June 18, 2012

Father's Day Blues

by Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor

One of my Father’s Day gifts was an autobiography of one of the greatest living blues guitarists, Buddy Guy. When I Left Home: My Story by Buddy Guy with David Ritz is an excellent account of the Bluesman’s life. From his boyhood home in Louisiana to his current history in Chicago, Guy’s memories are shared and the appreciation for his journey is evident. David Ritz, who has written autobiographies for Etta James and Ray Charles, and a biography of Marvin Gaye’s life, has again done a great job here.

I also recently received Twilight of the Drifter, a Southern Gothic crime story, from the author himself, Shelly Frome. Shelly has weaved together the Blues, politics and crime in a Southern setting. Shelly has accurately portrayed life in the south and especially on Beale Street in Memphis, TN.  The Home of the Blues should be proud.

I saw an interview with Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones some years ago where he was asked where they got their music. The interview was conducted in St. Louis. Wood’s answer was, “From across the river.” The interviewer said he understood they were from Great Britain. Woods said, “No, from across the Mississippi River from the Delta.” Like so many Americans the interviewer was unaware that many of the songs brought to America by the British Music Invasion of the 60’s were simply returned to their homeland. Whether you are assisting a Blues legend with an autobiography or involving a character in your story with the life of the Blues it is a great topic to write about. It is rich in culture, legend and folklore. It is one of many gifts a Southern Writer has close at hand.    


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