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Saturday January 19th, 2019 Toronzo Cannon, Chicago based bluesman and his band will perform a full night of original blues music featuring songs from all 3 of his CDs at The BLUEStage Club.  His stories are interesting views of life and its circumstances.

The BLUEStage is an intimate listening venue with state of the art sound and lighting located in Brooklyn Michigan. It features controlled volume, tiered seating, clean sight lines with no seat further than 45’ from the elevated stage and no distractions from the performance.  All concert events are presale ticketed, with the few unsold tickets available at the door.  Doors open at 7pm and music starts at 7:45 for all shows.

Please join us for these touring group concerts & dancing. Tickets & reserved seating of choice can be purchased with cash at the box office/TC’s Garage 398 W. Brooklyn Rd, Napoleon MI and online w/CC at bluestagejams.com for General Admission seating.  For more info call 517-536-8635 or email: tcsjams@gmail.com   text to 734-726-4217

National News and Beyond

Save the date International Blues Challenge #35: January 22-26, 2019

The International Blues Challenge represents the worldwide search for those Blues Bands and Solo/Duo Blues Acts ready to perform on the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and a solo/duo act to represent its organization at the IBC.

Clydie King, Whose Voice Was Heard on Rock Classics, Dies at 75

Clydie King, whose voice was heard on dozens of rock classics, including the Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” died on Monday at 75.

Along with Merry Clayton, Venetta Fields and Shirley Matthews, King was one of the most in-demand backup and session singers of her time.  The list included hits like Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good,” Arlo Guthrie’s “City of New Orleans,” Graham Nash’s “Chicago,” and Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back.” King also sang on albums by Steely Dan, Humble Pie, Joe Walsh, Phil Ochs, Carly Simon, Neil Diamond and Ringo Starr ,Ray Charles and Bob Dylan. 

Born August 21st, 1943, King grew up in Dallas and sang in a gospel choir as a child.  She was considered so gifted that she even appeared, at age 8, on Art Linkletter’s national TV talent show. King and her family moved to Los Angeles soon after, where she recorded a number of singles for the Specialty, Philips, Imperial and Minit labels.

For three years starting in 1966, she and her longtime friend Clayton were in the Raelettes, Charles’ backing singers. “We thought we knew how to sing, but he taught us both how to do it in a group,” Clayton tells Rolling Stone. “We learned to do what we do and how to be a beautiful woman and how to stand and sit.”

Leaving Charles after three years to travel less and spend more time with her children, King became one of the go-to voices starting in the late Sixties and throughout the next decade. In 1974, Clayton was home when she got a call from King about a last-minute session. “I said, ‘What are we singing?’” Clayton says, and King told her it was a group called Lynyrd Skynyrd and a song called “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Like other backup singers, King’s attempt to carve out her own career resulted in several solid, but commercially unsuccessful, albums and she returned to singing backup. But her years on the road with Dylan cemented her reputation. Dylan would often perform duets during the shows; their renditions of “Heart of Mine” and Jimmy Webb’s “Let’s Begin” was a highlight of that era.

King stopped recording in recent years to deal with unspecified health issues, but Clayton remembers her as sweet, but tough. “She didn’t take any crap,” Clayton says.

. Nancy Wilson Passes Away at the Age of Eighty-One

Nancy Wilson the American jazz singer has died at her home following a long battle with an undisclosed illness.

Nancy Wilson was born on February 20, 1937, in Ohio the first of six children born to Olden Wilson and Lilian Ryan. It was her father who introduced her to music, exposing her to the recordings of primarily male artists, like Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine and Jimmy Scott,

By the age of 4, Wilson was singing actively, and she became her choir’s lead singer at just 10. At 15, Wilson won a contest held by WTVN which landed her a twice a week gig on their show “Skyline Melodies.” She spent the rest of her high school years singing at nightclubs. She spent a year in college at Central State in Ohio but dropped out to pursue music full time.

In 1959, she made a pivotal move to New York, where she signed with jazz manager John Levy, landed a contract with Capitol Records and released her debut album ‘Like In Love.  Wilson would go on to become one of Capitol’s top-selling acts, at one point second only to the Beatles.

In addition to her singing career, Wilson had a robust acting resume. She was one of the first black spokeswomen to appear in national radio and TV ads for products ranging from Campbell’s soup to Thunderbird wine. She had her own self-titled NBC variety show in 1966 and made numerous appearances on similar shows hosted by Flip Wilson, Carol Burnett and Andy Williams.

Wilson was a lifelong activist, marching in the 1965 protest in Selma, Ala and participating in other protests. She was a spokeswoman for the Urban League and promoted AIDS awareness. In 2005, she was inducted into the International Civil Rights: Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Joseph Leon Williams American Blues Guitarists and Singer Passes at 83.

Joseph Leon Williams (February 3, 1935–December 1, 2018), better known as Jody Williams, was an American blues guitarist and singer. His singular guitar playing, marked by flamboyant string-bending, imaginative chord voicings and a distinctive tone, was influential in the Chicago blues scene of the 1950s.

In the mid-1950s, Williams was one of the most sought-after session guitarists in Chicago, but he was little known outside the music industry, since his name rarely appeared on discs. His acclaimed comeback in 2000 led to a resurgence of interest in his early work and a reappraisal as one of the great blues guitarists. Williams was known for his imaginative chord selection, characterized by raised fives, and minor sixths and minor sevenths with flattened fives. He usually played with an unusual open E tuning, originally taught to him by Bo Diddley.

Joseph Leon Williams was born in Mobile, Alabama, on February 3, 1935, and moved to Chicago as a youngster. His first instrument was the harmonica, which he swapped for the guitar after hearing Bo Diddley play at a talent show where they were both performing. He eventually joined Bo Diddley to play the streets as a teenager and within a few years had honed his talent enough to become a valued session musician at Chess Records and other labels. His crisp fretwork enlivened such classic records as ‘Who Do You Love’ by Bo Diddley, ‘I Wish You Would’ by Billy Boy Arnold, and ‘Evil’ and ‘Forty Four’ by Howlin’ Wolf. He also accompanied Willie Dixon, Jimmy Witherspoon, Otis Rush, and Jimmy Rogers among others.

Williams also worked regularly in the Chicago clubs and toured with big package shows backing blues, rock ‘n roll, and doo-wop acts. The handful of early sessions on his own produced the influential instrumental ‘Lucky Lou,’ the model for Otis Rush’s ‘All Your Love’ and later the Fleetwood Mac and Santana classic ‘Black Magic Woman.’ Another instrumental, ‘Moanin’ for Molasses,’ was later covered by Sean Costello, and ‘Billy’s Blues,’ recorded with Billy Stewart, was lifted for the Mickey & Sylvia smash ‘Love is Strange’ in a case that went to court for copyright infringement.

Williams ended up with neither a composer credit nor royalties for ‘Love is Strange,’ and remained wary of playing his original un copyrighted music for anyone to this day. After a few more years of working the clubs, he married and learned electronics to find a suitable job to support his family. He worked for years as a technician for Xerox and as an ATM machine serviceman until longtime fan and producer Dick Shurman convinced him to bring out his guitar again. Williams began recording anew in 2002 and toured widely to warm receptions around the world.

Williams continued to perform around the world until 2014, mainly at large blues festivals, and often sitting in with the blues guitarist Billy Flynn at Chicago club appearances. Poor health later curtailed his musical activities. In 2013, Williams was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame. Williams passed away on December 1, 2018 at age 83.