Thursday, February 19, 2015

look at that Mississippi River

Writer and teacher William Zinsser


musician Keith Richards

talk about the same thing, in their books:  music coming "up the river" from New Orleans to Chicago.

In Easy To Remember:  The Great American Songwriters and Their Songs, Zinsser writes, about the songwriter Hoagy Carmichael --

"He also listened to the jazz that was coming up the river from New Orleans to Chicago."

Richards, in his autobiography Life, writes --

"Our thing was playing Chicago blues; that was where we took everything that we knew, that was our kickoff point, Chicago.  Look at that Mississippi River.  Where does it come from?  Where does it go?  Follow that river all the way up and you'll end up in Chicago."

Hoagy Carmichael was listening to this "music from downriver" in the 1920s.

Keith Richards and the other Rolling Stones were learning and listening in the 1960s.