I Am the Blues (2015) - full transcript

I AM THE BLUES takes the audience on a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta and Moonshine soaked BBQs in the North Mississippi Hill Country. Visiting the last original blues devils, many in their 80's, still living in the deep south, working without management and touring the Chitlin' Circuit. Let Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Lazy Lester, Bilbo Walker, RL Boyce, Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes, Lil Buck Sinegal, LC Ulmer and their friends awaken the blues in all of us.

[dramatic music]

[energetic harmonica]

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[breeze blowing softly]
[birds tweeting]

- [Jimmy] Worked on
a farm all of my life

until I finished the
eighth grade in school.

Knocking down beds and
rows for to plant cotton.

I tell everybody I was
growed up in the Blues.

There's a whole lifetime
story I could tell you,

but I guess I better
break it off like that.

One time, I tried to get
an audition with B.B. King,

but he couldn't put up no
room for me to stay nowhere.

So I just went back
home and went to work.

Rattlin' round in the fields and

started working in the woods.

Out in the woods, I cut timber
off of the Mississippi River.

And that was some hard work.

$5 a day.

If I worked five days,
I had $30 that week.

Sometimes we had it hard,
and sometimes we had it good.

All the good days
wasn't but bad days.

All the bad days wasn't but
good days, but anyways...

I'm still here a-pluckin'.

Pluckin', pluckin'.

Anything can give you the blues.

I heard a preacher say
that, and I believe it too.

You maybe go to work on Monday.

"Ooh, it's a blue
Monday, I feel so bad."

That's the blues.

Don't you think so?

[bluesy guitar music]

♪ Hard times is here
and everywhere you go ♪

♪ Times are harder than
they ever been before ♪


♪ You know that people
they all driftin' ♪

♪ From door to door ♪

♪ But they can't
find no heaven ♪

♪ I don't care where they go ♪


[men conversing
over one another]

Tre, don't you be like that.

["Hard Time Killing
Floor Blues"]


♪ If I ever get up off
this old killin' floor ♪

♪ I never drop down
this low no more ♪

♪ I'll never drop down
this low no more ♪

♪ No, no more ♪

♪ I said now, Papa,
lordy Mama, so and so ♪

♪ Oh, Papa, oh,
lordy Mama, so low ♪

♪ Papa, oh, lordy
Mama, so, so low ♪

♪ Papa, oh, lordy
Mama, so, so low ♪


["Cross Road Blues"
by Robert Johnson]

♪ I went to the crossroad ♪

My birth name was
Jimmy Charles Holmes.

Or Jimmy C. Holmes.

And it sound a lot
better blues-wise

to call me Jimmy "Duck" Holmes,

the Bentonia blues musician.

I've been running the Blue
Front myself for 43 year.

This was the place
in my younger days.

This time of year, this
time of day on Saturdays,

the black guys or the ladies,

they got through with the
field work this time of week,

they would come
to the juke-joint,

likes to drink, dance, have fun.

And they called it juke.

At one time, the place
was full of musicians.

And you didn't have
to schedule nothing.

They'd be standing
sometime in line

with a guitar on their back

or a harmonica in their pocket.

And they play it well.

Sometimes they made
a little tip money,

and sometimes they play
for a drink of liquor.

Just depend.

[patrons talking faintly]

And then Muddy had stolen one of

Howlin' Wolf's guitar players.

I know about it.

And Howlin' Wolf told him,

"You ever steal anything else
from me again, I'll kill you.

"That day, you dead!

I say, "What? "

Let me tell you something
about Howlin' Wolf.

I played with him.

Howlin' Wolf was a mean man.

You know who was meaner?

Howlin' Wolf was
scared of Jimmy Reed.

Oh, he was?

They got into it all the time.

- [Man In Blue] Oh, okay.

I'm glad I wasn't in all that--

I been through some stuff.

I could sit down and tell it.

- [Man In Blue] I hear you.

You see that truck
sitting yonder?

That truck ain't gonna
run unless it's in time.

That's right.

That's right.

You the truck driver.

It get out of time,
what's it gonna do?

It's gonna miss and jerk.

Come on and talk to me.

If it get too bad
it ain't gonna run.

Every piece of music that
you got got to be in time,

and I kept my music
in time for 40 year.

First song I learnt,
you know what it was?

♪ Wore my .44 so long ♪

♪ Made my shoulder sore ♪

♪ Come in last night ♪

♪ Laid down cross my bed ♪

♪ Woke up this mornin', I
ain't wear that .44 no more ♪

♪ Made my shoulder sore ♪

Y'all feel like
playing a little bit?


Man, are you, I ain't never...

Let's go hit a chord, if
you want to hit a chord.

I wanna hear you play.

No, I wanna hear you play.

[mellow music]

♪ I'm gonna leave you ♪

Come on, step into
the thing, man.


♪ I got everything in one hand ♪

But this have always
been a juke-joint.

- [Man Offscreen] It
ain't been nothin' else.

Nothin' else but that.

There wasn't
nothin' before that.

It was a juke-joint.

We talkin' about the
Chitlin' Circuit.

This was the Chitlin' Circuit.

I'm gonna tell y'all something.

If you come to hear
anything but the blues,

you got time to leave.

That's all I'm gonna play.

It's the last of a kind.

When I say last of a kind,
I do mean last of a kind.

Because the young people got
the same thing we have now.

They have the blues.

They got police brutality
and all the gangs and what.

They're still havin' the blues.

But it's another form or
fashion they're havin' it.

They still have some hard
times, but in their way.

- [Man In Blue] I
can learn from you.

