Interviews with Blues Artists on the Records That Move Them
Blues Artists discuss the recordings throughout their lives that impacted them deeply. A sound biography, as it were.
In this column called AUDIObiography©, take a glimpse into the listening life of musical artists from first memories until the present. We’re including YouTube links for easy access to each of the artist’s choices. Enjoy listening to each and every record as our interviewee recollects songs that earmark significant times of his or her life!
Our second installment of AUDIObiography©, dear reader, features the memories and musings of multi-instrumentalist Billy Flynn. One of the hardest working men in the blues, Billy is an active member of no less than three successful bands: Cash Box Kings, Kim Wilson’s Blues Review and Mark Hummel’s Blues Survivor’s. He is also a longtime instructor for the Chicago Blues Camp sponsored by our bBlues Note publisher Chicago Blues Network. Check out Billy’s instructional videos and register for lessons at the camp….
As a freelance guitarist, Flynn is one of the go-to guys in all of Chicago blues; heard on dozens of recordings of notable artists and can be seen sitting-in live with dozens of blues ensembles. He is also a prolific recording artist in his own right having written and waxed many cds under his own leadership. His self-produced cds capture the raw sound of early recordings in their simplicity but they are magnificently mixed and evocative of great blues records of old… not to mention his all surf-instrumental music offering of originals that capture the spirit of the late ‘50s-early ‘60s West Coast surf band sound in all its glory. For a down home blues guy, Billy Flynn has a w-i-d-e sound palette.
Let’s take a trip with Billy down his record listening path and see what we come across in his AUDIObiography©.
PETER M. HURLEY: Hey, Billy, so glad for you to join me here. I mentioned in my last column that you regarded Oscar Wilson as the “human juke box” but I think it takes one to know one. You, too, are well versed in music recording history and I’m going to love hearing some of it during our interview.
BILLY FLYNN: Well, I’ll be glad to go there. Music is my life as far back as I can remember.
PMH: Great. And as far back as you can remember, what was your first audio memory of a record or performance?
FLYNN: Well it had to be Elvis, probably in ’56. [See Elvis on Ed Sullivan Show, click here]
I remember distinctly the buzz around the house about this performance on tv as it was coming up or as it was happening. What made it even more heightened was that someone in our house was sick that night and there was a sense of urgency with a doctor in our house. What I can’t remember was whether it was me or my older brother who was sick!