Johnny Carson and that Icy, Midwestern Stare

When I was growing up in Nebraska, the favorite son was, and probably still is — Johnny Carson — he made it big in late-night television and he and his estate have donated millions of dollars to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  I was always terrified watching Johnny Carson because I knew what few others outside of Nebraska knew — he was a cunning and cold man, and if you needed any evidence of such, you need only look into his steely, dead, eyes.  Carson had cruel, killer, shark eyes — and his message was not “I’m warm and friendly!” but rather, “Watch out; and leave me me alone!”

He’d rather kill you than kiss you.

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The Birth of The Birth of the Blues in Performance

In my article — American Folklore and the Blues Black Cat Bone — we discussed the song “The Birth of the Blues” in the comments stream.  Today, as an important follow-up to that conversation, I want to take you a little deeper into the birth of “The Birth of the Blues” in performance because it is an interesting watershed song.

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