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Wilson Pickett Passes At Age 64


flowperson
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Another one of my heroes passed away today in Virginia at the age of 64. It's seems to have been a bad year for my heroes.

 

In this case we should all acknowledge that Mr. Pickett was not a good boy as far as the law was concerned. Like his co-conspirator in the Blues, James Brown, he had numerous run-ins with the police and spent an amount of time in prison for his sins. But that seems to make him a typical black male of his and my generation

 

He left behind a great legacy of landmark recorded songs, among them; Land of a Thousand Dances, In the Midnight Hour, Funky Broadway, and Mustang Sally.

 

The Blues, and more specifically Rhythm and Blues, grew out of a musical tradition that was born among the enslaved field workers of the Mississippi delta region, along the great river, just below Memphis. The cotton field workers would chant and sing folk songs to ease the pain and burden of their endless and unsatisfying work, and their uncertain and painful lives.

 

Later their progeny, such as Robert Johnson and Leadbelly picked up the thread started in the fields and sang on street corners and in juke joints of endless work, love lost, and simple hope. These people and others popularized the music when they made some of the first recordings of the Blues that is so much about sad things, but makes the listener feel better just by listening to it. Mr. Pickett was in the vanguard of these people who carried on this musical tradition in the years after WWII.

 

From the Blues came Rock & Roll and the rest is, as they say, history. But this is a history that is not about whichever white guy wins the argument. It was and is a history of bringing people together, all sorts of people, rich-middleclass-poor, to listen to the sad songs that make them feel better somehow. When the Rolling Stones wanted to know more about this magical music they came to the south side of Chicago in the sixties and jammed with the masters of the art form such as Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. I believe that's what has made their career so enduring to this day.

 

There's a reason for my signature on the board being what it is. In this particular song you have both a black man and a white man who have both been successful at their chosen art form, and who both have endured measures of tragedy in their lives, in my opinion. simply because they are/were so good at what they do. And, they make us feel so good just by listening to what they do.

 

Let's just hope that G-d gives Wilson an extra big cloud to jam on with Brother Ray, Brother Muddy, and the rest of the masters that have gone on to their rest. Contrary to popular belief, I'll bet G-d and Jesus dig the blues. And I definitely plan to "get down" and do some dancin' myself when I get there.

 

 

flow.... :(

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Let's just hope that G-d gives Wilson an extra big cloud to jam on with Brother Ray, Brother Muddy, and the rest of the masters that have gone on to their rest. Contrary to popular belief, I'll bet G-d and Jesus dig the blues. And I definitely plan to "get down" and do some dancin' myself when I get there.

 

 

flow.... :(

 

I'll be listening for the music when I get there.... maybe I could find Jerry Garcia and join in?

 

minsocal :D

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Let's just hope that G-d gives Wilson an extra big cloud to jam on with Brother Ray, Brother Muddy, and the rest of the masters that have gone on to their rest. Contrary to popular belief, I'll bet G-d and Jesus dig the blues. And I definitely plan to "get down" and do some dancin' myself when I get there.

 

 

flow.... :(

 

I'll be listening for the music when I get there.... maybe I could find Jerry Garcia and join in?

 

minsocal :D

 

I thought about including a reference about the late Jerome Garcia and the influence of Blues upon the music of the Greatful Dead, but thought that might be superfluous. Besides Jerry's early grounding in music was while he was hanging out in Palo Alto passing the time giving lessons to aspiring guitar and banjo players in the back of a music store. At that time he was more into Bluegrass than Blues anyway.

 

Thanks for the comeback and for caring about such an important part of my life.

 

Here's an article regarding Mr. Pickett's passing that appeared on today's NY Times website

 

flow.... :)

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/20/arts/music/20pickett.html

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