Farewell, Bossman

Monday, 03 March 2014 11:22 AM Written by 

If there was anything that might bring BlueNotes out of retirement, even temporarily, it would have to be a big deal.

Unfortunately, it's also a sad deal.

It's the death of Porky Chedwick, whose music was probably more responsible than anything else for the sounds that would eventually become the soundtrack of life for BlueNotes.

Those of you who read my blog with any regularity during it's brief lifespan here know that I often mentioned growing up in the Burgh and coming of musical age listening to the Daddio, his patter, and most of all, the glorious music he brought to life in the Pittsburgh area.

The R&B, doowop and blues that Porky played seemed to be the music that I was meant to hear as a teenager, and it was pretty clear that lots of other kids felt the same way. As I grew older, my tastes shifted occasionally to jazz and pop, to rock (back when it was called rock 'n' roll). I added albums by Johnny Mathis and Errol Garner and Nancy Wilson and Elvis to my collection, but I always returned to something like "The Midnighters Greatest Hits" or Jimmy Reed or even the Platters (all still on my iPod) when I needed to connect with something more basic.

I met Porky once, late in his life, and told him briefly that he was responsible for my musical tastes and that it had provided me with years of enjoyment. He seemed to like that, but I'm sure he heard that from most everyone who had moved and grooved with his music.

Thanks for the ride, Bossman. You had a fine and long one. I'm sure those of us who caught the fever will never let the music die. 

 (If you haven't already seen it, I'd recommend this fine post on Porky by Rich Kienzle on his Get Rhythm blog.)

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