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Son Seals Was the Real Deal

Son Seals is the real deal. He was born in Osceola, Arkansas, where his dad owned a juke joint called The Dipsy Doodle Club. According to Wikipedia, Seals got his start — as a drummer — with the famous bluesman Robert Nighthawk. Indeed, Seals played drums quite a bit during his career, including during a stint in Albert King’s band.

Seals moved up to playing what the site described as “a local upper echelon club” in Osceola with Little Walter. He rubbed elbows with blues folks such as Bobby Bland, King and others.

His break came when a club owner in Little Rock came to Osceola to ask Little Walter to play a gig. Walter declined, and Seals got the job. He eventually settled in Chicago and was signed by Alligator Records. His debut album, “The Son Seals Blues Band,” was released in 1973.

AllMusic’s profile describes the life of a man who has the right to sing the blues. Bill Dahl writes that Seals had “his share of hardship, bad deals, unemployment, and rip-offs that go on in the music business.” He also was shot in the jaw by a former wife and lost his left leg to diabetes. Neither stopped him, though he largely limited his appearances to the Chicago area as he got older. He passed away in 2004.

Above is “Don’t You Lie to Me” and below is “On My Knees.”

Wikipedia and AllMusic were used to write this post. Homepage photo: Lionel DeCoster.

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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