Happy New Year first of all. I hope we have... a million or two million more of them – if we can get over this summer... heh-heh-heh.
Dear Reader, I continue with my closure to this unique course in Jazz by opening this nth degree post with a quote from another legendary “Man with a guitar,” the great James Marshall Hendrix. These words opened his New Year's Night, 1970 introduction to what was to become a masterpiece; entitled, Machine Gun.
The legendary performance's soaring dynamic levels, wild and driving improvisations, other-worldly sonics and above all, its subject matter – the Vietnam War – offered up the raw emotions of three young black men with degrees and depths never heard before. (Jimi had jumped out of U.S. Army planes with Billy Cox well before the two met up with power drummer, Buddy Miles.)
Hendrix did not live to see... or hear... the next new year. On September 18th, 1970 – he was found in a puddle of red wine for a dying bed. Yet, with a professional artistic career that took off in 1966, he changed the context of what is heard as music. Although I find no instance wherein Danny Barker speaks of Jimi Hendrix; I would guess that Danny could consider the Rock icon to be another case of a life in Jazz
Short or long, a life in Jazz is fraught with travails, trials, and triumphs. These circumstances, situations, and events – in documentation – reveal the truths of being what Danny Barker characterized as, “an American citizen first and, an American Negro always.” With that stated, I do invite you to sit back and relax. We will now see and hear just how far an idea can go; as I now turn you over to Old Danny who will regale you (at length, for you committed Souls,) with story of Hadacol.
Hadacol was a patent medicine marketed as a vitamin supplement. Its principal attraction, however, was that it contained 12 percent alcohol (listed on the tonic bottle's label as a "preservative"), which made it quite popular in the dry counties of the southern United States. It was the product of four-term Louisiana state Senator Dudley J. LeBlanc (1894-1971), a Democrat from Abbeville in Vermilion Parish. He was not a medical doctor, nor a registered pharmacist, but had a strong talent for self-promotion. Time magazine once described him as "a stem-winding salesman who knows every razzle-dazzle switch in the pitchman's trade".
[This fine information (and more,) brought to you by Wikipedia.com
Up from the swamp groves of western Louisiana, to the barrooms of Downtown Orleans Parish, this story also has its beginnings on a sidewalk in New York. Danny was delighted by a little girl from Jacksonville.
No doubt, that Boogie-Woogie piano pattern was first heard by a little boy from New Orleans, 'Son do' – who just maybe knew a daring and defiant young woman; “Oh yes she can!”
The story takes to the airwaves.
Paul Barbarin (Danny's “young uncle.”)
Glowing reviews from New Orleans, and jumping reports from Hollywood – “the suits” of Capitol.
(All the while, “amongst the poor people” Danny is ever promoting his own
Dear Reader, this is where Danny Barker's storytelling expertise really exhibits great nuance and color.
What's next...? The rear.
Guess what...? There's a party.
(Since you are still with it...) Ladies and gentlemen... I give you: The Idea Caravan.
This story, like most great epics, includes an elephant.
At the top of my playlist, Here's A Little Girl, 'Blu' Lu Barker with Danny... and band. Yes you can... by going to my Main Page
Peace & Pops,
Maison Musique, New Orleans
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EH LA BAS! JUST IN TIME FOR CARNIVAL TIME...! Creole Songs