Saturday, November 8, 2008

Snapshots of Blues in the Southeast

Brief Bio of photographer, George Mitchell

George Mitchell was born in Coral Gables, Florida in 1944. He was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and in 1958 discovered by accident the two radio stations in Atlanta that played black music, WAOK, and WERD, the first black-owned station in the US. Mitchell was drawn to black music, and as a teenager listened intently to Samuel B. Charters’ anthology The Country Blues. He also went to blues and R&B shows and saw Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, and the Staple Singers with his grandmother in tow; they were the only white people at that performance. George's obsession with photographing and recording country blues players in the Southeast has allowed their tradition to survive.George Mitchell resides in Atlanta with his wife Cathy.

Pulling up to a Stuckey's in Senatobia, Miss., in 1967, Mitchell was looking for well-known bluesman Fred McDowell, who had recorded extensively and toured Europe. He asked the attendant pumping gas where to find McDowell. "You're looking at him," the attendant said. GEORGE MITCHELL

William Grant, seen here at his home in Pittsview, Ala., was adept as a solo harmonica player, alternating singing and harp-playing with great agility. GEORGE MITCHELL

Some of the music? OK. Hang on!:

Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Little Walter — "My Babe"

1 comment:

Martha Markline Hopkins said...

Love those blues! Thanks for posting.