Blues for A Sunday
PBS discovered video and audiotapes of a concert that was presumed lost for nearly 20 years. It was live recording of the Presidential Inaugural concert in 1989 for George H.W. Bush. The title of the concert was “A Celebration of Blues and Soul.” There are excerpts of it on Youtube. I was watching and listening when the following came to mind.
In the video, Stevie Ray Vaughan is featured, among other Blue’s greats such as Bo Diddley, Billy Preston, Percy Sledge, Koko Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell and Carla Thomas.
It makes me melancholy in a strange sort of way. Like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Preston and Koko Taylor have passed on. While I knew of many blues artists as a child, listened to their records, and saw many perform in holes in the wall before they became famous, I did not know of Stevie Ray Vaughan until after his death. That makes me feel guilty that I failed to support him during his life, and failed to see him perform live. Stevie died in 1990 in a helicopter crash at the age 35.
In an interview, Stevie said that Jimi Hendrix came to him in visions and dreams, giving him chords. Funny, because the first song I heard by Stevie was “Little Wing” and I thought, “Why haven’t I heard that Jim Hendrix cut?” My husband told me it wasn’t Jimi but Stevie Ray Vaughn, and that he played a mixture of Jazz and Rock along with Blues. I went out and bought every CD by Stevie I could find. In fact, I have some of the songs several times over because they are on several CDs – and I never get tired of listening to them.
Here’s Stevie performing Little Wing in 1983. The video after that is the Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor.
Since it’s Sunday, the third video is a blues-up version of “Since I Laid My Burdens Down” by Glenn Kaiser.
Now, I think I’ll spend the next hour or so making the dog howl.