By Steve Cushing, Jim O'Neal
This assortment assembles the simplest interviews from Steve Cushing's long-running radio software Blues sooner than Sunrise, the nationally syndicated, award-winning software concentrating on classic blues and R&B. As either an observer and performer, Cushing has been concerned with the blues scene in Chicago for many years. His candid, colourful interviews with trendy blues gamers, manufacturers, and deejays demonstrate the behind-the-scenes global of the adolescence of recorded blues. a lot of those oral histories element the careers of lesser-known yet tremendously influential blues performers and promoters.
The publication focuses specifically on pre–World struggle II blues singers, performers energetic in Fifties Chicago, and nonperformers who contributed to the early blues global. Interviewees comprise Alberta Hunter, one of many earliest African American singers to transition from Chicago's Bronzeville nightlife to the foreign highlight, and Ralph Bass, one of many maximum R&B manufacturers of his period. Blues specialist, author, checklist manufacturer, and cofounder of Living Blues Magazine Jim O'Neal presents the book's foreword.
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Additional info for Blues Before Sunrise: The Radio Interviews
My older brother, he was named Willard Thomas, and he made records under the name Ramblin’ Thomas. He came to Chicago in the late 1920s and made records. And he got pretty famous on a record playing on the same label, Paramount label, as Blind Lemon Jefferson. How old were you when your older brother made those records? I was sixteen years old. Did the fact that your brother managed to make records provide any special incentive? Well, I was glad for him and that gave me the information. I found out that you could get on record and you could make money playing music.
We didn’t worry about suits of clothes. But that give me a real big mind and forced me to get into the music and travel and thinking I was gonna do what Lonnie Johnson did. But it took a mighty long time before I could even get on record or see anything like what he was doing. indd 22 an c i ent age 10/23/09 8:20:44 AM So how did you finally make your first records? Well, I had it in mind that I was gonna get on record, and I kept trying. I came to Paramount—I thought they were gonna put me on record like they done my brother, you know.
Do you remember any of the names? When I first started playing piano it was just some of the guys around in that area that could play a few tunes. But I’d liked the sound of piano, ’cause it was doing so much more than what we were doing on guitar. We’d be strumming on guitar, maybe we’d play a little melody, but the piano was playing melody and carrying chords along and bass. And [I] liked that sound so well. They had electric piano was playing those piano rolls, like player pianos and electric piano playing rolls?