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Saturday January 19th, 2019 Toronzo Cannon, Chicago based bluesman and his band will perform a full night of original blues music featuring songs from all 3 of his CDs at The BLUEStage Club.  His stories are interesting views of life and its circumstances.

The BLUEStage is an intimate listening venue with state of the art sound and lighting located in Brooklyn Michigan. It features controlled volume, tiered seating, clean sight lines with no seat further than 45’ from the elevated stage and no distractions from the performance.  All concert events are presale ticketed, with the few unsold tickets available at the door.  Doors open at 7pm and music starts at 7:45 for all shows.

Please join us for these touring group concerts & dancing. Tickets & reserved seating of choice can be purchased with cash at the box office/TC’s Garage 398 W. Brooklyn Rd, Napoleon MI and online w/CC at bluestagejams.com for General Admission seating.  For more info call 517-536-8635 or email: tcsjams@gmail.com   text to 734-726-4217

National News and Beyond

Save the date International Blues Challenge #35: January 22-26, 2019

The International Blues Challenge represents the worldwide search for those Blues Bands and Solo/Duo Blues Acts ready to perform on the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and a solo/duo act to represent its organization at the IBC.

Clydie King, Whose Voice Was Heard on Rock Classics, Dies at 75

Clydie King, whose voice was heard on dozens of rock classics, including the Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” died on January 7. 2019 at 75.

Along with Merry Clayton, Venetta Fields and Shirley Matthews, King was one of the most in-demand backup and session singers of her time.  The list included hits like Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good,” Arlo Guthrie’s “City of New Orleans,” Graham Nash’s “Chicago,” and Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back.” King also sang on albums by Steely Dan, Humble Pie, Joe Walsh, Phil Ochs, Carly Simon, Neil Diamond and Ringo Starr ,Ray Charles and Bob Dylan. 

Born August 21st, 1943, King grew up in Dallas and sang in a gospel choir as a child.  She was considered so gifted that she even appeared, at age 8, on Art Linkletter’s national TV talent show. King and her family moved to Los Angeles soon after, where she recorded a number of singles for the Specialty, Philips, Imperial and Minit labels.

For three years starting in 1966, she and her longtime friend Clayton were in the Raelettes, Charles’ backing singers. “We thought we knew how to sing, but he taught us both how to do it in a group,” Clayton tells Rolling Stone. “We learned to do what we do and how to be a beautiful woman and how to stand and sit.”

Leaving Charles after three years to travel less and spend more time with her children, King became one of the go-to voices starting in the late Sixties and throughout the next decade. In 1974, Clayton was home when she got a call from King about a last-minute session. “I said, ‘What are we singing?’” Clayton says, and King told her it was a group called Lynyrd Skynyrd and a song called “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Like other backup singers, King’s attempt to carve out her own career resulted in several solid, but commercially unsuccessful, albums and she returned to singing backup. But her years on the road with Dylan cemented her reputation. Dylan would often perform duets during the shows; their renditions of “Heart of Mine” and Jimmy Webb’s “Let’s Begin” was a highlight of that era.

King stopped recording in recent years to deal with unspecified health issues, but Clayton remembers her as sweet, but tough. “She didn’t take any crap,” Clayton says.

. Nancy Wilson Passes Away at the Age of Eighty-One

Nancy Wilson the American jazz singer has died at her home following a long battle with an undisclosed illness.

Nancy Wilson was born on February 20, 1937, in Ohio the first of six children born to Olden Wilson and Lilian Ryan. It was her father who introduced her to music, exposing her to the recordings of primarily male artists, like Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine and Jimmy Scott,

By the age of 4, Wilson was singing actively, and she became her choir’s lead singer at just 10. At 15, Wilson won a contest held by WTVN which landed her a twice a week gig on their show “Skyline Melodies.” She spent the rest of her high school years singing at nightclubs. She spent a year in college at Central State in Ohio but dropped out to pursue music full time.

In 1959, she made a pivotal move to New York, where she signed with jazz manager John Levy, landed a contract with Capitol Records and released her debut album ‘Like In Love.  Wilson would go on to become one of Capitol’s top-selling acts, at one point second only to the Beatles.

In addition to her singing career, Wilson had a robust acting resume. She was one of the first black spokeswomen to appear in national radio and TV ads for products ranging from Campbell’s soup to Thunderbird wine. She had her own self-titled NBC variety show in 1966 and made numerous appearances on similar shows hosted by Flip Wilson, Carol Burnett and Andy Williams.

Wilson was a lifelong activist, marching in the 1965 protest in Selma, Ala and participating in other protests. She was a spokeswoman for the Urban League and promoted AIDS awareness. In 2005, she was inducted into the International Civil Rights: Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Nancy passed away on December 18, 2018.

James Walter Rodford (7 July 1941 – 20 January 2018)

The Zombies bassist Jim Rodford has died aged 76 just days after his final performance. The musician, whose career spanned six decades and included 18 years with The Kinks, died January 20, 2019 after a fall on the stairs.

James Walter Rodford (7 July 1941 – 20 January 2018) was an English musician, who played bass guitar for several British rock bands. He was a founding member of Argent, which was led by his cousin Rod Argent, and performed with them from 1969 until they disbanded in 1976. He was the bass guitarist for the Kinks from 1978 until they disbanded in 1996. In 2004, he joined the reunited Zombies, whom he had been closely associated with since the early 1960s, and remained a member until his death in 2018. He was also a member of the Swinging Blue Jeans and the Kast Off Kinks.

Rodford was born on 7 July 1941, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he was a member of the Bluetones. Rodford was instrumental in helping his younger cousin Rod Argent form the Zombies in 1964. Rodford later joined the Mike Cotton Sound as a bass guitarist.

Along with Rod Argent, Rodford was one of the founding members of Argent. When Rod Argent quit the band, the remaining three members (Rodford, Bob Henrit, and John Verity) formed the short-lived band Phoenix. Eventually, Rodford joined the Kinks as a bass guitarist in 1978 and played with them until their final disintegration in 1996.

From 1999–2001 Rodford appeared in a band that ex-Animals guitarist Hilton Valentine formed, the Animals II. Rodford continued with this band (which changed its working name to "The Animals and Friends) until joining Argent and Colin Blunstone in the revival of the Zombies.

Rodford never played with the Zombies in the 1960s, despite having been closely involved with them. However, he began to play the bass guitar with the band's reincarnation in the early years of the 21st century, with his son Steve on drums.

In 2008, Rodford joined the Kast Off Kinks, on the retirement of John Dalton.  In 2009, Jim Rodford regularly played in "The Rodford Files" along with his sons Steve Rodford (Blunstone/Argent band) on drums and Russ Rodford on guitar, plus Derik Timms (mOOn Dogs) on guitar, lap steel, slide and vocals.

In 2010, the original line-up of Argent reformed and resumed playing in concert. They mounted a short tour including gigs in Frome, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Leamington Spa and London.

Rodford met his wife, Jean, at the Pioneer Club, St Albans, in the early days of his music career. They have two sons, Steve, a drummer, Russell a guitarist and a daughter, Paula.

On 20 January 2018, Rodford died after he fell down stairs at his home in St Albans. Rodford had just returned home to England after completing a short tour in Florida with The Zombies with his final on-stage appearance coming on 14 January.