Here is Chuck playing Johnny B. Goode live in 1958, the year he released it–and doing the dances he loved!
LAGNIAPPE: SPECIAL BONUS
Here is Chuck jammin’ with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Chuck Leavell (of the Rolling Stone and Allman Brothers Band), and Chuck’s longtime pianist, Johnnie Johnson, who is fabulous. You’ll recognize the songs and you’ll love seeing the joy of these greats playing together.
Late in the song, you’ll hear Chuck singing with a blues rhythm that underlay his work. And what a lyric: he’s glad his baby’s back, “it’s been a long, long time since I’ve heard my backbone crack.”
Mose Allison, who died today after a long, influential life in music, transformed the Delta Blues, played on acoustic guitars and harmonicas, into modern piano jazz, often inflected with wry humor. The last line of the song is the killer (pun intended). The NYT obituary is here.
Mose Allison’s Powerful Influence
Allison’s ability to transform and update Delta Blues had a huge impact on British rockers in the late 1960s, looking to create their own genre, based on the Delta originals. Here are some of these Brits remembering how popular Mose’s “Parchman Farm” was in England and how it influenced their own music.
Johnny Winter, the great Texas guitarist, does Mose’s version with the same humor and a blues/rock edge:
I love the hard blues/rock version of Albert Castiglia.
And a traditional blues song about the prison farm, to give you a sense of Allison’s point of departure
To understand the depth and originality of Mose Allison’s version, listen to this powerful, traditional version of “Parchman Farm Blues” by Bukka White. It’s not the same song, but it one of many written about the iconic Mississippi Prison, where so many blacks and whites, men and women, served hard time in the cotton fields.
It took 28 takes, but Eric Clapton and George Harrison recorded one of the iconic guitar duets of the rock era. It is often called a “solo,” but, to me, it is the interaction between Harrison and Clapton that make this music so touching–and still so moving–after all these years.