Tuesday, July 31, 2007

RIP Oliver Morgan and Jimmy 'T-99' Nelson

I spent this past weekend at the Pocono Blues Festival and return home to learn via the net that two more performers of blues and rhythm music have passed.

Sad to hear that Jimmy 'T-99' Nelson died. The blues shouter had been a resident in Houston for half a century. He recorded some wonderful blues for Modern Records in the early fifties including "Meet Me With Your Black Dress on," and "T-99 Blues". The latter number was a reworking of "Honeydripper Blues", best known by Roosevelt Sykes. Nelson was inspired and influenced by Big Joe Turner and in recent years had produced some fine recordings for Bullseye Blues and other labels. I never had the pleasure to see him perform.

Oliver Morgan was known for the recording "Who Shot the La La". A New Orleans singer and entertainer, he was a fixture at JazzFest times and I did have a chance to see him at JazzFestPonderosa Stomp where he did his best known song. Allen Toussaint recorded an album by him that was issued on NYNO in the nineties. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune obituary by Keith Spera, "In nightclubs and at the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, he performed with his trademark second-line umbrella. He was among the first to incorporate this jazz funeral accessory into a nightclub act, and never hesitated to lead a parade." He left New Orleans for Atlanta after Katrina destroyed his 9th ward home and had not performed since Katrina. He is pictured at the 2004 Ponderosa Stomp and the guitarist is Irving Bannister, the highly underrated Crescent City string bender

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