Saturday, July 23, 2005


British blues pioneer Long John Baldry died Thursday in Vancouver, B.C., where he'd lived for the past 25 years.

This article from Canadian Broadcasting describes his career and the enormous role he played in leading the early 1960s British blues scene that by the end of that decade became British rock and roll.

The article briefly mentions the voiceover work Baldry did in children's entertainment later in his career. You can hear him read "The Original Story of Winne the Pooh" on iTunes, where you can also purchase his early, astonishingly eclectic, album Everything Stops for Tea. It's a patchwork of Delta blues, Appalachian folk, gospel, ragtime, and English music hall, and includes a version of the New Orleans classic "Iko, Iko" that pretty much says it all about 1960's England trying to grok American folk music.

For Baldry's strongest blues performances, hunt for the 2005 re-release of his 1971 album It Ain't Easy, produced by Elton John and Rod Stewart.

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