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C.C. Rider

C.C. Rider the Venerator: Etta James

Jamesetta Hawkins was born to a Los Angeles prostitute, brought up by an abusive preacher, tossed around foster homes. And was just a teenager in 1954 when she scored her first chart-topping hit. It all moved pretty fast after that…

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C.C. Rider

C.C. Rider the Venerator: Hubert Sumlin

Remember this name: Hubert Sumlin. You’ve heard his incredible guitar sound. All that started when Hubert was just eight years old, and he broke the one string on his brother’s homemade guitar…

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C.C. Rider

C.C. Rider the Venerator: Sonny Terry

Sonny Terry never thought about a music career. He did well in school, and liked farming. Wanted to grow up, continue his education and have his own farm. But by 18, two separate accidents left him completely blind. All that was left for him job-wise was music…

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C.C. Rider

C.C. Rider the Venerator: Koko Taylor

She was born Cora Walton, but she loved chocolate so much she changed her name to Koko. Growing up outside of Memphis, she and her husband “Pops” Taylor set off for the North to look for a new life. And boy did Koko and Pops Taylor find it…

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C.C. Rider

C.C. Rider the Venerator: Ray Charles

Ray Charles shook up the nation when he took sacred music and made it sexy. There’s one track he wrote that’s the real kicker. Changed everything. See, it’s a little bit o’ gospel, a little bit of rhumba, a little bit of r&b. It’s also a whole lotta sexy…

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C.C. Rider

C.C. Rider the Venerator: David Bromberg

As a college student in the 1960’s, a young guitarist named David Bromberg found himself smack dab in the middle of the folk blues revival. And ended up living a life all the rest of us blues fans could only dream of…

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C.C. Rider

C.C. Rider the Venerator: Charles Brown

Unlike your stereotypical blues man, Texas-born Tony Russell Brown, called Charles, was highly educated. He graduated from college with a degree in Chemistry. Taught science and worked as an electrician and an engineer. A scientist through and through—he was also a classically trained pianist…

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C.C. Rider

C.C. Rider the Venerator: Jimmy Reed

In the 1950s a young singer named Mathis James Reed failed his audition for Chess Records. He was a popular musician around Chicago, but his simple playing and straightforward songs didn’t wow the execs. Chess Records would go on to regret that they didn’t sign Jimmy Reed…

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