Liven up another boring workday with your weekly dose of Tuesday Bluesday! This week: Queen of the Blues
Okay, so a lot of people don't consider the great Dinah Washington a "blues" artist in the strictest sense of the word, but many people do, because she lived a tortured and extravagant life, married 7 times, battled weight problems, and died of an accidental drug overdose at age 39 despite being one of the most talented singers of her time.
That's some serious Blues cred in my book. Plus, she was also one of many women to be popularly referred to as "Queen of the Blues."
Now that we've got her resume on file in the HR department of the Blues, let's check her experience.
You might expect a song called "Drinking Again" to be a back-slappin', Budweiser-slammin' good time, but Washington's sober entrance builds to a grander - if not more heart-wrenching - finish that, as brassy as it may be, portrays the fate of those who leave the bar each night with only memories.
Here's another cheery one about pawn shops, graveyards, and other Blues-type stuff that real people deal with on a regular basis. Again - it's brassy, classy, and crisp with an ever-steady piano narrating the story, but you can hear
And then there's this - even Dinah's version of "The Good Life" is somber and wistful, almost mocking in its sensibility.
But we're not going go out on a downer, because it's Tuesday morning and Friday is still oh-so-far off and we need as much help as we can to get there without losing our minds. You might remember this remix of "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" from the early part of this century, so re-acquaint yourself with the sassier, sexier side of Ms.
Tuesday Bluesday appears in the Erie Reader every Tuesday and is about the Blues, which is lucky, because if it didn't and/or it wasn't, the title would be all wrong. But it does and it is, so check in each week for words, moving pictures, and sounds intended to remind you of the rich legacy of this unique, ubiquitous, American, African, ancient, contemporary musical art form that has somehow managed to influence, well, every musician for the past 100 years. Slip your thoughts into the suggestion box by emailing cVaillancourt@ErieReader.com, or find Cory Vaillancourt on Twitter @VLNCRT.