WHY DO I PLAY THE BLUES?
"My only friends were the kids of the black folks who worked for my stepfather at The Flint River Inn. It was on those occasions when my stepfather was away that I got to hear what was to become a lifelong love. The Blues. Race music it was called then. The last selection list on the old Wurlitzer juke box".
In 1947 I climbed on a Coca Cola crate so that I could see the selections on my Dad's Wurlitzer juke box. The juke box was located in the night club section of a business called The Flint River Inn, located just outside Cordele, Georgia.
I climbed up there for the first time not knowing what to expect. There, in front of me, was a mechanism that contained a series of flat discs that played music. That music was listed in front of the machine in categories.
There was Country, Popular, Big Band, and way down at the end was a category called "Race".
Now I didn't quite know what to think about that so I dropped a nickel into the slot and pushed one of the selections in the "Race" category.
This music was different. It had a "beat". The snare drum was way out front. The harmonies were velvet. It was a Wynonie Harris song. The man was a monster. As soon as the record started playing, some of the folks who worked for my dad, started dancing and clapping their hands. One of the ladies picked me up and danced with me. I loved it. She later told me it was the blues I had played.
Called "Race" because it was predominantly recorded by blacks for black entertainment. (Sold mostly by white record companies however).
The feelings I felt that first time I heard the blues, will never leave me. A young man, just come from England to a strange and different land where the only new friends were black people and their children, built a bridge in my heart. The loneliness disappeared and was replaced by a never ending love of all that is The Blues and The South. The players, the history and the music have been an integral part of my life ever since and I'm sure will be until I die.
Bluepower will be a gathering point for anyone in the world who would like to learn about The Blues and it's contributions to the American musical art form.
The life and death struggle of a displaced people trying desperately to hold on to a small amount of dignity and some remnants from their past, must be saved for future generations to observe and from which to learn.
But most of all I love the blues because it makes me feel good. It always has.
John Rhys Eddins/BluePower
Raised in Queens, New York; Lori moved to L.A. in 1975. Her first job on the west coast was at a Beverly Hills boutique, Right Bank Clothing Company; where the clientele would have been and was comfortable gracing any red carpet. After managing a boutique called Apropos, her next position was at Anita De Thomas & Assocs., a business managment firm whose stable boasted another star-filled cast. Following that she worked with Joey Reynolds in the Creative Services Dept. of 20th Century Fox Records, a truly crazy experience.
Now a Board Certified Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractor, working from her home office; she divides her time to work with John. John & Lori's, love at first sight, romance has produced two amazing children (just ask their unprejudiced parents) and has persisted through many trials. Together they host the Getting Back to Love Series and grapple with the many business aspects of BluePower.com.
Mark Hanson is 39 years old and lives in Leicestershire, England. Mark has studied computer graphics and graphics design.
Mr. Hanson grew up on black music, especially The Ink Spots, Mills Brothers and The Platters; his parents favorites.
One day, his sister introduced Mark to Northern Soul and Motown. Two of Mark's relations were DJ's in the mid-70's in the Northern Soul scene. Upon seeing this growing phenomena, Mark decided to become part of the scene. Mark became a promoter, DJ and one of Northern Soul's strongest supporters.
By the early 80's, Mark was into the Northern Soul scene properly along with his second love; motor scooters. He started collecting Soul and Deep Soul records but his first love is 60's Detroit records along with Soul music from artists residing in Chicago, Philadelphia and the Carolinas.
In the 90's, Mark became co-editor a British Soul Fanzine called Soul Up North.