[train horn blowing]

[mellow music]

[man vocalizing]

♪ Emmett sat down by the bay ♪

♪ Not far from Orleans ♪

♪ Papa tell my
mama said pack up ♪

♪ We gonna leave
this city if we can ♪

♪ I was just a little
bitty boy, y'all ♪

♪ And by the age of five ♪

♪ Didn't know what
was goin' on then ♪

♪ I was too young to realize ♪

♪ Tight money ♪

♪ Uh-huh, uh-huh money's tight ♪

My name is Emmett Ellis.

I changed my name to Bobby Rush.

I said, "That
sounds good because

"it sound like one syllable."

Nobody call me Bobby.

Nobody call me Rush.

Everybody call me Bobby Rush.

♪ Tryin' to find
a good job y'all ♪

♪ Just so hard to find ♪

♪ Tight money ♪

Let me tell you something.

The road is my company.

The road is the best thing
that ever happened to me.

Because I create 90%
of my writing alone,

on the road, when I'm driving.

Especially when I don't
have no pen or paper.

Everythings come.

But this is where I write
at, this where I create.

When I'm alone, I'm driving.

I listen to some records.

Very seldom I listen to radio.

But I listen to records.

Some old records,
some new records.

You know, everything
I wanna listen to,

everything I think I wanna hear.

I find it in records,

and I play it and I
reminisce and wish and hope.

And this where I get my
ideas from, you know.

This one, the best thing could
happen to me is the road.

[cell phone chimes]

The road is my thing.

I'm doing some taping.

I can't talk now.

I'll call you back
when I get through.

Grandchildren, grandchildren.

When I first started to play
in Chicago in the early '50s,

I had a job at the Squeeze Inn,

what paid me three
dollars a night.

And at the Cotton Club
in Argo, Illinois,

I would get six
dollars a weekend.

Six dollars for Friday,
Saturday, Sunday.

Six dollars.

That's two dollars a night.

And I was paying the
band about eight dollars.

I'm talking about
the whole band.

I was paying Freddie King
a dollar 50 cent a night.

- [Interviewer] He was your
guitar player back in the day?

Oh, yeah.

First night, how we got the
gig, we did an audition.

We played for the sandwiches.

The man would fix
us four sandwiches.

And that's a hamburger.

We played for a hamburger.

And I would give the
guys 50 cent apiece.

Then we got so good, the guy
would give us eight hamburgers.

I would sell three of
them and eat the others.

And I got so good, he would
give 12 hamburgers a night.

We would eat four and sell
the others, for 20 cent.

That's our money.

So we were workin' for, The
Chitlin' Circuit wasn't no joke!

That was the Chitlin' Circuit.

Now we had moved up from
chitlin' to hamburgers.


[electric blues]

[crowd chattering]

[man speaking under music]

I ain't gonna pay for that.

[applause, cheering]

- [Crowd Member] Yeah!


I was born in a little place

called Homer, Louisiana,
Haynesville, Louisiana.

But my people's
from Mississippi.

I left my hometown in 1947.

Went to Pine Bluff, Arkansas,

with my father who
was a preacher,

pastor of a church.

1951, I moved to Chicago
and I stayed there

for 47 and a half years.

I've been recording
this year for 60 years.

I have 326 records.

This coming November
10, I'm 81 years old.

[up tempo harmonica]

[audience applauding]

♪ Girl you got a
cute little old car ♪

♪ But you got too many
drivers at your wheel ♪

♪ You got two men
in the daytime ♪

♪ Three mens at night ♪

♪ The men that been
drivin' your car ♪

♪ They won't treat your
car right, no, mama ♪

♪ You got too many
drivers at your wheel ♪

♪ You got one man
doin' you like this ♪

♪ Two doin' you like that ♪

♪ Three when you like this ♪

♪ And four when you
bend over like that ♪

♪ Hey, Mama ♪

♪ I can't ride in
your automobile ♪

♪ You got a cute
little old car ♪

♪ But you got too many
drivers at your wheel ♪

[audience applauding]

- [Emcee] From
Alligator, Mississippi,

recently back from Mexico,

here is Robert "Bilbo" Walker.

We're goin' way back.

Something I recorded years ago.

We're goin' way
back to it tonight.

Since I'm a one-man band,

I gotta go back to
the one-man stuff.

♪ I was standin' by my window ♪

♪ When I heard my bulldog bark ♪

♪ He was barkin' at the
two men who gamble ♪

♪ In the dark ♪

♪ Billy cried ♪

♪ "Oh, Stagger Lee, oh,
I don't go for that" ♪

♪ "You done win all my money ♪

♪ And my brand-new Cadillac" ♪

[audience applauding]

[loud horn blows]

I wouldn't mind
having that thing.

I used to play right up
the street there years ago.

Right around that corner there.

Tutwiler, Mississippi.

[men chattering, laughing]

Hey, buddy.

[men talking over one another]

What's goin' on,
everything good?

[talking over one another]

Holla before you leave, now.

I'm-a holla before you leave.


- [Rush] Tutwiler
just a few miles

from Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

Tutwiler and Mound Bayou is
a combination of two town

that were dominated
and controlled

and run by black peoples...

and blues peoples.

[bluesy harmonica]

It's got a great history

especially for the blues

and the black people who
played the blues in this area.

You migrated all across,

because you come here to
be free and play the blues.

Because when you played
the blues for the club,

it was black people
playing the blues

and black people
owned the clubs.

And the black people
were the mayor

of the town who run the town.

Including the gambling
games and the whole bag.

You come here to, to be free!

Just like escape from something
that you was tied up in

and come here to be free.

Free at last!

I'm across the border line.

I can do what I want to do.

But tomorrow, you go
back across that line

and you go back to
the cotton fields

where the white people own them.

You got to work
and slave for them.

But Mound Bayou was a place,

Tutwiler was a place that
was pretty much owned

and operated by black people,

with their own land.

[sprinklers hissing]

[people chattering]

[blues music]

♪ Ain't no woman ♪

♪ By my bed ♪

Is it all right?

