Newson Center, Clarksdale, Mississippi

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Today’s song from Clarksdale, Mississippi, the birthplace of the blues and rock n’ roll.

Bobo Jenkins.

Bobo Jenkins.

Thinking about Bobo Jenkins on the day he passed in 1984, “Democrat Blues” was one of his best known songs.  He wrote in on election day in 1952, while Eisenhower was being elected. Bobo, who was working in Detroit at the time, explained that it was really a song about the Great Depression and the especially hard economic times that plagued the poor during Republican administrations.

(from the RILM BLOG)

Bobo said, “I was workin’ out to Chrysler…and I sat down at the end of the line and wrote that song…The whirrin’ of the machines gives me the beat. It’s like listening to a band play all day. Every song I ever wrote that’s any good came to me on the assembly line.”

In 1954, with the help from John Lee Hooker, he went to Chess Records with his new song. “So I goes to Chicago with my guitar and a little amplifier, and the man says ‘What you got now? Usually everybody comes from Mississippi and brings a hit with them.’ I said, well, ‘I’m from Mississippi.’ See, I was lyin’ ‘cause I was livin’ in Detroit, but it sound good to hear it.”

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