WUMB January Program Guide

Some Special January Birthdays….

Happy New Year! We’ve made it out of 2020!! Let’s all spread around positive vibes for a better 2021. January is a pretty remarkable month for birthdays.  Elvis Presley, Phil Everly, Cat Power, Richie Havens, Warren Zevon, Lucinda Williams, Justin Townes Earle AND his dad Steve Earle just to name a few.  Expect to hear a lot of musical celebrations on WUMB all month long, but these are two of my favorite artists born in this first month of the year.

Jan 6 – Earl Scruggs was born on this day in 1924. He passed away at the age of 88 in 2012.
Anyone that has picked up a banjo (myself included) remembers the first time they heard Earl Scruggs play. His groundbreaking three finger picking (now called Scruggs style) playing took the banjo from a mostly background rhythm instrument to one worthy of solo status. HIs agility, rhythm and staggering speed is really astounding and oh so joyful. Many generations past and undoubtedly many future generations of banjo novices will practice til their fingers bleed to be just a fraction as able as Mr. Earl Scruggs!

Here he is at his best with his partner Lester Flatt…Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Jan 19 – Janis Joplin was born on this day in 1943 She passed away at the very young age of 27 in 1970.
Like so many deeply talented artists, Janis had a difficult childhood. She was bullied in school for everything from her appearance to her outspoken and freespirited ways. From great pain comes great talent I think, though I wish those two things didn’t go hand in hand so often. Taking inspiration and influence from great blues artists Bessie Smith and Lead Belly that her “outcast” friends turned her on to, she found the perfect vehicle for her powerful singing voice.
It’s hard to believe she’s been gone for 50 years and only left us with a few albums.

Here’s her famous performance in 1967 at Monterey Pop of Big Mama Thornton’s Ball & Chain. Cass Elliot’s reaction says it all!

Happy Birthday to you if you’re a January baby as well!

~ Randi

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