[man mumbling]
[men laughing]

See, that's my band.

When it hit me, it hit me.

I don't hold mine.

[bends note]

See what I mean?

♪ I want♪

♪ The lord get a hold of me ♪

Come on.

I get movin', man.

I can't hold it.

I get movin', man.

[blues music]

♪ One of these old days
I want you to come ♪

♪ Hold me ♪

♪ I might fall ♪

♪ Can't help myself ♪

♪ Sometimes you see my eye ♪

♪ And sometimes you can't ♪

I been here

all of my life.

What I got, nobody give me.

I mean nobody.

You know what I'm saying?

Here we come.

I played with Bobby Bland,

Albert King, Little Milton.

I was overseas when
Little Milton passed.

I was way away from here.

I played with Jessie
Mae Hemphill a lot.

I was Jessie Mae's
drummer back then.

I try to do what I can.

You know what I'm saying?

Anytime y'all come
down through here,

this is where we party.

Right down through
the trailer park.

Everybody around through
here, we know each other.

You know, all of us get along.

How about it, buddy?


What you doin', Buddy Brown?

Break it down, brother.

The dog is out!


Let me tell y'all something.

When I do my blues,

it come from my heart.

I go home every
night of my life--

I don't want nobody, I
mean nobody, to bother me.

When I go home and get into
my bed, I drink my whiskey.

I sit down, I say, "Lord,

"will you give me
one more chance

"to get up in the morning?"


- [Man Offscreen] All right.

[slow blues]

♪ My baby left me ♪

♪ Moved to the city ♪

♪ You know she ain't
comin' back now ♪

♪ And it worries, worries me ♪

You know, that's
what they want now.

They want you to go to,

bring back the sounds
of way yesteryear.


When you was in
the cotton field,

with one britches leg
rolled up when you come out

and one britches leg down.

And I'll come to your house

and sit on your porch till
11 o'clock at night singing--


With my own guitar.

And you get yours.
That's right.

Then maybe another fellow will
come up from over the hill.

That's the way it went.

That's right.

And the next morning,
they'd be in the field early

and they didn't think
about no sleep much.

But they were singing
them songs about--

♪ Oh, hate to see that
evening sun go down ♪

That's right.

That's right.

♪ I know when it
come the weekend ♪

♪ My baby doll she
won't be around ♪

That's right.

They would always go
in the evening time

to one another's
house and meet up.

That's right.

People loved one another then.

That's the truth.

You get on the porch and
you may sing a church song.


♪ Some glad mornin' ♪

That's right.

♪ When this life is over ♪

♪ Oh, I'll fly away ♪

♪ To a home where the
joys shall never end ♪

♪ I'll fly away ♪

♪ Oh, I'll ♪

♪ Fly away, oh, glory ♪

♪ I'll fly away ♪

♪ To a home where the
joys shall never end ♪

♪ Will fly away ♪

♪ Oh, I'll ♪

♪ Fly away ♪

Boy, them women like that!

They be cooking all-night long!

That's the truth.
Most of 'em.

- [Man Offscreen] Amen.


Okay, there it is.

[soulful blues]

A lot of people say I
had my own style, too,

'cause I created...

See, I let my thumb do my bass.

Years ago, that's
how I was born to...

Not to say born, but that's
how I ended up doing it.

A lot of guitarists,
a player would ask me,

"How do you do that?"


♪ Oh, yeah, baby ♪

♪ Been so long ♪

♪ So long ♪

♪ Been so long, oh, baby ♪

♪ I never knew love like this ♪

♪ Could be so strong ♪

♪ The things that I see in you ♪

♪ That make me love you more ♪

♪ So good ♪

♪ You're so good ♪

♪ You're so good, so good ♪

♪ Baby, you're so good ♪


When I first started out,
I had a right-hand guitar,

and I had to strung
it up backwards.

In fact, male
musicians would help me

and show me how to
string up my guitar.

So I was playing upside
down for a long time.

Yeah, I was a young girl.

I guess I was about,
I think about 20.

My dad said, "I don't
think Barbara is ready.

"She's still green
behind the ears.

"Even though she's got
this hit record going. "

He said, "I think you
should travel with her.d"

So my mother quit her job.

She quit her box factory
job to travel with me.

That's right.

I'll never forget.

She came and met me at
the Apollo in New York.

And she took the
Greyhound bus there.

She finally got there
on the Greyhound bus.

Ever since then, she
started traveling with me.

And she went everywhere.

People like B.B.,
and all of them,

was calling her "Mother dear"

'cause they'd hear me
call her "Mother dear. "

Yes, indeed.

Oh, that song took
me everywhere.

[man shouting]

[people chattering]

[marching band
playing in distance]

My mom sent me to the store.

She said, "Sonny, go
to the store for me."

She called me Sonny for short.

"Go to the store for Mama."

I said, "Okay."

So I go to the store and get

butter or sugar,
whatever she sent me for.

After I went to the store
and I was on my way back...

There was two big
shots had passed

by in a great big
Fleetwood Cadillac,

and they throwed something
out the window into the ditch.

I said, "I wonder
what that was."

I see them throw something out.

So when I walked on
and got near where

at the spot where
they throwed it out,

I looked down in the ditch.

It was a cigar box.

I said, "Wow, that might
be just what I need.

"Maybe I can make me
a guitar out of it."

[mellow music]

So I brought the box on home.

Cut me a hole in
it and glued it up.

Took me some rosin
and melt it and

got some soot out the chimney

and stirred it up, and
that made it black.

So I painted my little
cigar box black.

I said,

"Now I done made that part,
what I'm-a do for a keyboard?"

So I go out there
to the picket fence

and snatch one of
the pickets off

the fence and makes
me a keyboard.

And after I made the keyboard,

I said, "I don't have
any tuners on that."

So I went and got me some
small pieces of hickory wood.

