I’m Talking About the Wives of the Artists We Love and Has Gone to Soul Heaven
What happened to the widows, the companions and the lovers of the artists that have gone home? As I sit and prepare this column for you, the late great Ambassador of the Blues, Mr. Bobby Blue Bland comes to mind.
The more I pen this, the more I hear him saying “This Time I’m Gone for Good”. But my question is, now that he’s gone for good, what’s going to happen to his wife, Mrs. Willie Mae Bland? Will the industry’s personnel stand by her or leave her sitting alone like a whatnot on a shelf? Please don’t get it twisted; I’m not saying she is in need for assistance, financial help, guidance, direction, insurance or another musical track. What I’m asking is, how many promoters, band members, booking agents and so called friends will pick up the phone now to ask Mrs. Bland, How are you?” or “Do you need anything?” or “Would you like to have lunch?” Will they send her a card to just say hello or a pair of tickets to an upcoming concert or play?
Sadly, she is not alone. What about these widows: Anna Coday (Bill Coday), Ann Davis (Tyrone Davis), Pat Campbell (Little Milton), Bettie White (Artie “Blue Boy” White), and the widows of Johnnie Taylor and Marvin Sease along with so many others? Why do I ask? Because as I’m sitting here enjoying their husband’s music, I found myself wondering how they are doing.
How quickly they are forgotten once their husbands are Gone for Good. I think of how sad it is. I receive so many phone calls that requests their husbands’ music but no one has ever asked,” Do you ever see or talk to his wife?” or “How is his wife doing now?” So why is that? Do we feel that these ladies are not important, and didn’t play a vital role in their husbands’ career, business or life? I do know of one of these widows that works to keep the bond between the wives going and that’s Anna Coday. So many times Anna is arranging, setting up and keeping the lines of communication going to help make sure that these wives are not forgotten.
I know that Mrs. Coday has kept her husband’s name and music alive by: 1) Changing the name of their record label from B&J Records to Coday Records in memory of her late husband Bill. 2) By having some of her husband’s music covered by her artists like Karen Wolfe (I Don’t Wanna Play These Games) from Bill Coday (Epic 1975) and soon to be released a cover of Bill Coday’s signature song Get Your Lie Straight originally released on Crajon Records in January 1970 and later leased to Galaxy 777. 3) She is s
Pat Campbell is still making appearances and promoting Little Milton’s Catalog. Willie Mae Bland is doing well and still handling the affairs of Bobby Blue Bland. A source has reported that Ann Davis is in the hospital after having some surgery there in Chicago, IL at the time of writing this article. Bettie White said that she is just now starting to do things again, that it has been real hard since the passing of her husband Artie White. Mrs. White stated that her husband was her everything and because he had been sick for a while, her life was centered on the care of her husband. At this time she is unsure what her next steps will be, although she have been considering a few options: (1) Signing some artists to their label Achilltown Records, (2) Making some appearances to keep her husband name and music alive. Mrs. White said that she has been in the Memphis, Tennessee area with her sister since the burial of her husband, but is now back home and preparing to get back out there. Mrs. White said that she will keep me informed as to her decision and I will keep the readers of the Jefferson Blues Magazine ‘N-Da-Kno’.
What I would like to do is have all of the wives that can guest appear on my show N-Da-Kno with Jazzii A. Video Show to answer the question “Where Are They Now?” The show will tape on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 with an air date of Sunday, December 22, 2013 on Comcast Cable 31 for West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas and Northern Mississippi which has the viewing potential of 1.3 million viewers. For all that do not live in the viewing area will be able to watch the show on demand at: www.ndakno.com or www.wndk.biz starting on that Sunday, December 22, 2013 to bring everyone up to date. This will be Christmas with the wives of the Southern Soul and Blues Legends that are ‘Gone For Good’, something that has never been done before for this genre of music. The format will be like MTV’s ‘Where Are They Now’, but with the focus being on the widows and not as much about the artists.
F.Y.I. Tidbits for N-Da-Kno with Jazzii A. Bobby Rush turned 80 years old on Sunday, November 10, 2013. (Happy Birthday Bobby!) Heritage Entertainment presented a night of Women In The Blues Concert to help Mr. Rush celebrate his birthday. Performing artists were the Queen of the Blues - Denise LaSalle, Karen Wolfe, Sheba Potts-Wright, and Sweet Angel. The event took place at the Resort Casino in Tunica, Mississippi on Saturday, November 9th. On Sunday November 10 the celebration continued with a Red White and Blues Festival in honor our Veterans and Bobby Rush on his birthday. Performances are scheduled by MiLaJa Records’ Gospel Recording Artists B`enir, Reverend Ralph White, Bobby Rush, Latimore, Otis Clay and a Mystery Guest Artist.
Bobby Rush and his Review will perform at the 19th Annual Lucerne Blues Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. The festival dates are November 9, 2013- November 17, 2013.
N-Da-Kno with Jazzii A.
Video Show is doing very well on Comcast Cable 31and on demand at: www.ndakno.com and www.wndk.biz. To view the show On Demand click on the Videos/E-TV Tab and you will be able to view every show that has been aired. Be sure to tune in with me on my radio station www.wndk.biz, on TuneIn Radio, Shoutcast Radio and other online carriers under WNDK Radio for Southern Soul and Blues Music 24 hours a day, Seven days a week. There you are able to request your favorite Southern Soul or Blues Artists.
Next year’s Jus’ Blues Music Awards are scheduled for July 30, 2014 thru August 2, 2014. Schedule of events are:
July 30 & 31 – Blues Got A Soul Youth Workshop Series & Retreat, Blues Trail Tour, Youth Bar-B-Que on the Great Mississippi River, Classroom and Artist Mentorship.
July 30th – President’s VIP Reception
July 31st – Night of the Living Legends (2014 Jus’ Blues Music Awards)
August 1st –Blues Got A Soul Technology Conference
August 1st – Jus’ Blues Dance Workshop Series
August 1st – Jus’ Blues Celebrity Golf Classic
August 1st – Jus’ Blues Friday Night Juke Joint Concert and Party
August 2nd – Jus’ Blues Dance Workshop Series
August 2nd – 2nd Annual Jus’ Blues Legacy Ball “The All White Affair”
This is all of the information that I have at this time, so more for more information please contact Charles Mitchell or the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation at: 1-678-403-1993 or visit their website at: www.jusblues.org.
Please mark your calendars for the following festivals:
The Blues Is Alright Tour 2014
Blues On the River – Little Rock, Arkansas (April 2014)
Tri-State Blues Festival – Desoto, Mississippi (August 2014)
Delta Blues Festival – Greenville, Mississippi (September 2014)
As we prepare to close out another year 2013, I would like to wish each and every one of my readers, listeners and viewers a Happy and Safe Holidays. I truly thank each and every one of you for your continued support and special thanks goes out to Mr. Anders Lillsunde and the rest of the Jefferson Blues Magazine family for allowing me to be a part of the World’s Oldest Blues Magazine family that is still in print today, and I look forward to another great year in 2014.
In the next issue I will have an in-depth interview with the first Juke Joint Southern Soul Blues Rapper Black Zack, to get a feel of what it is like being a Rapper on the Chittlin Circuit vs Mainstream. So until the next time, I am your “Gyrl” the one and only Jazzii A.