The Age of Unimpressions

There was a time, not too long ago, when you could have a career impersonating celebrities. You could make your way, pay your mortgage, live a life — by not being just as talented as those you impersonated, but by being more talented than they — because you had to be at least as good as the star you were impersonating to faithfully match their power! In the 1960’s and 1970’s you would often see impressionists on mainstream, broadcast television. Frank Gorshin — of Riddler Batman fame — was so much more than a comic book character. Gorshin had the ear for sounding like other famous people. Rich Little was another staple entertainer of my childhood — doing impressions of stars of yesterday, who are all now long faded, or dead — but Rich’s talent was so great that he became just as famous as those he sounded alike.

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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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