The following letter is in response to Dan Willging’s feature article “Getting His Due” [October 2018] about the legacy of Caesar Vincent.—Ed.
Caesar was my great-grandfather’s brother. He was known as a raconteur et chanteur (story teller and singer). My great-grandfather died in 1965 and we drifted apart as families do. Then because of a shared interest in genealogy, cousins started finding each other and in some instances we knew each other but didn’t realize we were all part of the Vincent family. Anytime we got together Nonc Caesar was always a topic of discussion and right before several older family members passed away they were able to tell us more about Nonc Caesar. Then I ran into Barry Ancelet [Cajun folklorist and expert in Cajun music and Cajun French] and asked him if he would like to know more about Caesar. Barry met with the family and then discovered his recordings and off he went and did what he does better than anyone else! Our family is so appreciative of his efforts and the efforts of all of the musical talent that will bring this important legacy as an infusion of new very very old French music! Thank you for this wonderful article!
—Kevin Reese, Scott, Louisiana
The following letter is in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog post “Needed: A Different Type of Business Leader” [March 2018] indicating that every musician and band is a business and an entrepreneur.—Ed.
I have been working in the local music industry since I was 17—I am now 44. I absolutely love music; it has brought me through so much. I have to watch bands struggle to make ends meet and not be able to do what they absolutely love because there is no money in it. I am not in this industry to be a millionaire. I have been booking shows and not making any money but I’m not complaining at all. I do it because I love music.
I agree with everything you said in your blog. I am extremely interested in helping in any way I can to make it possible for musicians to actually make some money doing what they love.
—Crissy Babin, Gulfport, Mississippi
Banned by the Grammys
The following letters are in response to Chris Thomas King’s open letter saying he’s been banned by the GRAMMYs.—Ed.
Chris, I’ve known your family since before you were born. Your Dad was the real thing. A couple of things: You are from Baton Rouge. Forget Jagger/Richards/Clapton. They ripped off a lot of black people and their music. Ask Irma Thomas about “Time Is On My Side.” Stay with the real blues. Forget Adele covers. You don’t have her voice. Forget African-American. You are an American. Forget the race card. Get off the plantation. Forget the Grammys. They mean nothing. Play the blues. Blues came from the entire Delta area, including Mississippi. Nothing else matters.
—Bob Vernon, Personal Manager for Nathan Williams, Lafayette, Louisiana
The bottom line here Thomas King is offended he got removed while Jagger gets celebrated. There are many problems with blues organizations, programmers and profiteers—people who want to promote blues as anything with feeling—to the mainstream rock audience. Which is erasing what blues was in favor of the rock audience. Thomas King is right on some of these points. However, he exhibits a tone deaf attitude when his record, taken as a body of work is a scattered mish-mash of genres that I wouldn’t consider on my blues radio program. What are serious issues in the blues world he makes serve him as the marginalized artist. Selfishly too, I might add. The bottom line, Hotel Voodoo (yes, I’ve listened to it) is not a blues record per se. It’s a mainstream record that goes from genre to genre. To not acknowledge that his artistic product doesn’t fit well within the blues standard shows a remarkable lack of insight. This is just ‘I’m pissed you booted my record while Jagger gets his ring kissed therefor you are being racist.’ A tone deaf temper tantrum.
—Stephanie Levine, Long Beach, California
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