Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: Son House by Son House
- Songs Recorded: 1930s – 1960s
- Album Release Date: September 9, 2003
- Genres: Blues
- Label: Columbia/Legacy
Eddie James “Son” House, Jr (March 21, 1902 – October 19, 1988). The mark he left on the world of blues could have easily gone uncredited, his music lost and forgotten, but thanks to his rediscovery during the 1960s blues revival, his influence now extends far and wide.
House recorded nine songs in 1930, releasing eight, for Paramount Records. The releases failed commercially, leaving House with no recourse but to find other means of making a living. Having traveled to Wisconsin to record for Paramount, House returned to Mississippi and worked various jobs, while continuing to play with other blues pioneers Charlie Patton and Willie Brown. House was recorded for the Library of Congress in the early 1940s, and then packed up and moved to New York, his music having faded into obscurity.
In the 1960s, the blues began to experience a revival. A whole new generation of fans and collectors had begun to listen to the blues, tracking down some of their favorite artists in the process. One of those artists was Son House, who was found in New York in 1964 by Nick Perls, Dick Waterman, and Phil Spiro. House, out of practice after having given up the guitar when the last of his guitar-playing friends had died, found it difficult to get back into the “groove.” With a little practice, a fair amount of alcohol, and a few how-to-play-like-Son-House guitar lessons, he was quickly able to regain his playing prowess. Soon, House was in high demand, with multiple labels competing for him. House would tour and record for the next decade, retiring (again) in 1974.
Perfect Angel by Minnie Riperton
- Original Release Date: June 1974
- Genres: Soul, R&B, Soft Rock
- Label: Epic
- Producers: Stevie Wonder, Richard Rudolph
You may not know the name Minnie Riperton (November 8, 1947 – July 12, 1979), but you probably know her music. Her biggest hit, “Lovin’ You”, helped propel Perfect Angel to the top of the charts. “Lovin’ You” remains a constant media mainstay, often popping up in movies, TV shows, and commercials. One listen, and you’re guaranteed to recognize it. Riperton’s career was cut short when she was diagnosed with cancer in January 1976, given only six months to live. She continued recording and touring throughout her illness, eventually becoming a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. Remarkably, she held on until the age of 31, passing away on July 12, 1979.
Here’s a small preview of the next album I’ll be writing up:
Was the cover intended to be as scandalous as it seems?
- Topless (under the overalls).
- Melted ice cream cone running down Minnie’s arm.
- Innocent smile.
- All under the Perfect Angel title.
Is it meant to be more than just suggestive imagery? Does it represent lost innocence, perhaps? Am I overthinking it?
The only question I have an answer for is the last one, and I believe the answer is, “Yes.”