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Blues Memories - Ade Tucker, Hounslow, UK

My first encounter with The Blues was hearing Louis Jordan records on the wireless in the late 1940s. Then I heard Josh White on the BBC Home Service in the 1950s, but it wasn't until Lonnie Donegan erupted onto the wireless during my schooldays that I really thought about trying to play this sort of music, in Trad Jazz Clubs during the intervals. I was encouraged in this by Gerry Lockran, who was playing the Jazz and Folk Clubs around 1960. He suggested that I seek out records by Big Bill Broonzey, but they were hard to come by in Hounslow's Record Shops. Instead I bought Blind Boy Fuller on Philips LP and learned all the songs, then T-Bone Walker appeared on cheap Marble Arch LPs at 1.00! I played along to them a lot, much to my Mother's annoyance. At my job in the Public Library an older member of staff lent me an EP by Muddy Waters, and I started trying slide guitar. EPs by Sonny Boy Williamson I and Jimmie Reed got me buying Super Vamper harmonicas and eventually working out that cross harp worked better than straight for Blues.

I saw Memphis Slim, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf and many other American Bluesmen in small halls and pubs for about 10 bob entrance. I went to the American Folk Blues Festival at the old Hammersmith Odeon with friends.

A record collector in Twickenham allowed me access to his collection of rare American Blues LPs, and I copied them onto a Grundig Tape Recorder: Mercy Dee, Henry Thomas, Son House, Furry Lewis, and many others.

I saw Muddy in his later days when he had to sit down most of the time, but he couldn't sit still for long! Also Arthur Crudup at the Half Moon, Putney, and Lowell Fulson at The Nag's Head High Wycombe, not to mention Cyril Davies All Stars at Twickenham Technical College, and John Mayall and Long John Baldry on Eel Pie Island.

Blues Memories by Ade Tucker, Hounslow, UK, 2012

If you have any thoughts or comments, you can email me at alan.white@earlyblues.com

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