And I hewed it down with glass.

I didn't have
tools to work with,

so I used broken
glass to hew it down.

♪ Why was I born in
a Mississippi town? ♪

♪ Black man has to work
just like a slave ♪

♪ Black man in Mississippi ♪

♪ Might as well be born dead ♪

So around 12:00,
there come my daddy.

He always come home at
12:00 to eat his lunch.

So he tied the horse
to the gatepost.

I hear the sound
that his tail made

going through the air
when he's swishing it.

So I said, "Well, maybe,

"it made a sound like that,

"maybe it'll make a
sound on my guitar."

I goes out there and
pull out one strand.

The horse looked around at me.

I said, "I ain't
gonna bother you.

"I just want one
strand of your hair

"out your tail, Mr. Horse."

I put it on there
and played a little.

Well, it popped.

It gone.

So I go back and I pull another.

And I pull another
and I pull another.

I wind up pull a great big
bald spot in that horse's tail.

I said, "Well, now
I know I gonna get

"another whuppin' about that."

But my dad had got a couple
shots of that old corn liquor.

It went straight to his
head, and he went out there

and jumped up on its
back like Roy Rogers

and went out through
the woods wide open.

He didn't pay no
attention to him,

so that's the only reason why

I didn't get no
whuppin' that day.

♪ When a little
black baby was born ♪

♪ Doctor had to smack
him so he could cry ♪

♪ Thought the little
baby was livin' ♪

♪ That when the baby died ♪

♪ You know my way ♪

♪ Oh, my way is awful hard ♪

♪ Black man in Mississippi ♪

♪ Might as well be born dead ♪

I dreamed about this.

I used to pick cotton,
plow the mules.

I would be doing what
I'm doing in the fields,

and I would be
looking up in the sky,

dreamin' about me
being on the stage

when I was seven,
eight years old.

I could see myself on the
stage with Chuck Berry,

on the stage with Cab Calloway,

whoever it was I was thinking
about at that moment.

I could see myself with them.

And my mother would
come up, say, "Boy!"

Hit me front of the head, say,

"Pick that cotton!

"What you lookin'
up in the sky for?"

But she didn't know
I was looking up,

dreaming about
what I wanted to be

when I got of age.

I could just see myself on
the stage with Muddy Waters.

[animals chirping]

It's a little big.

You have to cut him in half.

You want to?

Yeah, I'll just
grab that, you know.

Break it in half.

I got it.

Thanks for the worm.
No problem.

I do a lot of
writing right here.

There is always
something to write about.

The alligators, the birds.

Big old turtles
usually come out too.

I just sit down and...

let it roll.

[people chattering]

Solo on the guitar?

If I had to teach you,
I can't teach you that.

You gotta hear that.

Like you know.

[blues riff]

You see what I played?

I can't play it again.

I don't feel it no more.

I'm feeling something
else, you see.

You say, "Do that
same thing again."

I never do it.

You can give me all the
money, I can't do it no more.

Once I played it, that's it.

Something else will come up.

[blues riff]

That's it.

- [Interviewer] So
there's love involved?

Yeah, yeah.

You gotta feel it in the heart.

You gotta feel it.

If you got a bass line goin'...

[blues line]

That's the stomping
ground of America, man.

The blues.

That's where it's all at, brah.

You got all kinds
of music, you know.

But the blues touches
people's heart

because there's always
a story behind the song.

Like that guy singing,
he lost his family.

Walkin' around, ain't
got nothing to eat.

On the earth and
under the earth.

Got the blues.

That's where they at.

Some blues singers
be under the earth.

They got the blues there.

They got the blues up here too.

And I'm part of the blues.

The blues made me,

and I'm making blues now.

I love it.

I gotta feel it.

I just pick it up and just,

I just pick up the
guitar and I might start

with this first, my foot,

with the rhythm.

Y'all just do that
with y'all foot.

Keep it like.

A little faster there.

Come on.

[lively blues]

♪ In the mornin' a
the crack of dawn ♪

♪ I'll be packed
headed for home ♪

♪ This little town
it's next to me ♪

♪ Winding roads and pine trees ♪

♪ Gettin' next to me ♪

♪ Let's go home ♪

I feel real good, cause I'm
back on my home ground now,

the state that I was born in.

Looking forward to
being with my friends.

So, Lil' Buck, we're on our way.

We gonna have some fun.

Crawfish boil, here we come!

We're in Louisiana now.

♪ Bye-bye, bye-bye ♪

♪ So long ♪

♪ So long ♪

♪ Bye-bye ♪

♪ I'm gone ♪

All these musicians,
all of my friends,

they be coming by to
celebrate with us.

We're gonna boil
crawfish, play music

and talk some junk.

[men laughing]

Because with Lazy Lester around,

there gonna be a
lot of junk-talkin'.

♪ I make no apologies ♪

♪ Winding roads and pine trees ♪

♪ Gettin' next to me ♪

[chattering, laughing]

[lively music]

Hey, buddy, hey Henry.

Hey, what you doin'?

Hey, buddy.

How you doing, baby?

Man, it make me feel
good to see you.

I feels pretty
good, too, so far.

You know, B.B.

I talked to B.B. day
before yesterday.

His right-hand man
died yesterday.

You know that, don't you?

No, I didn't.

He'd been with him all his life.

He was from Mobile.

But he passed yesterday
afternoon at 3:00.

I didn't hear nothin'.

He'd been with
him, and he was 86.

Yeah, I'm 89.

You're older than
B.B., aren't you?

Yeah, three years.
Three years.


All of them gone
now and left me.

Well, I'm here.

And still buying pussy.

[both laughing]

Boy, oh, boy.

[lively blues]

♪ Last night ♪

♪ I got loaded ♪

♪ On a bottle of wine ♪

♪ On a bottle of wine ♪

♪ Tonight ♪

♪ I'm gonna get loaded ♪

♪ On a bottle of gin ♪

- [Cook] We got a crawfish
boil going on out here!

