Fanmail for Jimmy Louisiana Dotson jan11


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Fanmail for Jimmy Louisiana Dotson

An eighty year old blues guitarist who can bark like a dog and meow like a cat, who could resist that?  Last Wednesday we welcomed in our morning program KPFT Open Journal a living blues legend: Jimmy Louisiana Dotson. Sonny Boy Terry brought Jimmy to our attention and came along to play and talk about the blues. It was a morning that everything went wrong. The day before I had forgotten my laptop in the newsroom at KPFT so I decided to come in early to finish the scripts for the program before the hosts were arriving.

I was lucky because although no-one who was also early had a key to the newsroom it wasn’t locked and my laptop was still there. But then the printer failed us. With only two minutes left before 8 am I ran upstairs to the newsroom again to start the computer, which always takes more time when you have less of it. But before Duane and Marlo run out of things to say, I was in the studio with the scripts.

Sonny Boy Terry was already in the coffee-room/kitchen/meeting room at KPFT. I never know what to call it, only during our membership drive it has a widely acknowledged name: pledge center. We start again January 15, but that is another story. Jimmy was on his way, Sonny said. So we waited with anticipation and thought already about plan B in case we would have to improvise. But just when the song of the Day was started our honorable guest arrived in the parking lot. Jimmy is not an great walker anymore so it was not easy to get him in the studio as fast as we wanted.

Once he was seated and had caught his breath the show was on. He even played a brand new song he had written the night before especially for KPFT. So sweet. I guess we will replay that during the pledge drive. Jimmy does not do covers, he only plays his own work. At the end he gave our hosts thank you-cards, still wrapped in their cellophanes. Jimmy said I did not sign it but you know it is from me. I thought it was a bit odd, but OK he is 80 years old, you have the right to be a bit odd, isn’t it? But Marlo, our own southern belle said that is an old southern custom. You give the card, so the other person knows your intention. But you don’t sign it, so it can be used again. Smart thinking and very ‘green’ avant-la-lettre.

Friday night we went to the Big Easy to hear Jimmy Louisiana Dotson again. We are definitely a fan, I hope he will live forever.


-to be continued.