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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Voice

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A True Blues Story...
Willie Pooch was a true bluesman, perhaps the last of a generation and indisputably "Columbus' Godfather of the Blues."  Willie passed on May 5th and his funeral was, to quote Eric Lyttle of The Other Paper, "a true celebration of his life,  filled with family, friends, and song."  According to our friend Herb Sollars of the Columbus Blues Alliance (CBA), it was a standing-room only event with everybody there who's anybody or has anything to do with the Blues around here.  "It was packed," he said.  Wonderful sentiments were expressed -- beautiful music played -- appropriate scripture was read:  ashes to ashes, dust to dust, all very nice.  But what had been a beautiful service, befitting the man, seemed to end rather abruptly.  The undertakers at the Diehl-Whittaker Funeral Home on East Long Street in Columbus came in and closed and sealed Willie's casket and wheeled it away.  As the huge crowd filed out and spilled into the parking lot, everyone was expecting to get into their cars and follow the hearse and procession to the graveyard.  But then -- there was a problem:  the funeral home was refusing to release the body because the bill had not been paid.  It seems Willie's family was planning on using two life insurance policies to pay for the expenses, but it turned out both had been cancelled years ago.  Those bastards   wanted their money before the burial could take place.  (I swear I'm not making this up.)   Herb learned about "the problem" first and ran into Sherri Fuller and told her.  That was all it took.  If you know Sherri and Ray Fuller, you know they are two of the nicest people you're ever going to meet and Ray is one of the most talented, hardest working bluesmen in Columbus.  Well, it turns out that Ray is also one of the biggest Willie Pooch fans in Columbus.  Seems he's been going to see Willie perform since before he was old enough.  "He was my hero, my friend, my mentor.  I had the good fortune of playing a lot with him in the later years," said Fuller.  What happened next could only happen amongst good friends, good people and it demonstrates the rare loyalty and respect found within the blues community.   (Again, I'm not making this up.)  Out came a credit card, and Ray Fuller payed that bill of $8,510 to the funeral home.  "I didn't think twice," said Fuller.  "I said let's get this show on the road"  And so the burial of Willie Pooch was back on.  "This was the family of my late musical friend and bandmate.  I didn't want them to be put through this," Fuller declared.  The rest of the story:  The card was swiped, the escort service was called back, and the procession to Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens on East Broad Street proceeded.  Ray and Sherri Fuller had stepped up to help.  Now it's your turn to step up and help Ray and Sherri back.  A benefit concert to help them recoup the cost of the funeral will be held this Sunday (July 11) at The Roadhouse 66 Bar & Grille in Worthington, Ohio. (Columbus)  Ray Fuller and The Blues Rockers will perform, along with Terry Davidson & The Gears, Long Tall Deb & The Drifter Kings, The Frank Harrison Group and Willie Pooch's band, The Upsetters, featuring Rick Collura (IMO the best guitar player in Ohio and beyond).  All proceeds will go toward repaying the Fullers and anything over the $8,510 will go to Willie's family.  This is not just another benefit.  This is our
chance, as the Blues community to pull together to help these wonderful people who were there for Willie and now they need YOU to be there for them.  You see, the Fullers are not rich people, and they can't afford this any more than you could.  WE need to dig deep to help them, to raise some serious dollars and show how the Blues community can pull together when the need arises.  "The music enabled Willie Pooch in many ways, financially and spiritually," said Sollars.  "He lived the Blues and he died the Blues.  It will be good to see the Blues community pull together to help him go with the dignity he deserved."  
So GO TO THIS BENEFIT IF YOU CAN. 
 
If you can't go, you can still do the right thing:  send your check (made payable to "Ray Fuller")  to the CBA office at 1350 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 10D
, Columbus, Ohio  43212
 
Let's show the world how much Willie and his music meant to us and reward the Fullers for their random act of kindness.
 
IF YOU CAN GO:
WILLIE POOCH BENEFIT
The Roadhouse Bar & Grille
SUNDAY, July 11, 2010
3PM -9 PM
480 E. Wilson Bridge Road
Worthington, Ohio
Doors at 2PM
Minimum Donation: $15
the Sports Page
something I'll bet you thought you'd never see from me
 
 Send Swish!! 
 
