Well, a new year has begun and it is time for the traditional year in review. It has been an interesting year for me. I didn't start the blog until late April, and to be honest I was taken by surprise at how popular the blog became from day one. I guess I never planned for this to become such a hub for blues information, but that is exactly what happened. My plan was for this blog to be a resource for my students at Buena Vista University who are taking my blues history class. However, the blog took a life of its own, and now it has become a nightly release for me. I guess the blues can chase the blues away, and I really feel that this blog has really helped me get through a tough year. writing about the blues, which I love, has also helped me to meet a lot of great people over the last year. From artists, agents, record label owners, and lots, and lots of fans of the blues. I always enjoy getting emails or comment from people about the blog, and I try to post anything sent my way.
The end of the year totals for the blog really blew me away. From the last week of April to the end of the year we had 17,055 hits, 25,602 page views, and excluding my hometown from the hits list, New York, Chicago, and LA had the most hits for the year! Worldwide After the US Canada, and England, came Spain, France, Germany, and Brazil. I espeically want to thank Marcus in Brazil, and Blouboss in France who have helped to promote my blog in their countries!
For the month of December we finally broke and stayed about the 3,000 hit mark, and finished the year with a rolling 30 day average of 3192 hits, which equals out to over 100 hits a day! The most popular page is still the front page, but of the top ten pages Taylor Hicks has five of them. I owe a lot to the Taylor Hicks fan clubs who have really promoted this blog on their message boards. Taylor has without a doubt the most loyal fans of any blues/soul/R&B artists today. I really think that other blues artists need to look at what he is doing on the net, because the internet is the future of the blues Click HERE for Taylor Hicks posts. Another popular page has been anything done by the late Steve Goodman, especially anything about the Cubs. Go Cubs Go easily made the top 10 this year on the blog Click HERE for Steve Goodman Posts. Perhaps the surprise of the year was the interest in Frank Sugar Chile Robinson, the 8 year old blues prodigy from the 1940s. Frank resurfaced this year to play a few festivals. I hope that he continues to play so that more people can hear him Click HERE for Frank Sugerchile Robinson posts.
The Internet radio station is rolling along. December was the best month yet. November had sagged a lot so I was going to end the station, but since December was so good I will keep it going. However, when you do listen be sure to vote, or rank the songs, I am planning on adding some songs, and I want to get rid of the unpopular songs so help out if you can.
2007 brought the deaths of many beloved blues performers, some way too soon. Here is a list of those who left us since May 1st. If I missed anyone let me know and I will add them to the list.
Ike Turner, Cotton Candy, Jerry Ricks, Oscar Peterson, Wilson Turbinton, John Turner, Oliver Morgan, Richard Bell, Carey Bell, Gary Smith, Gary Primich, Edward Berner, Sonny Day, Jimmy Nelson, Bill Perry, and Joe Duskin. To read more about them Click HERE.
My plans for next year is to keep on providing news, and videos of the blues. I also hope to add a little more history of the blues as well. I am also looking to relocate. being stuck here in the middle of nowhere has some major disadvantages. I have received a lot of great invites to festivals, award shows, and gigs, but it is tough to get away from here sometimes. I am looking at the coasts, and certainly Chicago. I used to live in Kansas City, and I could return that way if the right job was there. I am an historian, and I am certified to teach K-12 Art, and 7-12 US and World history. I have a masters in history so I can also teach college level history. So if any of my readers find something that I could do to get me back to the big city, I would greatly appreciate it!