Sam Myers: The Blues Is My Storyrecounts the life of bluesman Sam Myers (1936-2006), as told in his own words to author Jeff Horton. Myers grew up visually handicapped in the Jim Crow South and left home to attend the state school for the blind at Piney Woods. Myers's intense desire to become a musician and a scholarship from the American Conservatory School of Music called him to Chicago. There in 1952 he joined Elmore James's band as a drummer and was featured on some of James's best-known recordings. Following the elder bluesman's death in 1963, Myers fronted bands of his own and recorded many well-received singles and albums. In 1986, Myers became the W. C. Handy Award-winning front man, vocalist, and harmonica player for Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets.
Throughout the book, Myers provides a historical context to a bygone era of the blues and reveals his own thoughts and feelings about the musicians with whom he played. And they are a list of who's who in the blues-Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Hound Dog Taylor, and Robert Lockwood Junior in addition to Elmore James. In one chapter Myers describes a personalized deeper meaning to the blues. And in another he relates a series of anecdotes about the lighter side of life on the road.
Contributions from Myers's father and stories from a boyhood friend round out the narrative. Dallas musician Brian "Hash Brown" Calway dissects the more technical aspects of Myers's harmonica style. Long-time friend and bandmate, Anson Funderburgh, weighs in with a chapter about their songwriting methods and offers some of his own recollections on their twenty years together.
An award-winning and prolific musician and singer Sam Myers wrote and recorded what was to be his most famous single, "Sleeping in the Ground," in 1956. He toured all over the U.S. and around the world with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets. Jeff Horton is a blues musician and journalist active in the Texas blues scene. His work has been published inSouthwest Bluesmagazine.
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