Daddy B. Nice’s replies to your letters – Mailbag June 2020
June 13, 2020
Bobby Rush Speaks Out On Black Lives Matter
(Posted on the Blues Debate and Discussion page on Facebook):
My name is Bobby Rush. I’m a blues singer for over 65 years. I’m so sad to see all of what’s going in the world today. It has happened before, but this time it’s different. The Coronavirus, the knee on the neck of George Floyd, and so many other things happening to Black people overall. It reminds me of myself as a Black man…how the foot or a knee has been on my neck all of my life, one way or another. It’s mostly been blocking the opportunities: to advance myself, to get a job to take care of my family, to play music in places that white bands played in. If I did get to play there, it was for less money, sometimes no money at all. It was because I was a black man playing the blues. When a white band plays the blues, the same music he or she sings, gets more money than black bands.
At first I was hesitant making a statement about how I feel about all of this going on right now. I’m so sad about a few bad police officers, how they control and treat you when your black. That doesn’t mean all police are bad. Just a few bad apples, make it’s seem like all police are bad, when it’s not so. I’m so glad to see people are marching peacefully about Black Lives Matter, not only Black Lives Matter, but the men and women who want to see a change in the laws to protect the rights of all people regardless of the race, creed, color of their skin, in this case especially, black lives matters. After all this marching is over, I hope some changes will be made.
I remember Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s. I remember when MLK Jr. was shot down in Memphis, my hope was shot down also. For many years now my hope has been a shadow, it seems like the more things change, the more it remains the same. But now, I have hope again. The death of George Floyd has given me a fighting hope, that we will do something about it. We must be United, as all for one, and one for all.
To the Floyd family: I’m praying for your strength and that you be strong. Things like this brings out the fight in all of us. All over the world people’s lives are being touched in some way. That’s why people are Marching peacefully, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Tan, all walks of life, especially the young people. They really give me hope. A man or woman can live a long time without water or food, but they can’t live long without hope. As bad as things are right now, I have hope.
So let’s keep hope alive, the faith, on a local level and a national level, we must Vote in what you need in, Vote out what you need out. So I’ll do all I can do, while I can do, so when there comes a time I cannot do, I won’t regret what I did not do.
June 1, 2020
RE: Sir Charles Jones’ “Still In Love” Commentary
Dear Daddy B Nice,
I’m a longtime fan of the website. Thank you for what you do. And I know you and Sir Charles have tons of history going back to the beginning. Your Comprehensive Index on him is as long as the Bible. Still, I have to take friendly exception to your comments on Sir Charles’ new song, “Still In Love”. I agree with you that the verses are the best part, but I don’t think the chorus ruins the song, as you do. I see it has 100K YouTube views. In the commentary you said you would give it some time, but I haven’t seen an update. Have you changed your mind about “Still In Love” in the three weeks since you wrote it?
Daddy B Nice replies:
Thanks for the thoughtful letter, Luther. Right now I’m “feeling it” for Sir Charles Jones. He’s got Tucka passing him on the left and Pokey Bear passing him on the right and Wendell B and Jeter Jones stepping on his heels. Isn’t it within the realm of possibility for the King of Southern Soul to feel a little “tight” (which is what I sense in that chorus)?
For the readers’ benefit, Luther is referring to Daddy B Nice going “off the deep end” in the middle of May on Sir Charles’ latest single, “Still In Love (With You),” posting my gut-wrenching “why-I-don’t-like-it” onSir Charles’ artist-guide page. I still considered it unfinished and had an “Under Construction” sign on it, but I couldn’t come up with anything new to say and so it sat. and sure enough, behind my back, the thing went near-viral.
But let’s go back to what makes the song so good, the peaceful and meditative place conjured in the verses. “The verses are those of a #1 hit single. The “I was just thinking…” verse is perfect—as good as anything Charles has ever done–maybe the best. That tempo, that emotional evenness, suits him. And when Jeter takes a verse, it’s a beautiful variation. But then, coming into the chorus, Charles wants to crescendo, and from there it explodes into a wholly different, hyper-emotional tone.
The chorus is not even hummable, and at the tail-end of the first chorus, Charles literally screeches that ascending phrase of “Yes, I am!” Three weeks later, I think there is a melody in that chorus, but Charles chooses to hide it in favor of a more dramatic peak. It’s as if Charles is trying to “bully” the song, get rough with it. But it’s supposed to be a profession of love, like in the verses, isn’t it?
One thing I’ll say, Luther. I’ll take a Sir Charles Jones who puts out 3 albums in 2 years any day. Charles is engaged. If you’re paying attention, you know he’s all over the place. And if Charles is engaged and happy, I’m happy, because it’s good for southern soul.
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