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‘Little’ Charlie Baty of the NightcatsHas Passed at Age 67.
Guitarist was best known for Little Charlie and the Nightcats


Northern California guitarist Charlie Baty, better known to jazz, blues and swing fans as “Little Charlie,” has died. Baty is best known for leading Little Charlie and the Nightcats, the popular Sacramento-based swing revival act that he formed with vocalist/harmonica player Rick Estrin in the mid-’70s
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Born in 1953, Baty reportedly feel in love with the blues at an early age and soon decided that he wanted to be a harmonica player. He then traded to the guitar after seeing such legends as Buddy Guy perform in concert, going the self-taught route rather than taking lessons.
He reportedly earned a degree in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley in the mid-’70s, before relocating from the Bay Area to Sacramento, where he’d form Little Charlie and the Nightcats.

For a while, he balanced a day job with playing music at night, but decided in the late ’80s to devote himself to the Nightcats.
Of course, it helped matters that the band had scored a record deal with the mighty Alligator Records, which led to the release of the band’s debut album, “All the Way Crazy,” in 1987. One year later, the sophomore effort “Disturbing the Peace” followed.

The group went on to release several other albums under the Alligator banner, while touring throughout the world and performing at events as the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Along the way, Baty shared the stage with such greats as John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Gregg Allman and Albert Collins.

In 2008, Baty decided to retire from the band, which would from then on be known as Rick Estrin and the Nightcats. He later went on to form the group Little Charlie and Organ Grinder Swing.

Charlie Baty died on March 7, 2020, at age 66.

Blues Foundation Cancels 2020 Blues Music Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremonies

By Bob Mehr, Memphis Commercial Appeal Published 10:44 a.m. CT March 19, 2020

The Memphis-based Blues Foundation has canceled the 2020 Blues Music Awards Show and Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
The events — the two biggest and longest-running celebrations of the blues internationally — were to have taken place May 6-7 at Downtown Memphis’ Halloran Centre and the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. The Blues Foundation confirmed on Thursday that it's working on a plan to create "virtual events that will celebrate BMA nominees and winners and 2020 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees."
As part of the announcement, the foundation also said its Blues Hall of Fame Museum — located in Memphis' South Main district — will be closed immediately to the public until further notice.


In a statement, The Blues Foundation said it had been tracking "the global situation and assessing how to move forward in light of the current coronavirus pandemic.” Following the lead and direction of federal, state and local officials, the decision was made to cancel all of the upcoming Blues Award Week events, which include the Blues Music Awards, Hall of Fame induction, and various other related concerts and programming. 


Additionally, The Blues Foundation announced it will be creating a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Blues Musicians. The foundation is asking those who have already purchased purchases to the 2020 awards ceremonies to convert them to donations to be applied directly to this fund. Ticket purchasers will also be offered the option for a refund of their ticket purchases, or to apply those purchases to next year's events.