Parkersburg Hometown Hero
Needs Your Votes
To Send Him To His First
MLB All-Star Game
 
Nick Swisher needs your votes.  With only 2-days left to vote, YOUR votes can put him in the starting Out Field position for the 2010 All-Star Game.
 
Vote NOW and enter for the chance to win 2-tickets to a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium, plus the opportunity to meet an All-Star nominee on the field prior to the game.
 
Although Parkersburg High School grad Nick Swisher was not one of the 33 American League All-Stars announced on Sunday, he still has a chance to become the 34th and final member of the AL squad that will play in the July 13th game in Anaheim, CA.   Swisher is in his 6th MLB season, but has nevermade it to the All-Star Game (so far).  His father, Steve Swisher made the NL roster in the 1976 All-Star Game as one of the Chicago Cubs  -- so if Nick makes it this year, it will be only 13th time both a father and son have made it to the game.  Swisher is having a great year:  his batting average is his highest ever (.293), and he had 3-hits Sunday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.  But Nick faces some stiff competition for the position.  That's why he needs YOUR VOTES  (You can vote ANY number of times).  I'm hoping each of you will help Nick by voting at least 25-times in the next 2-days.  Please encourage your family and friends to do the same.  It's exciting to have a good guy from right here in Parkersburg playing for the World Champion New York Yankees.  Wouldn't it be great to have a PHS grad on this year's AL All-Star Team?
 
Here's How To Vote:
* click on "Send Swish" logo
* click on "vote now" button
* fill out form and vote only for Nick Swisher
* click "Vote NOW"
REPEAT as many times as you want -- the more the better. 
 
Voting ENDS Thursday, July 8th at 4PM.
and as they say in West Virginia:
"Vote early and vote OFTEN!"
         
Court Street Grill Report
Support your local juke joint.... 
Court Street Grill, 112 Court Street,  Pomeroy, Ohio  
740-992-6524                   www.courtstreetgrill.com 
  
 Announcing the PB&J's Annual
 Rhythm on the River
Summer Music Series
and
Big Bend Farmer's and Artisan's
Market
EVERY FRIDAY
outside at the Riverside Amphitheatre
Downtown Pomeroy, Ohio
MUSIC LINEUP 
June 25:  The Ark Band
July 2:  Eilen Jewell
July 9:  The Coal Men
July 16: The Athens Jazztet
July 23:  Albert Castiglia
Aug 6:  Bryan Lee
Aug 13:  Davina and the Vagabonds
 
Don't Forget:
BIG BEND BLUES BASH
coming July 29-30-31
 
About The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society
www.bjfm.org           P.O. Box 2122, Marietta, Ohio  45750
 
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3  all-volunteer "force" of music enthusiasts on a mission to enhance the appreciation of American Roots Music in the Mid-Ohio Valley and we do it by presenting concerts, workshops, conferences, and a forum for education and development in the schools. 

The BJFM Society celebrates and perpetuates blues and roots music as a traditional, evolutionary, and uniquely American art form. During the grant period, we will continue to present live music in genres not normally available in a small town like ours, to educate and expose our audiences to music new and unfamiliar to many of them.  Our goal is to keep blues, jazz and roots music alive in our area.

With the help of volunteers from our membership, and an
8-member board of directors, the BJFM Society will continue to produce and present our "core events" plus other shows throughout the year as the opportunity presents itself.  The BJFM Society has also undertaken the expense of production and presentation of the nationally recognized multicultural "Blues in the Schools" program  here in our local schools
 
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society Board of Directors:
John Bolen - President
Steve Wells - Vice President, Director of "Blues in The Schools"
Peg Bolen - Treasurer
Maren Beery - Secretary
John Gifford - Board Member, Competition Director, Stage Manager
Helen Holt - Board Member
Mary Ann Osborne - Board Member
Kezia Douglass - Board Member

 
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music SocietyP.O. Box 2122
Marietta, Ohio 45750
304-295-4323

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