Cover for CUSHING: Blues Before Sunrise 2: Interviews from the Chicago Scene. Click for larger image
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Blues Before Sunrise 2

Interviews from the Chicago Scene

Face-to-face with the blues, one more time

In this new collection of interviews, Steve Cushing once again invites readers into the vaults of Blues Before Sunrise, his acclaimed nationally syndicated public radio show. Icons from Brewer Phillips (talking about his days with Memphis Minnie) to the Gay Sisters stand alongside figures like schoolteacher Flossie Franklin, who helped Leroy Carr pen some of his most famous tunes; saxman Abb Locke and his buddy Two-Gun Pete, a Chicago cop notorious for killing people in the line of duty; and Scotty "The Dancing Tailor" Piper, a font of knowledge on the black entertainment scene of his day.

Cushing also devotes a section to religious artists, including the world-famous choir Wings Over Jordan and their travails touring and performing in the era of segregation. Another section focuses on the jazz-influenced Bronzeville scene that gave rise to Marl Young, Andrew Tibbs, and many others, while a handful of Cushing's early brushes with the likes of Little Brother Montgomery, Sippi Wallace, and Blind John Davis round out the volume.

Diverse and entertaining, Blues Before Sunrise 2 adds a chorus of new voices to the fascinating history of Chicago blues.

"In this entertaining and informative collection of interviews, [Cushing] showcases many facets of the Chicago blues scene." --No Depression

"By asking insightful questions and letting the artists speak for themselves, Cushing manages to bring to life the excitement of by-gone eras, and shines a light on the impact of obscure artists as well as known legends across several musical genres . . . Highly recommended!" --Blues Blast Magazine

". . . it would be difficult to find a figure more responsible for introducing a deeper appreciation of the blues to a wider audience. Blues Before Sunrise: Interviews From The Chicago Scene is not a casual book about the Chicago blues scene, but it is an indispensable one for hardcore fans and scholars." --Chicago Blues Guide

"Rarely are sequels better than the originals, but Blues Before Sunrise 2 is a happy exception. Cushing delivers another truly significant contribution to the blues literature."--Edward Komara, editor of Encyclopedia of the Blues

Steve Cushing has hosted Blues Before Sunrise for forty years. He is the author of Blues Before Sunrise: The Radio Interviews and Pioneers of the Blue Revival.

Listen to source interviews from Blues Before Sunrise 2

  • Abb Locke - When Howlin' Wolf met Chicago's notorious "Two-Gun Pete"
  • Little Brother Montgomery - Hoboing in his youth
  • Red Maddock - Days with Chicago singing pianist Billy Samuels
  • Grady Freemen - A Blues Comedy of Errors
  • Mrs Cosey - Writing a hit song for Louis Jordan
  • Clarence Small - Always rehearsing with 'Wings Over Jordan'
  • Brewer Phillips - His "adopted" mother Memphis Minnie
  • Robert JR Lockwood - Jailed and released a richer man
  • Roosevelt Sykes - Hearing himself on record for the first time
  • Scotty Piper - The Mayor of 47th St and the 1919 race riot

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