Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trying To Make A Living

Some urban blues on the Red Lightnin' label from the 70's. Compilation of 50's recordings by Little Mac, L.C. McKinley, Eddie Boyd etc. "Malcolm Simmons ( Little Mac )was born on January 25, 1933, in the small cotton-farming community of Twist, Arkansas. He was a childhood friend of James Cotton, who was serving as an apprentice of Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) at the time. The two boys persisted in skipping school together for the more enticing lure of jamming on their harmonicas, and Cotton taught Simmons the harp techniques he was learning from the master. Soon school was dropped completely, and Mack picked cotton and drove a tractor full time. Then at 18, he left for St. Louis, where he lived for two years while working on the railroad. It was here that Simmons met the renowned Robert Nighthawk and made his club debut on Nighthawk's stage. In 1954 Little Mack moved on to Chicago, where he formed his own band and held down a five-year stand at Cadillac Baby's, as well as performing regularly at Pepper's Lounge and at Sylvio's." Here's a bit about Eddie Boyd - "EDDIE BOYD (By Dominic Turner) Born Edward Riley Boyd, 25 November 1914 (some sources say 13 November), Stovall (Mississippi) Died 13 July 1994, Helsinki, Finland Starting out as a guitarist but ultimately making his name as a pianist, Eddie Boyd is universally known in blues circles for his powerful "Five Long Years." But this oft covered Chess blues classic was by no means the only highlight of an excellent career. Born on Frank Moore's Stovall plantation near Clarksdale in the heart of the fertile Mississippi delta (his cousin, Muddy Waters, was born there just a few months later), Boyd taught himself to play the guitar at a young age. After a hard day's work in the fields, he would take to the legendary Mississippi juke joints in the evening, playing and singing the blues to rowdy audiences of black workers. But it was a tough upbringing, and Boyd, frustrated by the unfair segregationist policies, ran into trouble after a fight with a white youth (some accounts suggest that Boyd threw a hayfork!). As a result of that incident, he joined the hordes of Southern blacks who moved further north to seek their fortune, and settled in Memphis around 1931. The move to an even more stimulating musical environment soon rubbed off, and he learned to play the piano, developing a style that owed much to Roosevelt Sykes and Leroy Carr. He continued to play regularly in the city's bars and juke joints, often appearing on Beale Street as a pianist and singer with his band the Dixie Rhythm Boys." Various - Trying To Make A Living Side Two

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