♪ I feel all right ♪

This is what we call
Louisiana crawfish.

♪ Feel all right ♪

Lazy Lester!

What's up, boy!

I'm traveling by instinct,
my eyes are so bad.

[crowd chattering]

Don't get any better than this.

[crowd laughing]

[audience applauding]

Yeah, you right.

Dead right.

- [Lazy Lester] You
need a harmonica, boy?

[all laughing]

[blues music]

You saw Barbara
Lynn, didn't you?

Oh, yeah.

Okay, it's so good to be here,

to get together with
a lot of old friends.

People I have not seen in years.

[soulful blues]

I'm gonna do this song
for all the ladies.

'Cause them ladies know what
I'm talking about, honey!

Oh, yeah.

♪ If you should loose me ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ You'll lose a good thing ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, baby ♪

♪ You know I love you ♪

♪ And I'll do anything
for you, boy ♪

♪ But just don't
mistreat me, babe ♪

♪ And I'll be good to you ♪

♪ 'Cause if you loose me ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ You'll lose a
good thing yeah ♪

♪ Yeah ♪


- [Audience Member]
You still got it.

You still got it.

Yeah, you still got it.
I'm 72!

But you sure don't look it.

I just love the way you sing
and can play the guitar.

All right, Let's thank
once again Lil' Buck

for all his help
putting this together.

[bright music]

Lazy Lester, where are you?


♪ I don't like it anymore ♪

♪ Oh, but I still got to try ♪

♪ No more walkin' the floor ♪

♪ With that burning sigh ♪

♪ No use to deny
I wanted to die ♪

♪ 'Cause everything
we went through ♪

♪ But then I'll drive
you out of my mind ♪

[phone rings]


[phone ringing]




Ain't nobody makin'
no noise back here.

We quiet as church mouses.

If you hear any noise,
I'll kiss you, okay?



You know what,

that's a powerful voice I have,

you could hear that fucker
through this bullshit roof.

♪ High we go ♪

[soft voices on TV]

Right now, [speaking faintly].

This morning, we'd like to share

just a few of these
stories the museum tells.

Ladies and gentlemen,
it is my honor

to introduce the president

of the United States of
America, Barack Obama.

[audience applauding]

What is it that
you got there, man?

That's what you do when you're
doing your acoustic stuff?

I'm talking about that board.

That's your drums?

That's his drum.

That let me know my
feet is still there.

You got good rhythm, man.

[rhythmic tapping]

I got that from my mother, man.

Got good rhythm.

My mother had that
and she gave it to me,

and I kept it.

Bad drums you got there.

I heard them drums.

You know something,
besides the country,

you a bluesman.

That's the blues there, man.

All of that is blues.

You got the BBB and the WBB.

You know the difference?

I don't know what the W.

I know what the BB
is but not the W.

BBB is the Black Boy Blues,

and WBB is the White Boy Blues.

It's the same old same old.

Just a little twist to it.

A little twist to it.

Yes, like...

[gentle strumming]

Now look at this one.

This is a real blues.

♪ The warden led a prisoner ♪

♪ Down the hallway to his doom ♪

♪ I stood up ♪

♪ To say good-bye
like all the rest ♪

♪ I heard him tell the warden ♪

♪ Just before he
reached my cell ♪

♪ Let my guitar-playing
friend do my request ♪

[feet tapping on board]

♪ Won't you sing me back home ♪

♪ With a song my
mother used to sing? ♪

♪ Make my old
memory come alive ♪

♪ Take me away ♪

♪ And turn back the years ♪

♪ Sing me back
home before I die ♪

♪ Sing me back
home before I die ♪

- [Man Offscreen]
Now that's the blues.

Oh, you gonna open
my door for me?

'Cause I have my hands full.

[slow music]

- [Woman] It feel good in here.

You think so?
What you doin' here?

Long way from third grade.

I tell you.

Come on, have a seat.

I have to watch where I sit.

Because if I sit too
low, I can't get up.

I'll get you a chair.
I'll sit right here.

- [Hostess] There's
one for you right here.

[bright piano]

I'm following you.

[women laughing]

Sit here, pretty baby.

I'm gonna sit down.

Mama gonna sit in your lap.

[lively music]

♪ I got great big
money, a diamond ring ♪

♪ I'm goin' after the
woman with everything ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm a
lucky, lucky man ♪

♪ Yes, I'm a lucky, lucky man ♪

♪ Lucky man, 'cause
I'm in your hands ♪

♪ Now you told me that
you love me, girl ♪

♪ You told me a lie ♪

♪ I'll always love you,
woman 'till the day I die ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm a
lucky, lucky man ♪

♪ Yes, I'm a lucky, lucky man ♪

♪ I'm a lucky, lucky man ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm in your hands ♪


Play it, man.

♪ I got a gal, I said she
won't treat me right ♪

♪ She out every morning
don't come home at night ♪

♪ Just like a woman ♪

♪ Ain't that just like a woman ♪

♪ Ain't that just like a woman ♪

She'll do it every time ♪

♪ I got a girl,
tooth is so sweet ♪

♪ Spends my money, likes
to spend it on treats ♪

♪ Ain't that just
like a woman? ♪

♪ Just like a woman ♪

♪ Oh, that's just like a woman ♪

♪ She'll do it every time ♪

Rock me now!

[audience applauding]

My man, my man.

I was born in Kenner, Louisiana.


- [Interviewer] And you
played with Wolf for 14 years.

What was Howlin' Wolf like?

He was all right with me.

Everybody said he was
mean, but he wasn't.

Howlin' Wolf was
the type of person,

when you go on the bandstand,

no cigarettes, number one.

No drinking, number two.

