Friday, February 15, 2013

"Hootin' Blues"

According to Van Morrison, this was the first record he ever bought. It was likely purchased at Smithfield Market's record stalls or Atlantic Records on High Street, two Belfast destinations that Morrison has acknowledged were popular among music lovers.

Harmonica player Sonny Terry and guitarist Walter "Brownie" McGhee were a duo heavily indebted to the songster tradition. Terry, who hailed from North Carolina, and McGhee, from Tennessee, first performed together in the late 1930s. They initially played for white audiences, particularly folk concerts and political rallies. In the late '40s, the pair transitioned to rhythm 'n' blues before getting caught up in the blues revival that commenced in the late '50s.

A side note that may only interest me: Terry and McGhee partnered together for close to 40 years, despite their mutual disgust for one another. If you know anything about Morrison and his craggy personality and his tempestuous working relationships with producers and musicians, then you can truly appreciate how rich that is.

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