Things on the music scene

Justin Johnson with the legends of Sun Studio.

There’s always something happening in the world of music that catches my attention. Last evening we watched a great CNN special on the 1960s and The British Invasion. In one clip Ed Sullivan told of booking the almost unknown group for three appearances on his TV show for a total of $10,000. That’s bargain basement stuff!

sullivan beatles
Feb. 9, 1964 the Beatles debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Speaking of the Beatles, CBS is airing a 2-hour special, The Night that Changed America, on February 9th to mark the exact 50th anniversary appearance of the Fab Four in America. The program airs at 8 pm EST so if you’re not glued to the Winter Olympics you may want to tune your local CBS station in that evening. My cigar box guitar playing friend Justin Johnson will soon be leaving for a two month musical tour of Australia and Tasmania. Justin is recognized as possibly the best CBG musician in America and has a large international following. The Australian music magazine, Rhythms, just published a piece on Johnson along with his down under tour schedule. Justin also just

finished his latest CD project. A two-volume album of roots music titled, Smoke and Mirrors, that celebrates the past, present and future of the cigar box guitar.

Blind Boy Fuller
Blind Boy Fuller

I don’t know how many blind blues players there’s been but there is no shortage of famous musicians who carry Blind as part of their nickname. Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willy McTell, Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Blake are but a few. Recently I heard Blind Boy Fuller doing an up tempo piece called Rag Mama that caught my ear. The Band did a number called Rag Mama Rag but it’s not the same tune. Lastly, Playing for Change has released another project, Episode 83, featuring Congolese musician Christian Bakalanga.

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