And you're gonna
be dressed alike.

Before you get on
that bandstand,

he would drink with you,
he'd shoot marbles with you,

he'd gamble with you,
he'd do anything.

Before you get on
that bandstand.

But when you get on that
bandstand, it's different.

He was just strict.

We all of an age now.
Oh, yeah.

But you is the daddy
of all of us now.

I believe, if not the one,

you're the only man of your
age that come from my area,

and all of us areas,
that's living today.

If you don't wanna,

if you don't wanna die young,
you're gonna be old like us.

[all laughing]

♪ Stagger Lee told Billy ♪

♪ He said, man, I
don't go for that ♪

♪ You got all my money ♪

♪ And my brand-new Stetson hat ♪

I had one somewhere.

♪ I was standin' on the corner ♪

♪ When I heard my bulldog bark ♪

♪ He was barkin'
at the two men ♪

♪ Who was gamblin' in the dark ♪

♪ It was Stagger Lee and Billy ♪

♪ Two men who gambled late ♪

♪ Stagger Lee threw seven ♪

♪ Billy throwed and
he threw eight ♪

♪ Stagger Lee said, Billy ♪

♪ I can't let you go with that ♪

♪ You done won all my money ♪

♪ And my brand-new Stetson hat ♪

♪ Now Lester, oh, Lester ♪

♪ Won't you tone your
big mouth down? ♪

♪ You let somebody
else sing it ♪

♪ 'Cause you ain't the
only one still around ♪

Do it again.

[birds chirping]

[radio static]

Sunshine Sonny Payne
broadcasting live.

Program number 16,782
of the original

King Biscuit Time program.

Sponsored by the Shack Up
Inn over in Clarksdale.

Hey, here's one we
can't leave out.

Miss Carol Fran.

Carol, how about it?

[blues ballad]

♪ Emmitt Lee ♪

♪ Don't you remember me? ♪

♪ Oh, Emmitt Lee ♪

♪ Now, do you remember me? ♪

Guitar Slim.

He was famous for not
showing up on his gigs.

They were playing here.

We had a place called

the Immaculate Heart of Mary
gym at the Catholic school.

They were gonna play
that Sunday night, and...

he didn't ever show up.

There was a couple
of guys that knew me.

One of the guys was Miller Sam.

He said, "She can sing."

But I wasn't sure
I could make it.

He said, "Oh, yeah,
you can sing."

He bought be a Coca-Cola.

I drank my Coke and
sang my heart out.

♪ I'm left here all alone ♪

♪ I ain't got nobody ♪

♪ To call my very own ♪

♪ Emmitt Lee ♪

♪ Don't you remember me? ♪

We had a new club here
called the Birdcage.

It was just a little lounge.

I didn't want to go home
'cause it's early at night,

so I go to the lounge and I
met this guy named Emmitt Lee.

He was from New Orleans,

working for McGregor
men's fashion.

He was selling clothes.

In fact, he was working
with a salesman.

I met him in the
club that night.

Oh, man, we had
such a good time.

I never forgot it.

I got drunk.

I went home.

3:00 in the morning,
I made up Emmitt Lee.

He said, "I got to go."

He said, "When you wake up
tomorrow, I'll be gone."

I said, "Oh, my goodness."

I had had so much fun.

I didn't want him to go.

♪ Oh, Emmitt Lee ♪

♪ Now that you're gone ♪

♪ I'm left here all alone ♪

♪ I've got nobody ♪

♪ To call my very own ♪

♪ Emmitt Lee ♪

♪ Don't you remember me? ♪

- [Interviewer] Did you
ever see Emmitt Lee again?


I was working with Joe Tex.

And we played the
20 Grand in Detroit.

A lady came to me

and said, "Ma'am, your
husband is out there. "

One of the girls that
worked there said,

"Your husband is out there."


I don't have a husband.

I'm not married.

He opened the door and
said, "Yeah, you do.

"Carol Lee, come on
here to Emmitt Lee."

I saw him then, and I
never saw him again.

He died two weeks later.

[energetic music]

♪ I started to cry ♪

♪ Feel like I'm dyin' ♪

♪ I start to cry, baby ♪

♪ Feel like I'm going
out of my head ♪

Keep on singin', boy.

♪ Well, I get lonely, baby ♪

Oh, that's that old-timey beat.

♪ Without you in my bed ♪

I studied that.

I'm a teacher, I teach music.

I got to stay up on it.

I know so many
chords on this thing,

it's just a pity and a shame.

I can tell you how
many notes on a guitar.

I can tell you what
every one of them mean.

This guitar's a Bible.

From Genesis to Revelation.

That's tellin'!

I ain't never been
a fan of a gun.

I say give me that
guitar string.

I'm gonna kill him with that.

[all laughing]

- [Man Offscreen] I don't
know if he can do all that.

They pretty hard.

The bullets pretty hard.

I got shot five times.

- [Man Offscreen] You must
have been in the army.

I'm lucky to be alive.
Were you in the army?

No, no.

This happened at my
house with my own gun.

My own wife shot me.

Boy, I would have been
gone away from there.

Never would have
come back no more.

- [Man Offscreen]
Man, I hear you.

- [Man Offscreen] Mean!

Mean as a black snake.

Junkyard dog.
That's right.


You sure got that right.

Man, oh, boy.

[slow music]

♪ Must've been the devil ♪

♪ Must've been the
devil yes, it ♪

♪ Had to be the devil ♪

♪ Changed my woman's mind ♪

♪ Yes, it had to be the devil ♪

♪ Changed my woman's mind ♪

Back in those days,

when you and your old
lady was havin' problems,

they had to fault somebody.

They gonna fault the devil.

The devil got blamed
for a lot of stuff

he didn't have
nothin' to do with.

The way it's tuned,
they call it cross note.

Every little string
is tuned the same.


