RIP Odetta, RIP Chico Banks

Posted on: Thursday, Dec 4, 2008

NEW YORK — Odetta’s monumental voice rang out in August 1963 when she sang “I’m on My Way” at the historic March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.

She had hoped to perform again in Washington next month when Barack Obama is inaugurated as the nation’s first black president. But the acclaimed folk singer, who influenced generations of musicians and was an icon in the civil rights struggle, died Tuesday after battling heart disease. She was 77.

http://tinyurl.com/65lkro

http://tinyurl.com/6z5m4g

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RIP Chico Banks: Word just came to us from Michael Freeman of Coachouse Industries that the young Chicago blues guitarist Vernon “Chico” Banks passed on December 2, 2008. He was 47. He was the son of legendary guitarist Jesse Banks (of The Mighty Clouds Of Joy), and he represented a younger generation in the Chicago Blues scene that mixed elements of rock and funk into the blues. He has performed and/or recorded with Willie Kent, James Cotton, Mavis and Pops Staples, Little Milton, Magic Slim, Big Time Sarah, Buddy Guy, Melvin Taylor, Freddie Roulette, Otis Clay, and others, as well as being a star in his own right. A popular hometown attraction with an international reputation, Chico will be greatly missed. There was no additional information available at the time of this writing.



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Grahame

December 4th, 2008 at 18:05
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Reading about Odetta in the Telegraph today and was interested to find out she was once married to Louisiana Red. Pete, you must have seen Chico Banks in Chicago, a bit of a rocker like Carl Weathersby? RIP to them both.

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Pete Evans

December 4th, 2008 at 21:55
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Yes Grahame. I saw him on my first trip to Chicago in 1997 when he played with the late Willie Kent – a cracking night and a superb guitarist. He also played at the Chicago Blues Festival, can’t remember the year, and he played a great acoustic set.
One of the more under-rated of the Chicago guitarists I think. Great shame.

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Grahame

December 5th, 2008 at 09:07
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Here’s a couple of Chico Banks links . . . his MySpace (not yet updated) . . .

http://www.myspace.com/chicobanks

. . . and a piece from a Chicago blues blog . . .

http://todayschicagoblues.blogspot.com/2008/12/sad-news-chico-banks-passes.html