George Jones

… died a year ago today.

Jones was an acquired taste for me, one I acquired well after the peak of his popularity — though I can actually remember when someone first identified him for me on the radio 50 years ago — a male Billie Holiday in his ability to convey the emotion of a song — and I do consider that the highest praise.

This essay about Jones — and so much more — is simply incredible. If you’ve read nothing else about the singer, read this by Tom Junod.

George Jones, Mama, and Me

McKinley Morganfield

… was born 99 years ago today. We know him as Muddy Waters.

And how important was Muddy Waters to early Rock?

You’ve heard of The Rolling Stones, and “Like a Rolling Stone,” and Rolling Stone magazine. All named for Waters’ early hit, “Rollin’ Stone.”

Muddy Waters transformed the soul of the rural South into the sound of the city, electrifying the blues at a pivotal point in the early postwar period. His recorded legacy, particularly the wealth of sides he cut in the Fifties, is one of the great musical treasures of this century. Aside from Robert Johnson, no single figure is more important in the history and development of the blues than Waters. The real question as regards his lasting impact on popular music isn’t “Who did he influence?” but – as Goldmine magazine asked in 2001 – “Who didn’t he influence?”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame