Jack Dappa Blues Heritage Radio Archive Date 101117
Lamont Jack Pearley
On this show my featured guests are TJ Wheeler and Mrs. Shirley King. We will discuss Tj’s long tenure of work in Blues Music and history and Mrs. Shirley’s Book and the legacy of her Father BB King!
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Tj Wheeler – Tj Wheeler is a treasure of American Roots music, or better put, a living, one man Juke Joint! He performs his gumbo of Blues, Jazz, Ragtime and more on a wide variety of instruments, including the 7 string guitar, Ukulele, Tenor Banjo, 1 string Diddley Bow, Tap percussion, nitty gritty vocals & Kazoo! As a soloist or with his band, Tj takes his audience to the Blues of the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans second line jazz to his own contemporary blues and jazz original compositions.
Tj brings these musical genres to life in his inspirational & interactive performances and education programs. Students from schools K -12, universities, and all ages audiences at Blues, Jazz & Folk music festivals around the world have been enlightened by Tj’s knowledge of the history & stories behind the music as they are about his talented and passionate performances.
Tj’s workshop/concert, residency program Hope, Heroes and the Blues has been performed for over 450,000 students throughout the world. Tj often utilizes modern computer technology in making special multi-media presentation of his award winning educational programs and has won accolades from such diverse sources as Blues Revue magazine, Teaching Tolerance magazine, and the Boston Globe.
Currently, Tj also sits on the Board of Directors of the FRIENDS OF THE HAMPTON FALLS BANDSTAND INC.
Shirley King – the blues singing daughter of B.B. King has earned Shirley King the title “Daughter of the Blues,” but she is an outstanding singer and performer in her own right.
Her father’s career exposed her to the company of great singers. Born and raised in Memphis, Shirley began singing in the church choir at age nine. When she was 13 she met another music legend – Etta James. Young Shirley was so impressed by Etta’s performance that she made Etta her musical role model. Ruth Brown and the late Mahalia Jackson also greatly influenced the fledgling singer.
She says, “I grew up around the stage watching my dad become famous, but I never imagined I’d become a blues singer too.” Ms. King came late to the blues, first trying it on in 1990. Within six months, she was a regular performer at the Kingston Mines. Two years later she saw the release of her first CD, “Jump Through My Keyhole” on the Japanese GBW label.
Once her father caught her act he lent his full support to Shirley’s efforts at carrying on the blues tradition. She admits that having a legendary father helped her get through doors, but it was her talent, charisma and high-energy stage presence that got her invited back. From traditional blues to gospel to funky R&B to smooth soul, Shirley defies genre and her singing and stage antics will fire you up!