postheadericon BluesNews from the World of BluesBlues: September 22-23, 2018


It is time for the BluesNews From the World of the BluesBlues for the weekend of September 22nd and 23rd…. The late great Ray Charles Birthday is Sunday, September 23rd   and KoKo Taylor’s Birthday is Friday, September 28th…….

There is a sad note to report…. We lost another legend of the Blues….Big Jay McNeely made the transition last week, September 16th.  Big Jay was 91 years of age.  His real name is Cecil James McNeely.  He was dubbed “The Wild Man of the Saxophone” because of his wild antics that he would use while performing.   Antics like walking on bars, lying on his back, leading the audience out of the bars into the streets, wild stuff like that.  He released songs with so much energy that it would cause young teenagers to do crazy things like jump of balconies, go into tremors, just mesmerize some in the audience. He released titles like Deacon Hop, The Goof, Strip Tease Swing, Nervous Man Nervous, and Teen Age Hop, just to name a few. He was inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame in 2014, and was one of the true honkers and shouters of the blues.  With his passing brings to an end of that era.  Our condolences go out to the remaining family of Big Jay McNeely.  There is a documentary on line on the life of Big Jay McNeely that you can watch on line called Life Story of Big Jay McNeely.  We have a link to it on the BluesNews Page at….


There is a very interesting article in this month’s issue of Living Blues Magazine called “Outrage Channeled in Verse” by Frank Mathesis.  It’s about the verses in Protest Songs before, during and after the Civil Rights Movement by African American blues musicians before and during the Jim Crow days, and even goes through today talking about songs by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar in what he calls a new wave of protest and social change songs.  He talks about how some southern blues musicians had to use coded language in their songs for fear of retaliation if some whites heard them.  So they would use words like “devil” to talk about the Boss Man.  If the Boss Man heard it, he would never know that the song was about him. He describes the exploitation of black people heard in prison work songs who were arrested in huge numbers on minor trumped up charges, and how the southern states employed unfair labor practices in the workings of their farms.  He covers the entire gamut of Protest Songs that show how unfairly a people was treated and are still being mistreated.  If you should read the article, you will find an interesting picture of some writings on the side of a building taken in 2014 in Birmingham Alabama that simply says “Stay Woke.” Great article in this month’s of Living Blues Magazine by Frank Mathesis…..






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