The Blues Keeper: Who’s Playing The Blues

Posted February 3, 2012 by D. L. Yudko
Categories: Live Blues

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Blues Keeper is proud to display a list of Blues performers and tour dates for those who would like to find live blues in their area. The following tour dates cover the beginning of February, through the end of March 2012. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Marcia Ball: 

Sat – 2/4 Kemp Center for the Arts, Wichita Falls, TX

Fri – 2/10 Loose Wheels, Denison, TX

Sat – 2/11 Odeon Theater, Mason, TX

Thu – 2/16 Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT

Fri – 2/17 Grand Opera House (with BeauSolell), Wilmington, CT

Sat – 18 Count Basie Theatre (with BeauSolell), Red Bank, NJ

Sun – 2/19 Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT

Mon – 2/20 City Winery, New York, NY

Tues – 2/21 The Turning Point, Piermont, NY

Wed – 2/22 The Iron Horse, Northhampton, MA

Thu – 2/23 The Narrows, Fall River, MA

Fri – 2/24 The Knickerbocker Cafe, Westerly, RI

Sat – 2/25 Time Out Pub Blues, Rockland, ME

Sun – 2/26 Sommerville Theatre

Bobby Bland: 

Sun – 2/19 Raleigh Blues Festival, RBC Center, Raleigh, NC

Sun – 2/26  Nashville Blues Festival, Nashville, Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN

Fri – 3/9 The Milwaukee Theatre, Milwaukee, WI

Sat – 3/10 Town Blues Festival 2012, Star Plaza Theatre, Merrillville, IN

Fri – 3/30 The 6th Annual Shreveport Blues Festival 2012 CenturyLink Center, Bossier City, LA

Shemekia Copeland: 

Thu – 2/16 Jannus Live, St Petersburg, FL

Fri – 2/17 Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, FL

Sat – 2/18 Hard Rock Cafe, Orlando, FL

Sun – 2/19 Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Ponte Vedra, FL

Thu – 2/23 Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, NJ

Sat – 2/25 Iridium Jazz Club, New York, NY

Sun – 2/26 The Wolf Den, Uncasville, CT

Sat – 3/3 Space, Evanston, IL

Sun – 3/4 Natasha’s Bistro, Lexington, KY

Fri – 3/16 Moods,  Zurich, SWITZERLAND

Sat – 3/17 Nuits du Blues, Abbeville, FRANCE

Robert Cray: 

Fri – 2/10 Horseshoe Southern Indiana11999 Casino Center Drive SE, Elizabeth, IN 46410

Sat – 2/11 Alys Robinson Stephens PAC, 1200 Tenth Avenue, South Birmingham, AL 35294

Sun – 2/12 Neighborhood Theatre511 East 36th St., Charlotte, NC 28205

Tue – 2/14 Ponte Verda Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

Thu – 2/16 Jannus Live, 1st. Ave. North & 2nd St. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Fri – 2/17 Adrienne Arsht Center , 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132

Sat – 2/18 Hard Rock Live Orlando6050 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

Sun – 2/20 BirchmereAlexandria, Virginia 22305

Wed – 2/22 Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown Music Hall 13 Main Street, Tarrytown, New York 10591

Thu – 2/23 Mayo Performing Arts Center100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960

Fri – 2/24 Mary D’Angelo PAC501 E 38th, Erie, PA 16546

Debbie Davies: 

Fri –  2/10 Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH

Sat –  2/11 Chan’sWoonsocket, RI

Wed – 3/28 B.B. King Blues Club & GrillNew York, NY

Rick Esrtin & The Nightcats: 

Fri – 3/23 Palms Playhouse, Winters, CA

Sat – 3/24 Biscuits & Blues, San Francisco, CA

Fri – 4/27 Arcadia Blues Club, Arcadia, CA

Sat – 4/28 Boulder Station Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Buddy Guy: 

Sat – 2/4/2012 Slippery Noodle Inn, Indianapolis, IN (10:30 p.m.)

Sun – 2/12/2012 Mahindra Blues Festival India (10:00 p.m.)

Sat – 2/18/2012 Knology Clearwater Sea Blues – Coachman Park, Clearwater, FL (8:00 p.m.)

Thu – 3/1 Oneida Bingo & Casino, Green Bay, WI (8:00 p.m.)

Friday – 3/2 State Theatre, Minneapolis, MN (8:00 p.m.)

Wed – 4/11 Hamilton Place, Hamilton, Ontario, CN (9:05 p.m.)

