On Superharp and a Duck-walk

Rest In Peace, James “Superharp” Cotton, and Chuck Berry.

We lost another great founding bluesman last Thursday, James “Superharp” Cotton at the age of 81. He recorded with many of the great Sun, Chess, and Stax bluesmen as well as loads of solo work. Rest in peace, James Cotton.


Here is one from the early days at Sun, circa 1954. Catalog number 206. Many think that this is one of the first examples of hard-rock guitar.


One of the greatest blues harps of all time.

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RichTAkes! on the Beatles, 50 Years Ago Today

Fifty years ago today, I was 7 1/2 years old, I didn’t give the Beatles invasion much thought. I wasn’t really into music much at all, but I remember liking the Tokens cover of  The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and Neal Sedaka’s Breaking Up Is Hard to Dobeatles-apple

This was cutting edge rock and roll at the time. Gramps had fun making fun of the Beatle’s haircuts, and the lyrical stylings of “yeah, yeah, yeah”   

I didn’t pay much attention to all of the Beatle-mania surrounding us until years letter when I heard “Paperback Writer” and didn’t know who did it.

It was fifty years ago today

Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play

They’ve been going in and out of style

But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile

So may I introduce to you

The act you’ve known for all these years

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Fifty years ago today, the Beatles landed in New York and launched the British Invasion.

We needed invading. A little background:

 Elvis was drafted for service in the armed forces in 1958. In 1959, rock&roll died.

In 1964, rock and roll was nearly dead. The pop scene featured some doo-wop and girl-groups, but mostly a lot of “folk”, since the music industry decided that’s what the kids liked, and they pushed tunes like “Puff, the Magic Dragon” images of the Opium Wars be damned. 

The Beatles held five out of the top five spots in Billboard’s Hot 100.

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The GSA: Government Services Agency

The Government Services Agency

began in 1949 under Harry Truman, acting on the report of the Hoover Commission, which former President Hubert Hoover headed. It’s purpose was to to stream-line and reduce costs for federal building maintenance,  leases, transportation (including the Federal motor pool) and other mundane yet neccesary purchases which keeps our government functioning daily. Overall I’d say that they have performed their duties reasonably well over the last 60 years or so. I can’t say that for their performance over the last decade or two.

Recently the Western Region Public Buildings Services divsion (PBS) of the GSA held a “Training” conference in Las Vegas, and ran up around $832,000 worth of spending in three days. We the People spent this money on mind-readers, clowns, and $44.00 per person breakfasts.  I’m pretty sure I can get a prime rib dinner for $45.00 per person. Four dollar per shrimp shrimp cocktails, too. They also held a music video contest, a portion of the winning video is shown here:

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