The music professional
said to get that

particular tuning,
you'd have to chord it.

But them guys didn't.

They say what makes the
Bentonia style so unique

is what those guys
did with the G string.

They didn't bend it.

They slid.

[lively music]

Muddy Waters and they bent it.

Hear the difference in it?

[music sliding]

But that slide, it takes
time to learn that technique.

♪ Had a dream last night ♪

♪ Yes, I had a
dream last night ♪

♪ I woke up holding hand ♪

♪ I dreamed I went
lookin' for my woman ♪

♪ When I found her, she
was with another man ♪

- [Interviewer] So what's
gonna happen when you,

when you eventually pass on,

is this style of
music gonna die?

As far as I know.

There's nobody sitting
around here that seem

interested in doing it.

As far as somebody sitting
here watching me play it

or telling me to show
'em how to play it--

They say it's too complicated.

I don't know.

[distant train whistle blowing]

[slow music]

That harp right
there, a good harp.

[sharp harmonica]

♪ Don't y'all get
mad with me, boy ♪

♪ Forget the rhyme
just like mine ♪

♪ These trains they
go all the time ♪

♪ I'm gonna ride a
little bit here ♪


My name is Bud Spires.

My right name Benjamin Spires.

All over the world right now,

you ask some of these
blues guys that over there,

ask do they know Benjamin
Spires, they'll say no.


'Cause when I started out, I
put my name out as Bud Spires.

♪ You got the springs
in the front ♪

♪ Some behind ♪

♪ You got some in the middle ♪

♪ Bud Spires can't find ♪

♪ But don't get mad at me, boy ♪

My daddy was a harmonica blower.

He brought me a harmonica
when I was five years old.

He made Santa Claus
bring it to me.

A harp wouldn't cost
you over a quarter.

Oh, boy.

You buy one now like I got,

you'll see how many quarters
you got to pay, brah.

A harp like I got,
best in the West.


That's the poison.

Blues is my, it's
a friend to me.

When I get lonesome, I stay
in and sing the blues and...

have me a drink.

You know.

I get lonesome.

I be here by myself.

I go and grab me some
raggly harp and blow it.

By myself, you know.


A lot of the older blues guys
is slowly passing away, boy.

Sure is.

All these older
blues guys die out

and you can forget
the blues, brah.

Sure can.

Oh, here it is.

That mean the blues [murmuring].

It'll be here till the last
old man sing the blues,

shut his eyes.

[bell tolling]

♪ Nobody, nobody ♪

- [Preacher] Provide
them a witness.

[crowd shouting]

♪ Nobody, nobody ♪

♪ Do you know what
I'm talking about? ♪

♪ He we go, no peace ♪

♪ I need a witness today ♪

♪ Nobody ♪

♪ I don't need, no need ♪

♪ I got Jesus ♪

♪ No need ♪

♪ I got Jesus, got Jesus♪

♪ I need a witness, got Jesus ♪

♪ Anybody know what
I'm talkin' about ♪

♪ Got Jesus ♪

♪ Somebody here
today, got Jesus ♪

♪ Lord, you called
me, got Jesus ♪

♪ You gotta hold on, got Jesus ♪

♪ Hold on, got Jesus ♪

♪ God hear me now, got Jesus ♪

♪ You gotta hold on ♪

♪ Got Jesus, hold
on, got Jesus ♪

♪ Everybody gotta hold on ♪

♪ Keep it goin', hold on ♪

Got Jesus

♪ Let me see you
wave your hands ♪

♪ Got Jesus, raise your hands ♪

People, Christian peoples don't

accept the blues in the church

because a lot of
peoples feel like that,

when you're singing the
blues, you're lying.

In different areas of the
song, you might be lying.

That's when they call
it the devil music.

You know, because the devil
is the father of lying,

and they don't
accept that in music.

But this morning,

we had some of this same
kind of stuff going on.

It depends on what
you're doing with it

and how you're doing it.

Well, it's the same music.

It's very the same music.


You know.

[fast bright music]

Okay, the gospel side.

♪ One last word ♪

♪ Amen, I heard him say ♪

♪ Amen, I heard him say ♪

♪ One last word amen,
I heard him say ♪

♪ One last word amen,
I heard him say ♪

♪ And that's the
way to get along ♪

♪ When the poor boy ♪

♪ Went and told his father
gimme all of mine today♪

♪ All of mine today ♪

♪ Went and told his father
gimme all of mine today ♪

♪ Well, he told his father
gimme all of mine today ♪

♪ And that'll be a
way to get along ♪

♪ Well, the poor boy ♪

♪ Got all he had, he
started on down the road ♪

♪ Started on down the road ♪

♪ Got all he had, he
started on down the road ♪

♪ Got all he had, he
started on down the road ♪

♪ And that'll be a
way to get along ♪

[horn honking]

That's a snapping turtle.

He's a pet, he won't
bite your fingers.

Stick it in there and see.


All right, you're saved, buddy.

You're safe.

My daddy was a
deacon of a church.

Upright man even before
he were a preacher.

My daddy was a straight-up,
straight-up, upright man.

My mother, blue-eyed,
blonde hair.

You couldn't tell was
she white or black.

Kind woman.

My daddy was a kindhearted
man, real gentle.

But his sister and
brothers, rough and tough.

Cut you, fight you,
bite you, kick you.

Whatever they had to do to
get you to back off of them.

Rough, rough.


I guess maybe that's why I
don't drink or smoke, because

my peoples drunk enough for me.

They fought enough for
me, cussed enough for me.


I got some aunties that'll
cuss you, make you ashamed.

They call you everything
but a child of God.


I knowed this was gonna, I'm
gonna play it without it.

- [Boyce] Oh, Lord,
here's Big Nancy.

Hello, R.L.

How y'all?


[all laughing]

- [Boyce] Hey, Travis!

