Bonnie's Pride and Joy

Fansite with ALL the news about Bonnie !

Bonnie Raitt – Why I Sing the Blues

Produced by Gail Pellett with the Red Tape Collective

on January 15, 1974 No comments

Production Company: The Women’s Hour – The Red Tape Collective
Presented by: WBCN – Boston

tip: most convenient way to listen while browsing along is to use the popup button of the player.

In the first ten minutes of the program we hear cuts from John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt and Arthur Big Boy Cruddup along with Memphis Minnie. We also hear Bonnie talk about where her interest in the blues came from and how she chose music making over finishing university and hear about her thoughts on the blues revival of the late 60’s.

Bonnie Raitt Interview, The Real Paper/Ear Book, Oct. 24, 1973 © Jeff Albertson

Bonnie Raitt Interview, The Real Paper/Ear Book, Oct. 24, 1973   © Jeff Albertson

In this music laden half-hour program, a young Bonnie Raitt, at the early stage of her long and consistent career – ready to release her 3rd album under a new label, Warner Bros.– talks about how she became a blues musician and singer, how she turned anger about women’s experiences into a creative force and ruminates on the waxing and waning of the blues revival.

Never Into Judy Collins, but loved John Lee Hooker

“I grew up in California during the Surf music era but I was into Soul music. When I moved East to go to college (Harvard) I arrived in the midst of the folk music revival.  I was never into Judy Collins, but I loved Mississippi John Hurt.  I really loved John Hammond and John Lee Hooker even better.”   Bonnie began singing in 1969 and 70 while at Harvard playing in the folk clubs around Boston and Cambridge.  “Perhaps my initial success came from the fact that there were very few women blues musicians — really no women blues guitarists — so I fit into a slot.  Kinda like a gimmick.”

“I didn’t want to go back to school and I didn’t want to become a secretary until I really had to.”

The blues revival was the result of a few white middle class guys from the Northeast driving around the South meeting and recording the old blues guys.  “Many of them were unemployed or working at menial jobs and had been ignored and forgotten for years.  Some were practically starving.  I make a living at playing this music now, but it makes me sick that most of these folks are so underappreciated.”  Bonnie has performed with the great Sippie Wallace (“Women Be Wise” at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival; check out the Classic Women Blues radio show on this site) and learnt bottle-neck guitar from many of the old Delta blues musicians.  In her live concerts she always gives credit to those musicians and their music.

Bonnie is outspoken about her anger as a woman and talks about the importance of turning that anger outward and putting it into music.  This program is rich with both the music that inspired her and her own recordings. We hear John Lee Hooker,  Arthur Big Boy Cruddup, Memphis Minnie, Big Mama Thornton and Sippie Wallace among others.

Bonnie Raitt & Sippie Wallace - Ann Arbor Blues Festival (Ann Arbor, Michigan) 1972 © Charlie Auringer

Bonnie Raitt and Sippie Wallace – Ann Arbor Blues Festival (Ann Arbor, Michigan) 1972   © Charlie Auringer


Source: © Copyright Gail Pellett Productions

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bonnie's Pride and Joy on Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Farm Aid 2021 – September 25 in Hartford, Connecticut ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook


Location : Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California, USA.
The General Sherman Tree is the world's largest tree, measured by volume. It stands 275 feet (83 m) tall, and is over 36 feet (11 m) in diameter at the base. Sequoia trunks remain wide high up. Sixty feet above the base, the Sherman Tree is 17.5 feet (5.3 m) in diameter.

It is estimated to be around 2,300 to 2,700 years old.
... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Timeline PhotosStanding watch over the Sierra forests for thousands of years, the giant sequoias are yet another awe-inspiring sight to behold in Yosemite Mariposa County! 📷 by @colbyoutdoors

📰 | (how to visit Yosemite the summer)

#YosemiteNation Visit Gold Country Visit California California High Sierra
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

Timeline PhotosRed Lake Treaty Camp is calling for urgent help. They woke up to movement as their digging getting closer to the river.

“We need people to Red Lake Camp. The equipment they moved yesterday is now moving and working on the side near the river. We need water protectors to come stand in solidarity with us to protect the water and our treaties.”

Riverside Cemetary thief river falls is best GPS coordinates to follow on maps.

11750 MN-32, Thief River Falls, MN 56701, USA
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

2021 Blues Foundation Hart Fund Benefit ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook

What Makes This Singer Great? Bonnie Raitt ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook

Load more

Recommended Reading

Falling in love with Bonnie Raitt for the first time

Falling in love with Bonnie Raitt for the first time

November 10, 1971

Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt Helm B.B. King Grammy Tribute

February 16, 2016

Jerry Garcia Band with Bonnie Raitt, Berkeley Greek 8.30.1987

September 1, 1987

CMT Crossroads Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett – The Factory – Franklin – TN

December 15, 2005

Norton Buffalo Dies

November 1, 2009

Bonnie Raitt’s Blues

November 9, 2015
Will McFarlane

Talking with Guitarist Songwriter Will McFarlane

November 2, 2009

Stephen Bruton one of Austin’s best guitar players passes away

May 9, 2009

Bonnie Raitt attends the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert at MSG – NY

October 30, 2009

Review: James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt deliver summer night delight at DTE

August 9, 2017