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King Curtis! More Stax 50th and Li'l Ronnie & the BlueBeats!

I hope you’ve made plans to join us this week (5/31/14) on Time For The Blues as Henry and I plan to pull out all the stops and bring you some amazing blues. We’re already gathering lots of things we haven’t played before and trying to come up with at least one funny joke.

Earlier this year a movie came out that both Henry and I missed. Nothing unusual about that, we tend to miss a lot of movies in the theatres. Between ticket prices, $40 popcorn tubs, and no movies featuring either John Wayne or Elvis, there’s very little we want to see.

But every so often there’s a movie that harkens back to our misspent childhoods, things that usually involve comic book heroes or in this case – cartoons. “The Adventures of Rocky And Bullwinkle” was one of the funniest cartoons of its day. This was back when cartoons were really for adults and the networks weren’t afraid of showing an anvil landing on the head of Wile E. Coyote.

One of the features of Rocky and Bullwinkle was Mr. Peabody And Sherman. It was your basic super genius dog and his pet boy Sherman story and they traveled back in time every week thanks to Mr. Peabody’s invention – The Way Back Machine. Every week when they went back in time, you know they got into big trouble, and got out of it with an outrageous pun. It was made into a live-action plus CGI movie recently and it disappeared before we could see it.

What’s that got to do with this week’s show? Settle down Sherman and I’ll tell you.

Henry and I are cranking up our version of the Way Back Machine as we look at some real classics. Recently we gave you some great sides from the Memphis-based label Stax Records. This is one of those labels that defined a sound and gave us some of the best soul music ever. One of the thank you gifts from a recent pledge drive was the Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration. Stax was home to some of the best performers and we’re going to sample some truly amazing songs that maybe you didn't know were Stax creations...we'll tease you with the names Otis Redding and Little Milton!

While we’re in the Way Back Machine, we’re going to sample some music from the legendary sax player King Curtis.

Curtis unfortunately lived a very short life but managed to pack more music into it than most. Whenever I think of King Curtis, I recall the scene in the movie The Buddy Holly Story, in which Curtis (played by Craig White) as one of Buddy's backing bandmates, secures rooms for Buddy and the Crickets in a segregated African-American hotel by passing them off as his valets. It’s funny and an interesting take on race relations of the era.

A gifted alto sax session man, he started making his own albums in the early 60's. Curtis’ music straddled several arenas including jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, and blues. Henry has turned up a fantastic blues album he did in 1961 "Trouble in Mind" and is bringing it to the table for us. Check out the audio sample above! (Henry tells me that the album was engineered by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder!)

Then we’re staying back in time for an album Li’l Ronnie and the BlueBeats with Claudia Carawan started in 1991 and didn’t finish until 2014, hence the title 'unfinished business'. We gave you a taste in the last show but this week we have more that we know you'll dig.

And I thought Henry procrastinated when it’s time to get in the studio…

Then, just because we like you so much, how about more recent sides from Jarekus Singleton, Solomon King, and Little Mike and the Tornadoes?

You know the drill, if you’re home Saturday night kick back in your favorite chair and tune in and if you’re in the car, leave it on 88.9 WCVE. We’ve got great music and some really bad jokes and all we need is you and we’ve got a party. Time for the Blues with John Porter and Henry Cook airs Saturdays at 11:00 p.m.