Fri – 4/13 Massey Hall, Toronto, CN

Sat – 4/14 Metropolis, Montreal, Quebec (8:00 p.m.)

Mon – 4/16 Fuller Hall, Johnsbury, VT (7:00 p.m.)

Tue – 4/17 The Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE

Wed – 4/18 Carolina Theatre of Durham, Durham, NC (8:50 p. m.)

Sat – 4/21 Curtis M. Phillips Center at University of Florida Performing Arts, Gainesville, FL (8:00 p.m.)

B. B. King: 

Tue – 2/14 Orpheum TheatreWichita, KS

Sat – 2/18 Paragon Casino & ResortMarksville, LA

Sun – 2/19 Montgomery Performing Arts CentreMontgomery, AL

Sat – 2/25  Billy Bob’s Texas, Fort Worth, TX

Keb Mo: 

Fri – 2/3 Ruth Eckerd Hall1111 McMullen Booth RoadClearwater, FL 9:00pm

Sat – 2/4 Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center10950 SW 211th St.Miami, FL 8:00pm

Sun – 2/5 Cayamo Cruise 2012Port of MiamiMiami, FL 12:00pm

Thu – 3/8 Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum500 Howard Baker Jr. AvenueKnoxville, TN 8:00pm

Fri – 3/9 Tennesee Performing Arts Center505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN 8:00pm

Sat – 3/10 Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA, 8:00pm

Wed – 3-21 The Sandbar Sessions28530 Overseas Highway, Little Torch Key, FL 9:00pm.

Charlie Musselwhite: 
Fri – 2/3 The Shedd, Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout Eugene, Oregon
Sat – 2/4  Craterian Theater, Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout Medford, Oregon
Wed – 3/7 Niigata Kenmin HallNiigata JAPAN
Fri – 3/9 Orchard HallTokyo, JAPAN
Sat – 3/10 Orchard HallTokyo, JAPAN
Sun – 3/11 Orchard HallTokyo, JAPAN
Tue – 3/13 Grand Cube OsakaOsaka, JAPAN
Thu – 3/15 Geijutsu Bunka HallNagoya, JAPAN
Sat – 3/17 Quezon City PHILIPPINES

Rod Piazza: 

Fri – 2/10 Romanos, Riverside, CA

Sat – 2/11 Arcadia Blues Club, Arcadia

Sat – 3/3 Mill Creek Cattle Company, Mentone, CA

Fri – 3/9 Fulton 55, Fresno, CA

Sat – 3/10 Biscuits & Blues, San Francisco, CA

Fri- 3/16 The Coach House, San Juan, Capistrano, CA

Fri- 3/23 The Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ

Sat- 3/24 Boulder Station Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Sat – 4/7 Arcadia Blues Club, Arcadia, CA

Guitar Shorty: 

Sat – 2/11 Harvelle’s, 201 E. Broadway, Long Beach, CA

Sat – 3/10 Boulder Station Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Fri – 3/16 Doubletree Hotel, Bakersfield, CA

Magic Slim & The Teardrops: 

Sat – 2/18 Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago, IL

Thu – 2/23 Mid-Winter Blues Festival, Regina, SK, Canada

Sat – 2/25 The Pyramid Cabaret, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Fri – 3/2 S.P.A.C.E., Evanston, IL

Sat – 3/3 River Music Experience, Redstone Room, Davenport, IA

Fri – 3/9 Attucks Theatre, Norfolk, VA

Sat – 3/10 Bonita Blues Festival, Bonita Springs, FL

Sun – 3/11 Whiskey Joe’s, Tampa, FL

Thu – 3/29 Callahan’s Music Hall, Auburn Hills, MI

Joe Louis Walker: 

Fri – 2/3 Regatta Bar, Cambridge, MA

Sat – 2/4 Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ

Fri – 2/10 Blackeyed Sallies, CT

Sat – 2/11 Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA

Sun – 2/12 Big Easy, Portland, ME

Fri – 2/17 Warmdaddy’s, Philadelphia, PA

Sat – 2/18 Warmdaddy’s, Philadelphia, PA

Fri – 2/24 Ram’s Head, Annapolis, MD (with Popa Chubby)

Sat – 2/25 Stage One at the Fairfield Theater, Fairfield, CT (with Johnny A)

Kim Wilson & The Fabulous Thunderbirds: 

