SERVANTS and SLAVES same as the cursed Ham, who by the way was exiled to Kush--aha! The Black Jews of Ethiopia!--given by the Jewish God to the original White Man Adam, and, yes, Adam was a White Man not a Jew, though Jews are according to US Whites White, but with a Mediterranean tinge--sunburn, you see.

So all of Miss Norman's Black condescension didn't bother me. I've always announced before my gigs that most of the music I know I learned from listening to the recordings of black geniuses going back to Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Ferdinand Morton, Tony Jackson, and then coming on up the Mississippi River with their music to the Mississippi Delta, then on up the Rock Island Line and the Illinois Central Line to Memphis, then to Saint Louis, then to East Saint Louis, then to Alton, Illinois, on up to Elgin, Illinois, then on into Chicago, Illinois, "Sweet Home Chicago" to Black musicians, but not Sweet Home Chicago to Whiteys. I love the song "Sweet Home Chicago," supposedly written by Robert Johnson--that strange Black Cat that gave us what we now call "the blues"--his rockin' & rollin' (his shuffling back beat) becoming the basis for the "electric blues," which later became known as the "Chicago blues," from McKinley Morganfield through Chester Burnett through John Lee Williamson through Jimmy Reed through Elmore James through Alex "Rice" Miller through John Lee Hooker through J.B. Lenoir (one of my all-time favs, speaking of almost forgotten), through Riley King, through Bobby "Blue" Bland, through Wynonie Harris--you see the connections?--all of these dudes whose music I'm very familiar with, but from my WHITE point of appreciation--and like I say, I always prefaced my performances with the fact I was trying to improvise my own music off my knowledge of black music--and I became a fine singer and a pretty good downhome piano player, and I once played the flute, and I am now trying to figure out this African instrument called the guitar. I have written over 2,000 songs and instrumental compositions, all dipped in true American flavors--borrowed mostly from Blacks--but mine all mine when your ear gets attuned to my style. My style flows through all my music, even when I'm covering an old blues--some of my favorites by one of the greatest singers and songwriters ever, Percy Mayfield. It all swells up in my chest when I hear Percy Mayfield sing "The River's Invitation." What a fucking song!

Like most US Whites, I'm trying to justify my musical existence based on Black/African rhythms, backbeats, measureless forms, etc. And Jesse Norman didn't bother me at all with her honoring Blacks who've never been given their proper respect and honor by Whites--which is why Jesse Norman has put together this festival of hers--to get back at US Whites! And even that statement is considered White Racist by Blacks. So I was cruising along, jivin' with her song, when Charley Rose up and mentioned, this White son of a bitch, the "British Invasion"--and Jesse Norman sparkles alive and starts chirping about in her doubly-affected high-blown Queen's English about how those British White boys understood that US music was BLACK music--and she said, making me shiver, "Yes, these British bands, like the Rolling Stone's, they really understood the situation--and they openly admitted they were playing 'Black Music'"--and old Mr. Charley's goin' "Yes," "Yes, they seemed to understand that Black music was...." Oh how I was then pissed. Giving more credit to the Brit White assholes (you talk about mockers and copycats and stealers) than US White assholes--that just flat pissed me off. As an American White musician whose style and compositions all highly respect the Black sources from which they came, I resent a Black woman like Jesse Norman from Augusta, Gawjah, insulting me purposely by praising Brit White musicians who claim they are playing Black music when they are NOT, dammit!--and Miss Norman is from the same hometown as James Brown--and I ask Miss Norman, did the Brits understand James Brown's "put it on the one" music? Hell no. Did they understand the great Bo Diddley and his cigar-box guitar clave-like rhythms and measure-stretching melody lines? Hell no.

In fact, Miss Norman and Charley Rose, listen up: the fucking White Brits took the swing (soul, heart, passion, whatever you want to call it) out of our music. Both the Rolling Stones and the Beatles musics are based on British church mode music and also any Commonwealth exotic rhythms they could steal from the Colonies--and I'm assuming White Brits still consider in repressed ways the US a British Colony. It's like the Beatles getting into Indian ragas, and using cellos and shit, but especially those boring long drawn out ragas, which are in fact simply Indian (Hindu) religious music. You've got to remember that the Brits have been stealing culture from their colonies ever since the sun used to never set on the Brit Empire. Black musicians in this country knew the Beatles and Brit bands were phonies--like Ray Charles said, "I did their songs but that doesn't mean I liked them." And I remember the extremely naive Brit-Invasion bands, like the limpwristed Zombies? Or the childlike Kinks. All British musicians, including their jazz musicians, are fops, mimickers, music wreckers. Go listen to real British White music, like the music of Edward Elgar! Holy shit, wake me up when that is over.

The truth about the British Invasion has to do with the all-White recording industry in the early 60s getting tired of seeing Black entertainers dominating all the Top Ten lists, even bumping their perfect White boy Black imitator, Elvis Presley, off that list with fiercely rocking bands and acts like Little Richard and his New Orleans band, like the Stax Record bands led by Al Jackson, like Ike and Tina Turner, and Queen Aretha Franklin and Brother Ray Charles--they were taking over--and remember, Motown started around that time, too, the Temps and the Supremes movin' up the Top Tens like greased lightnin'--Marvin Gaye, Smokey, Little Stevie Wonder! So the White recording companies were looking for a way to get the White kid market back--remember, kids always spend more money on records than old folks. That's the way kids rule the music business today! So these White recording dudes went searching for White Black-imitation bands and through Little Richard they discovered the Beatles in a Hamburg nightclub doing covers of American rock and roll--and Little Richard has always claimed he discovered the Beatles, and he also discovered Jimi Hendrix--Hendrix played in Little R's band at one time--and these record company dudes said, "Wow, these Brit White boys sound just like Black dudes--a lot of Southern US accents are basically Elizabethan or Scotch Irish--very White accents--though Southern Blacks speak with the same kind of accents, just pronounced their way. Like check out the differences in the Southern way of "playing the Dozens" to the Northern way of playing them. Anyway, White record promoters brought these Brit bands to the US. And they brought them here cheap, too. They got them spots on all the White-controlled teevee shows, like old racist, asshole Ed Sullivan's show--who at that time didn't have many Black acts on at all--especially not Black rock 'n roll stars, like the innovators like Chuck Berry or Ike Turner and certainly not any blues musicians, certainly not Muddy Waters or Jimmy Reed, even though Jimmy Reed was a Top Ten performer in those days. It's ironic that the first Beatles record in this country came out on the Black-owned VeeJay label, the label of the true blues master, Jimmy Reed.

Young musicians these days in the US are still classified as either WHITE or BLACK. Such a shame.

There are some US White musicians I have revered all my life, too. Like Charley Musslewhite. Charley was from Memphis. I mean, look what he grew up listening to: Riley King's [the Pepitone Hour] and Alex Miller's ("King Biscuit Hour") and Rufus Thomas's radio shows. Like hearing Memphis Slim (Peter Chapman) live, Lee Dorsey, Guitar Gabel, Harmonica Slim, etc. And Charley was so respectful of this music he went to Chicago and lived inside it for years--lived with Muddy Waters, hung out with Junior Wells and Buddy Guy. Also from Memphis was another great White blues-oriented artist, Lonnie Mack--one of the greatest of the White guitar players--his "Further on Up the Road" (written by Bobby "Blue" Bland) was so cool, so unBritish Invasion, so really and truly blended American.

Perhaps to be continued--as is continued as is continued always as is always continued,

for The Daily Growler

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