goes home then to funeral
King didn't seem his usual old self last weekend when he was performing
in his hometown of Indianola, Miss.
___ He put on two fine shows in one evening,
but he seemed a bit distracted.
___ For his homecoming, King played at
the city park with his band, and then, well past midnight, he performed
at the Club Ebony, where he's been appearing for 50 years and where
he met his second wife.
___ Something was bothering B.B. in Indianola,
but he didn't want to talk about it. Somebody later said he'd had a
death in the family and was upset over the passing of Ray Charles, who'd
died a couple of days earlier.
___ B.B. and Charles were friends and had
recorded a song together for an up-coming CD of duets that Charles had
made with other famous performers a few months before he died.
___ King was at Charles' funeral Frid-ay
in Los Angeles, along with Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell,
Clint Eastwood and many others.
___ A tearful King sang "Please Accept
My Love" at the funeral. "He's a genius," he said. "One
of the greatest musicians I ever met."
___ At 78, B.B. King is still a great performer
and still keeps a busy schedule.
___ He's made live records all over the
world, and they're among the best blues you'll ever hear.
___ Among our favorites is "Live at
the Regal," recorded in Chicago in 1964, which is probably the
greatest live blues record ever released. But he has several other superb
live CDs out that are often neglected, including "Blues Is King"
and "Live at Cook County Jail," which were recorded in Chicago
in the late 1960s.
___ It was about that time that King became
a crossover star with young whites, and his live appearances were frequently
issued on LPs.
___ His "Live and Well" was partly
captured on tape at a New York nightclub, while the rest was recorded
in a studio, including a stunning version of "Why I Sing the Blues."
"Live in Japan" was recorded in 1971 but wasn't released in
this country for almost 30 years be-cause his record label thought B.B.
had too many live records out. How can a master have too many first-rate
___ MCA, his longtime record label, should
collect all of B.B.'s live recordings, which capture the great man's
artistry and humanity. They'd make a great box set for the holidays.
Miss., a few miles west of Indianola, had a blues festival the day after
B.B. King kicked off his homecoming.
___ The High 61 Blues Festival showcased
several gifted local bluesmen, including Eddie Cusic (who taught Little
Milton guitar) and Dave Thompson, as well as Willie King, who came all
the way from Alabama.
___ Cusic is an important country-blues
musician, while Thompson belongs to a younger generation that keeps
the blues alive. King is a bluesman with a social conscience. He sang
about brotherhood and hard times and ended the festival with "Terrorized,"
his signature tune about the horrors he faced as he was growing up in
___ "I've been terrorized all my life,"
King sang, and, looking mournful in his baseball cap, he makes you believe
thanks to St. Matthew's AME Church of Greenville, Miss., for letting
us sit in as the youth choir was rehearsing for the church's 137th anniversary
celebration held last Sunday.
___ The little red-brick church ‹ which
has hosted such visitors as President Herbert Hoover, poet Langston
Hughes and opera singer Leontyne Price ‹ makes everyone feel welcome.
As the youngsters sang out with joy, we shared their happiness and felt
the spirit that moved them.
___ We only wished we could have been there
for the anniversary celebration a few days later.
___ Maybe next year, or the year after,
when St. Matthew's turns 140 years old.
Clintons in lovefest with Bush
there's anything more unappealing than watching politicians mud wrestle,
it's watching them pretend they like each other.
insincerity, Presi-dent Bush praised his predecessor on Monday during an
unveiling of the Clintons' official (and utterly mediocre) White House portraits.
World-class blues played near here
couple of great blues musicians showed up at Sticky Fingerz in Little Rock
on Thursday night.
___ Michael Burks, probably Arkansas' most talented
young bluesman, dropped in to catch Deborah Coleman and her band and he
was impressed. [FULL
Reagan had won in '76
of words and thousands of images have filled newspapers and television screens
since the passing of Ronald Reagan on Saturday.
colleagues, politicians and scholars have discussed every facet of his remarkable
life: How he started out poor, became a Holly-wood star, found a second
career on television, then a third as a corporate spokesman, and yet another,
more spectacular career as a politician.
His life has been thoroughly examined this week, but one crucial period
and its consequences are virtually overlooked: His losing out to President
Ford for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1976, which,
it could be argued, helped the Soviets stay in power for several more years.
These Vets couldn't go to unveiling
Albert Jonikas couldn't make it to the dedication of the World War II memorial
over the weekend.
an 84-year-old veteran of the Second World War who saw action in the Pacific
- Iwo Jima, Saipan, Okinawa, which was near where the Japanese surrendered
- but he doesn't get around much anymore. [FULL