Thu – 3/8 Cactus Convention – Radisson Hotel Ft. McDowell, Scottsdale, AZ

Fri – 3/9 Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ

Sat – 3/17 Cocopah Resort & Casino, Yuma, AZ

Thu – 4/5 Byron Bay Blues Festival, Byron Bay, Australia

Fri- 4/6  Byron Bay Blues Festival, Byron Bay, Australia

Sat – 4/7 The Factory (with Canned Heat), Sydney, Australia

Sun – 4/8 The Corner Hotel, (with Canned Heat), Melbourne, Australia

Find affordable tickets to see your favorite blues performers:

TicketFeeder makes the ticket buying process easy and transparent for their customers. They provide Theatre, Event, and Concert tickets throughout the United States and Canada. TicketFeeder customers purchase their seats directly from an interactive map, rather than a list.

TicketNetwork carries a huge selection of popular event tickets to Concerts, Shows, and Sporting Events. They offer the most up-to-date information about ongoing and upcoming live events and access to the largest ticket exchange on the web. In addition to real time access to ticket listings, we pride ourselves on customer service and cutting edge security so you can shop safely.

Tickco offers concert tickets to live shows from every music genre including rock and roll, pop, country, rhythm, Latin, hip hop, reggae, jazz, blues, and classical. We are confident that you will find the concert tickets to meet your needs, no matter what your taste, or where you live. Secure your seats and prepare for a great concert experience!

Select-A-Ticket specializes in selling hard-to-find tickets for Broadway, concerts, sports and family events. We offer a wide variety of price and seating options for events all across the United States.


The Blues Keeper Spotlight Remembers Johnny Otis & Etta James

Posted January 30, 2012 by D. L. Yudko
Categories: Etta James, Johnny Otis

Tags: , , , , ,

Johnny Otis was an amazing musician who crossed all Genres during his long career. The talented recording artist was also a singer, and he played a variety of musical instruments including the drums, percussion, vibraphone, and piano. His ear for music was sharp, he was an excellent talent scout who helped an impressive number of performers in their careers. Johnny Otis, a master in his chosen field, passed away in his home on January 17, 2012 at the age of ninety.

Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes made his debut on December 28, 1921. He was born in Vallejo, California to Greek parents Alexander and Irene Veliotes. He was a professional drummer who played with popular swing orchestras such as Harlan Leonard’s Rockets, and Lloyd Hunter’s Serenaders. The Johnny Otis Band was formed in 1945, and he recorded the seductive jazz tune “Harlem Nocturne”. Written in 1939 by Dick Rogers and Earle Hagen, “Harlem Nocturne” is a jazz favorite that has been recorded by a large number of musicians.

The Johnny Otis Band played with hot stars of the era like Charles Brown and Wynonie Harris. After opening the Barrelhouse Club in Los Angeles in 1947, the size of the band was reduced and singers were hired to accompany him. A widely anticipated feature of the club were the talent shows. Little Esther Phillips was the first of many stars to be discovered by Johnny Otis.

As a talent scout, his keen ear led to the discovery of acclaimed stars Big Jay McNeely during the 1940s, and Etta James in 1951. Other stars he discovered include Big Mama Thornton, Jackie wilson, Little Willie John, and Hank Ballard. A man of many talents, Otis founded his own record label called Dig, and often appeared on Los Angeles television shows starting in 1957. He was also a disc jockey, and accomplished songwriter. Some famous tunes written by Johnny Otis are “Willie and the Hand Jive”, 1958, “Roll With Me Henry”, 1951, and “With Every Beat of My Heart”, 1952.

Along with his impressive musical skills and ear for talent, Johnny Otis was also interested in politics and journalism, and an entrepreneur who ran a combined grocery store, coffee shop, and blues club during the 1990’s in Northern California. He founded the Landmark Community Gospel Church where he was the pastor. The church band for the male gospel quartet and gospel choir included son Nicky Otis, and grandson Lucky Otis.

Blues fans could tune in on Saturday mornings to catch a live broadcast of The Johnny Otis Show on radio station KPFK. Listeners could stop by the Powerhouse Brewery to have breakfast and enjoy the live show. The last broadcast of The Johnny Otis Show was on August, 19, 2006.

