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On My Radio

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Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins was born 101 years ago today. He's on my radio because of his huge influence on so many musicians.


Sylvester Stewart, known as Sly Stone, was also born on March 15th.


It's also Ry Cooder's birthday. His fusion of Tejano, R & B and Gospel music is alway on my radio. With vocalists Eldridge King, Terry Evans and Bobby King and a young Flaco Jiménez on accordion. The song, written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman, was first a hit for the also legendary James Carr.

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Yesterday, Emmylou Harris had a birthday as well. One of the best parts of my misspent youth was hearing her in Washington, DC's clubs and bars before she was discovered.

She's with the later version of the Hot Band with the incomparable Albert Lee and Rodney Crowell for this tune. Eric Clapton has called Albert Lee the world's best living guitarist but he's also an incredibly fine harmony singer. He replaced James Burton in this band.

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Hey, Jim

I understand where you're coming from. All I can say is that I saw Mr. Morganfield perform a few times over the space of a few days at one of the early Smithsonian Folklife Festivals, either the first or the second. I was probably 15 or 16 and it was an experience I remember like it was last week even though it was around 45 years ago. He played with Otis Spann, James Cotton and Willie Dixon and songs were like a part of the band, changing with the day and the time and the crowd. I also think that the amount of weed consumed had a lot to do with the feeling of each set they played. It seemed like he was also pretty pleased to have been asked to the party since this was early in the blues revival and he really didn't get cynical about the music business until the mid-70's. 


All that aside, the best way to celebrate Muddy Waters' centennial is probably this:


Edit: He's playing with Jerry Portnoy on harmonica, Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin on guitar and Pinetop Perkins on piano.

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