Sep 28, 2018
Hi, my name is Mike
I'm obviously late to this party but beyond learning to play the harmonica I'm even more interested in the culture, history, philosophy, and academic music study of the blues. And, by the way, I've been listening to this music since I was a boy when I received a crystal radio kit when I was in 4th grade. That was in 1956 and 1957... Sometimes I wonder how I got to be so old...
I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and the radio station over the hill in Braddock was WAMO (pronounced "Wam-Oh") where Porky Chedwick was the main DJ ("Platter-Pushin'-Papa", "Daddio-of the Raddio", etc.) At that time he was the only local station playing blues but the Hill District was just down the River from Braddock. (That would be the Monongahela River). Braddock was rapidly transitioning from the white working class roots it had before and after WWII to the mid-1960's to largely African American. Steel mills were still active and I worked in one when I was an undergraduate student. Wilkinsburg was still white working-class at that time but later transitioned to mostly African-American.
Although I left Pittsburgh after my undergrad years the love of the music stayed in me. As the 1960's developed into the 1970's and 1980's the Blues changed too as Blues bands like Paul Butterfield joined the music scene. Like jazz before it, white artists joined the American stream.
These trends fascinate me and continue to do so to this day. If I hadn't decided to pick up the harmonica I never would have stumbled in Adam Gussow's material and I look forward to reading these posts and the archives.