Many have been inspired by this incredibly talented performer, and all of us have been touched by his music. With his phenomenal contributions to the music world, Johnny Otis will forever reign as the “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Etta James.  There are so many descriptive words one can use. Strong. Outspoken. Sassy. Bold. Independent. Beautiful. A remarkable woman, talented singer, and powerful performer. She makes the list for “100 Greatest singers of All Time”, as well as the list of “100 Greatest Artists”. The Blues Keeper team members mourn the passing of Etta James. She suffered from terminal leukemia and died on January 20, 2012 in Riverside, California.

The survivor who would become Etta James was born as Jamesetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938. The first professional training began when she was five years old. Under the vocal training of James Earle Hines, the music director for Los Angeles’ St. Paul Baptist Church, she became a feature singer with the Echoes of Eden choir. She endured a traumatic childhood that included frequent beatings and being forced to sing in the middle of the night by a drunken caretaker.

Moving to San Francisco during the 1950s, Jamesetta started listening to doo-wop and formed a girl group comprised of fourteen year old girls, the Creolettes. They would sing answers to the most popular songs. In 1951, the girls met musician and songwriter, Johnny Otis. With his guidance, the group signed with Modern Records, and their name was changed to Peaches. The name of the lead singer was changed to Etta James, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Roll With Me, Henry”, was written for the group by Johnny Otis in 1954. Due to censorship, the song was re-released in 1955 with a new title, “Dance With Me, Henry”. During her impressive career as a blues singer and performer, Etta James has won seventeen Blues Music Awards, and six Grammy Awards. She has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

Etta James had a powerful stage presence and a unique voice. You never had to guess who the artist was. You knew it was Etta from the very first note. She had numerous chart topping hits, and for many fans, the most popular tune is “At Last”. Written in 1941 by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, “At Last” was recorded by Etta James in 1961, and I must say, no one does it better. While it is a beautiful song, and Etta’s vocals are amazing, the favorite Etta James song for this Blues Keeper is “I’d Rather Go Blind”. 

The passion and heartache relayed by Etta James in the original 1968 version of “I’d Rather Go Blind” is (in this writer’s opinion) one of the best recordings she has ever made. It is a tender and touching love song filled with emotion. You are captured by the sound of her powerful voice as she pours her heart into the song. It was always a treat to see Etta’s live performance of this timeless classic. The lyrics were usually bold, and always funny.

For more than sixty years, Etta James sang and performed for the fans who loved her. Etta James, the “Matriarch of Rythym & Blues” has made the final transition as we know it. Her soul, spirit, and music will live on in our hearts.

Etta James (January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012)

Johnny Otis (December 28, 1921 – January 17, 2012 )

May they play and sing the Blues forever. 

Find Recordings by Your Favorite Blues Artists:  

CD Universe is a leading Internet retailer specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs, mp3’s, movies and video games to customers worldwide. We offer everyday low prices and a selection of products that are unmatched.

HDtracks is the only download store offering a choice of high-quality FLAC, AIFF & MP3 files, all DRM-free and albums featuring full liner notes in PDF format. Their diverse catalog includes a growing array of titles from jazz, blues, rock, classical, folk, world music and more, from some of the best independent labels world wide.

AllMusicImport is your online source for import music & video. Our Imported titles range from unique collections by established artists, much sought after out-of-print domestic titles, releases with bonus material (audio and/or video) along with titles that have never been issued in the States. We hope you try us today and join our growing family of satisfied customers.

Barnes & Noble is the premier online source for books, eBooks, magazines, toys & games, music, DVD and Blu-ray, video games, and related products and services. Music CDs by Etta James and Johnny Otis can be found here.

The Blues Keeper Spotlight Remembers Hubert Sumlin

Posted January 12, 2012 by D. L. Yudko
Categories: Hubert Sumlin

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Blues Keeper bids a bittersweet farewell to one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time. In fact, we will venture to say that Hubert Sumlin is one of the best players who ever touched a Gibson Les Paul guitar. Hubert Sumlin has been a master blues guitarist for fifty seven years, his distinctive sound may be imitated, but never duplicated.

Hubert Sumlin November 16, 1931 – December 4, 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hubert Sumlin’s journey began on November 16, 1931. He was born in the small Southern town of Greenwood, Mississippi, and then moved to Hughes, Arkansas where he was raised. At the young age of eight, Hubert had the first guitar he would play. While he was still a youngster, he managed to sneak into a performance where he watched, and met Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Arthur Burnett).

