Showing posts from July, 2020

'Goodbye Jimmy Reed', Hello Van Morrison

Jimmy Reed was born in Dunleith, Mississippi in 1925, on what used to be one of the largest and most profitable plantations in that part of his nation that was still romantically known as the Old South. Emancipation and Reconstruction had transformed America in the half century since the Civil War, but Reed's people still struggled within a nation that favoured the old ways and prejudices. As an adult, he took the well-trodden path north to Chicago, and after some years mastering his chosen art, had hits through the 50s and into the 60s with songs such as 'Ain't That Lovin' You Baby', 'Bright Lights, Big City', and 'Honest I Do'. His electric blues were covered by a range of bands, most famously the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds from 60s London, and the young Belfast cowboy Van Morrison's early band Them. On his own side of the ocean, Reed would see artists from Elvis Presley to the Steve Miller Band have success with his songs, several of