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roy buchanan

destins de musiciens

In September 1959 French discographers and blues enthusiasts Jacques Demetre and Marcel Chauvard flew to New York to begin an exploration of the land of the blues (...). Their next stop was Detroit, where they interviewed many previously little-known blues artists. (..) From Detroit they went on to Chicago. (...) Amongst the artists they succeeded in contacting were (...) the great Kokomo Arnold, once a major Decca recording artist, a superb singer and a brilliant slide-style steel guitar guitarist. Mayo Williams, for many years one of the principal recording executives in Chicago, guided them to Arnold, who was very surprised at their wanting to interview him. By the time they returned to see him on their last day in the city he was prepared to tell them his story, although he stressed that he had no desire to make records or perform again. He was happier working in a steel factory and struck to his resolve, despite various attempts to induce him to return. He passed away in November 1969 without having recorded again. (It has been reported that he did make some tapes for Willie Dixon, but this is unconfirmed.)
Another achievement of Demetre and Chauvard’s Chicago visit was the interview they held with Elmore James, the only one conducted before Elmore’s tragic death in May 1963 at the age of 45. They also took a number of photographs of Elmore ; very few others are known to exist. James, always an ellusive person, died before he could reap much benefit from the blues revival. European blues lovers were denied the pleasure of seeing Elmore perform, but his music is carried on by his cousin Homesick James and artists like Hound Dog Taylor.
Bob Groom, The Blues Revival


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