Hubert Sumlin’s career as a blues musician official began in 1954 when he was invited to Chicago by Howlin’ Wolf. Relocating from Memphis, Tennessee to Chicago, Illinois in 1953, Howlin’ Wolf found himself in need of a guitarist. Willie Johnson, the present guitarist decided to remain in Memphis. Jody Williams was the first guitarist hired by Howlin’ Wolf, and Hubert joined them in Chicago.

 Jody stayed with the band until 1955, and Hubert Sumlin became the main guitarist for the Howlin’ Wolf Band. While he spent some time playing with Muddy Waters, Hubert was an exclusive guitarist for Wolf’s band until 1975. The last album with Hubert Sumlin and the original Howlin’ Wolf Band is called “Change My Way.” They remained friends until Howlin’ Wolf’s death, which occurred on January 10, 1976.

Throughout his career, Hubert Sumlin has won several Blues Music Awards, has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, and has played with an impressive list of legendary blues singers. His last music CD, “About Them Shoes” was released by Cool-Tone Records in 2004. During that same year, Hubert had lung removal surgery, but he continued to play the blues for seven more years. In 2008, he was inductedinto the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.

Hubert Sumlin was overcome by heart failure in Wayne, New Jersey on December 4, 2011. The cost of his funeral was paid for by Mick Jagger, and fellow rocker Keith Richards. By all accounts, the famed guitarist was a warm, kind, and gentle person. He will be missed. But not forgotten.


1964 American Folk Blues

1974 Kings of Chicago Blues, Vol. 2

1976 Groove

1980 Gamblin’ Woman

1987 Hubert Sumlin’s Blues Party

1989 Heart & Soul

1990 Healing Feeling

1991 Blues Guitar Boss

1994 Made in Argentina 1993

1994 I’m the Back Door Man

1996 Blues Classics

1998 I Know You

1999 Pinetop Perkins & Hubert Sumlin: Legends

2003 Doing the Don’t

2004 About Them Shoes


2005 The Blues Guitar of Hubert Sumlin

Hit Tunes With Howlin’ Wolf:

1956 Smokestack Lightning

1960 Spoonful

1960 Wang Dang Doodle

1961 Back Door Man

1961 The Red Rooster (Little Red Rooster)

1964 Killing Floor

Hubert Sumlin On YouTube:

From The Blues Guitar of Hubert Sumlin – Taught By: Hubert Sumlin. With Levon Helm, David Johansen, Jimmy Vivino, Mike Merritt. Catalog number DVD-SUM-GT21. Available from

Hubert Sumlin: Guitar One:

The Blues Keeper Spotlight: Big Mama Thornton

Posted November 30, 2011 by D. L. Yudko
Categories: Big Mama Thornton, Big Mama's Blues, Willie Mae Thornton

Tags: , , , , , ,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Doris L. Yudko

Born Willie Mae Thornton on December 11, 1926, she became one of America’s greatest blues singers. “Big Mama” was a singer and songwriter, as well as a self-taught harmonica player and drummer. Willie Mae Thornton’s destiny as a singer began in Montgomery, Alabama. Her mother sang in church, and her father was a Baptist minister. All seven of their offspring started singing when they were very young.

Following the death of her mother in 1941, Willie Mae left Montgomery. She was fourteen years old. After leaving Alabama she became a member of Sammy Green’s Hot Harlem Revue which was based in Georgia. She toured the southern states with the revue for seven years. The years she spent with the Hot Harlem Revue allowed her to sharpen her stage presence and singing ability. In 1948, Willie Mae left the revue, she moved to Houston, Texas where she focused on her career as a blues singer.

Recording Career

Big Mama’s recording career officially began in 1951 when she signed a recording contract with Peacock Records. Teaming with fellow Peacock artist Johnny Otis in 1952, she recorded “Hound Dog“, a song that had been given to her by composers Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber when she was in Los Angeles. Johnny Otis produced the recording, and it became a chart topping hit for Peacock Records in 1953. Unfortunately, Big Mama made very little profit from the hit song. While recording for Peacock, Big Mama toured with Esther Phillips and Junior Parker. She left the Peacock label in 1957. Needing a boost to her career, Willie Mae left Houston and moved to San Francisco in the early 1960s and spent her time playing in bay area blues clubs.

“Big Mama Thornton With The Muddy Waters Blues Band” was recorded in 1966. Along with Big Mama, the all-star blues line up included Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Sammy Lawhorn, Francis Clay, Otis Spann, and Luther “Guitar” Johnson. Some of the tunes recorded on the album are “Big Mama’s Blues” “Everything Gonna Be Alright”, “Looking The World Over”, “Big Mama’s Bumblebee Blues”, “Since I Fell For You”, and “Big Mama’s Shuffle”. During her recording career, Big Mama appeared at several blues and jazz festivals. She performed on the stage of the Apollo Theater in New York in 1952. Touring Europe in 1965, she sang with a group called the American Folk Blues Festival. That same year, “Big Mama Thornton in Europe” was recorded. While in San Francisco in 1966, she recorded “Big Mama Thornton with the Chicago Blues Band”. Arhoolie Records produced both albums.

She also performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966, and 1968. Her classic “Ball ‘n’ Chain” album was recorded in 1968 with Lightnin’ Hopkins and Larry Williams. Tunes include “Ball ‘n’ Chain”, “Wade in the Water”, “Money Taker”, “Prison Blues”, “Hound Dog”, and “Little Red Rooster”. In 1975 “Jail Live”, was produced by Vanguard Records. It captured live concerts that Big Mama performed when she visited two prisons during the 1970s. By then Big Mama was a well known blues singer who performed with other blues artists such as George “Harmonica” Smith and Doug Macleod.

Big Mama’s last live performance was in 1983 at the Newport Jazz Festival after recovering from a near fatal car accident. She sang with B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. “The Blues-A Real Summit Meeting” was recorded by Buddha Records. Big Mama received six nominations for the Blues Music Awards.


Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton sang the blues until her death. At the age of 57, she died from a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on the 25th of July, 1984. Big Mama was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame that same year. She wrote twenty two original songs,“They Call Me Big Mama”, and “Ball ‘n’ Chain” are two of her most well known recordings. Her legacy includes the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, which bears the name of the talented blues musician.

For a dose of Big Mama’s Blues visit:   

Welcome to The Blues Keeper

Posted May 13, 2011 by D. L. Yudko
Categories: Little Walter, Little WalterX Blind Willie McTellX Amos EastonX Robert JohnsonX Joe BonamassaX Joe McCoy

Tags: , , , , ,

Blues Birthday Spotlight

Ada Brown

Birth: May 1, 1890

Place of Birth: Kansas City, Kansas

Talents: Vocals

Genre: Blues

Bands: Fats Waller, George E. Lee, Bennie Moyen

Blues hits: 1926-“Evil Mama Blues”, Ill Natural Blues”, ” “Break O’ Day Blues”

Death: Kansas City, Kansas, March 31, 1950

Marion Walter Jacobs

Known As: Little Walter

Birth: May 1, 1934

Place of Birth: Marksville, Lousiana

Instrument of Choice: Harmonica

Talents: Vocals, Guitar

Genre: Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Chicago Blues

Labels: Chess, Regal, Checker, TempoTone, Parkway, Ora-Nelle, Chance

Played With: Muddy Waters, Honeyboy Edwards, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Sunnyland Slim

Blues Hits: 1952-“Juke”, “Mean Old World”, 1953-“Blues with a Feeling”, 1954-“You Better Watch Yourself, “Last Night”, 1955-“My Babe”, 1958-“Key to the Highway” 

Career: 1945-1968

Death:  Chicago, Illinois, February 15, 1968

William Samuel McTier

Known As: Blind Willie McTell, Blind Sammie, Georgia Bill

Birth: May 5, 1898

Place of Birth: Thomson, Georgia

Instrument of Choice: Harmonica, Guitar

Talents: Vocals, Songwriter

Genre: Blues, Country Blues

Labels: Columbia, Victor, Okeh, Decca, Vocalion, Regal, Atlantic, Library of Congress

Played With: Kate McTell, Curley Weaver

Blues Hits: 1928-“Statesboro Blues”, 1929-“Come on Around in My Kitchen”, 1933-“It’s Your Time to Worry”, 1949-“You Can’t Get Stuff No More”

Career: 1927-1956

Death: Midgeville, Georgia, August 19, 1959

Amos Easton

Known As: Bumble Bee Slim

Birth: May 7, 1905

Place of Birth: Brunswick, Georgia

Instrument of Choice: Guitar

Talents: Vocals, Songwriter

Genre: Blues

Labels: Bluebird, Paramount, Decca, Vocalion

Played With: Peetie Wheatstraw, Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Tampa Red, Washboard Sam

Blues Hits: 1932-“B&O Blues”

Career: 1931-1968

Death: Los Angeles, California, June 8, 1968

Robert Johnson

Known As: King of the Delta Blues

Birth: May 8, 1911

Place of Birth: Hazelhurst, Mississippi

Instrument of Choice: Gibson Guitar

Talents: Vocals, Harmonica, Songwriter

Genre: Delta Blues, Blues, Country Blues

Labels: Vocalion

Blues Hits: 1936- “Cross Road Blues”, “Sweet Home Chicago,” 1937-“Hellhound on My Trail”, “All My Love in Vain”

Career: 1929-1938

Death: Greenwood, Mississippi, August 16,1938

Joe Bonamassa

Birth: May 8, 1977

Place of Birth: New York State

Instrument of Choice: Gibson Les Paul

Talents: Singer, Songwriter, Musician

Genre: Blues, Blues Rock, Hard rock, Rock & Roll

Labels: J&R  Adventures 

Played With: Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Eric Clapton, Gregg Allman, Joe Cocker, Bloodline, Communion, Black Country

Blues Hits:  2000-“A New Day Yesterday”,  2003-“Blues Deluxe”, 2004-“Had to Cry Today”


Joe McCoy

Known As: Kansas Joe McCoy

Birth: May 11, 1905

Place of Birth: Raymond, Mississippi

Instrument of Choice: Guitar

Talents: Vocals, Songwriter

Genre: Delta Blues, Blues

Labels: Columbia Records

Played With: Papa Charlie McCoy, Harlem Hamfats, Memphis Minnie, The McCoy Brothers

Blues Hits: 1929- “Bumble Bee”, 1936-“Why Don’t You Do Right?”

Career: 1920-1949

Death: Chicago, Illinois, January 28,1950

Marietta Williams

Known As: Maxine Sullivan

Birth: May 13, 1911

Place of Birth: Homestead, Pennsylvania

Talents: Vocals

Genre: Blues, Jazz

Death: New York City, New York, April 7, 1987 

Johnny Williams

Known As: Uncle Johnny Williams

Birth: May 15, 1906

Place of Birth: Alexandria, Louisiania

Instrument of Choice: Guitar

Talents: Guitar, Vocals

Genre: Blues

Career: 1930-1959

Death: Chicago, Illinois, March 6, 2006

Henry Saint Clair Fredericks

Known As: Taj Mahal

Birth: May 17, 1942

Place of Birth: Harlem, New York

Instrument of Choice: National Steel, Dobro

Talents: Vocals, Songwriter, Piano, Banjo, Guitar, Harmonica

Genre: Blues, World Music

Labels: Columbia Records, Gramavision, Hannibal Records, Warner Brother Records, Private Music

Bands: The Taj Mahal Trio, The Hula Blues Band, The Phantom Blues Band

Blues Hits: 


Joseph Vernon Turner Jr.

Known As: Big Joe Turner, The Boss of the Blues

Birth: May 18, 1911 

Place of Birth: Kansas City, Missouri

Instrument of Choice: Powerhouse Vocals

Talents: Singer, Songwriter

Genre: Blues, Swing Blues, Jump Blues, Rock & Roll Blues

Labels: Atlanta, Decca, Vocalion, National, Pablo

Bands: Count Basie Orchestra, “Rolling” Pete Johnson

Blues Hits:


Death: Inglewood, California, November 24, 1985

Monette Moore

Birth: May 19, 1902

Place of Birth: Gainesville, Texas

Talents: Vocals



Bands: Fats Waller, Charlie Johnson, Jimmy Blythe, Bob Fuller, Jimmy O’Bryant, Elmer Snowden,

Bubber Miley, Rex Stewart, Sammy Price, Sidney Bechet, and Zinky Cohn

Blues Hits:



Mamie Robinson

Known As: Mamie Smith

Birth: May 26, 1883

Place of Birth: Cincinnati, Ohio

Talents: Singer, Dancer, Actress

Genre: Blues



Blues Hits:


Death: New York, New York, September 16, 1946

Charles McCoy

Known As: Papa Charlie McCoy

Birth: May 26, 1909

Place of Birth: Jackson, Mississippi

Instrument of Choice:





Blues Hits:


Death: Chicago, Illinois, July 26, 1950

Aaron Thibeaux Walker

Known As: T-Bone Walker

Birth: May 28, 1910

Place of Birth: Linden, Texas

Instrument of Choice: Gibson ES-250, Gibson ES-5, Gibson ES-335





Blues Hits:


Death: Austin, Texas, March 16, 1975