You got the stuff?
I got mine.

Well, come on.

Let's hear something.

Come on, Travis.

[amplifier humming]

[mellow guitar]



♪ Sing my troubles ♪

♪ Baby ♪

Where [mumbles] at?

♪ Nobody's there ♪

♪ Nobody's there ♪

♪ See my ♪


[men shouting]

Hit 'em up, more, more, more!

[men shouting]

Watch what happens!

[people shouting
over one another]

- [Man] The goddamn door!

[horn honking]

[shouting over one another]

- [Man Offscreen] I'm
gonna get that bitch!

[shouting over one another]

Y'all all right?

Sometimes it's water.

♪ Sometimes it's water ♪

♪ Sometimes it's water ♪

♪ I ain't solvin'
your problems ♪

[crowd murmuring]

You ain't get in no trouble.

[mellow blues]

Let me tell you something.

Let me put it to you hard.

A lot of the time

it ain't good,

it ain't bad.

It's what you got.

[crowd chattering under music]

[train horn blowing]

[crossing bell clanging]

[picking note]

The train was a separation.

It was like the Dixie line.

North and south.

The train track
was a separation.

Community was the black side

or the white side.


At one time, you couldn't
be caught on the north

side of the tracks.

North side of the
track was considered

where white people lived.

They had that all over.

It wasn't just here.
It wasn't just here.

But the bottom line was...

That was the way of life.

You was conditioned to it.

That's what you had to expect.

W- hen I went to Chicago,

I was gonna leave the
South and go to Chicago

'cause I wanted to
have my freedom.

And I run into a brick wall.

The second club I went to,
I went to Argo, Illinois.

Next club I went to was
a suburb of Chicago.

Harvey, Illinois.

Or Robbins, Illinois.
I know where that is.

We worked on a stage.

And when we start to playin',
they closed the curtain.

We played all night long.

They listened to our music,

but they didn't want
to see our face.

I believe that.

I believe that.

Day in and day out.

Night in and night out.

So finally, I got so
good the guy said,

"We're gonna introduce
the band tonight."

They introduced the band.

I took a bow.

They opened the curtain
up, I took a bow.

Closed the curtain
right back up.

But the band was behind me.

The guy said, "We're
gonna do this again,

"but we got to put
another curtain."

They put the band
behind another curtain.

So I'm standing in front of
the band, can't see the band.

When they open it up,

I take a bow so they
wouldn't see the band.

I take a bow.

Close it back up.

All night long we played,
'cause it was a white audience.

They want to hear our music,

but they didn't want
to see our face.

Day in and day out.

Myself, Muddy Waters
and all the guys.

- [Man Offscreen] But they
didn't know any better.

We played, [stammering].

It was a way of life.

We expected that.

We have come a long ways.

[muffled voice over PA]

I always was a musician.

From 13, 14 years old.

I don't believe I
worked under 200 dates

for 58 years.

This all right to you, baby?

Hey, Bobby.

Not bad, get it on, Bobby.

[both laughing]

Not bad, Bobby.

You clean up well.

Bobby, turn around.

I gotta see.

I like that.
I like that.

Now that's class.

You rockin' it, Bobby.

[people laughing, chattering]

- [Woman Offscreen] You
can come back here, Bobby.

[talking over one another]

What day they say that?


I don't feel any different now

than I felt when
I was 20, really.

But I think a little
bit different.

But I think a little
bit different.

But you have to realize
and be fair with yourself.

What you did when you were 20,
you can't do when you're 80.

And I know when I was younger,

I had some bad-feeling
days because I was so tired

trying to make a living,

trying to make a hustle,

trying to go from town to town

and trying to bust my brains
to figure out what I should do

when I didn't know there
wasn't nothin' to figure out.

'Cause what you can
do is what you can do.

Ain't nothing to figure out.

'Cause all you can
do is all you can do.

So as you get older,
you find out that...

You find out what it's
not, not what it is.

And most of the time, what
it's not overrides what it is.

That's probably a
little fuzzy to you,

to understand that one, but

what it is is what it is.

[tense music]

Seven, eight...

- [Man Offscreen]
Hey, Bobby, [mumbles].

- [Rush] 10.

That's a thousand.

That's a thousand.

Thought it was short.

- [Man Offscreen]
How short are we?

- [Man Offscreen] About $2,000.

You don't want to
take partial payment?

No, I need 2,800 to
pay the band off.

- [Gray Haired Man]
What are we gonna do?

I don't know how much I
can get out of an ATM.

I don't know what kind
of limits they've got,

but we can go try.

[country blues]

♪ You know, I'd
rather meet a devil ♪

♪ I'd rather meet a devil ♪

♪ Than to be that woman's man ♪

I'd like to ask the question
this morning, who are we?

- [Church Goer] Amen!

Who are we?

As a people, we should always
know the answer to that.

- [Woman] Amen!

We are Americans
of African descent.

[congregation calling out]

We are the black hands
that carved stones.

We are a nation of slaves
who survived two centuries.

Are y'all praying with me?

We are the people that
have been called niggers,

coon, jigaboo.

We all have called
ourselves colored.

Y'all ain't praying with me.



And black.

We are offsprings
of proud people

that have withstood the
stings and the whips

and the spits that this
world has given us.

We are still
producing great music.

However, we are in danger
of losing our capacity

to build upon the
greatness of the past.

♪ You know my baby she
don't drink whiskey ♪

♪ My baby she don't
drink no whiskey ♪

♪ And I know she ain't
crazy about wine ♪

♪ No, it wasn't nothin'
but the old devil ♪

♪ He done changed
my baby's mind ♪

I remember well

when I was seven years old

my daddy taking me out of school

out of all of my
sisters and brothers

so I could go into a gin

and get information about
what they were gonna sell

and what they were gonna
take from black peoples.

As I walked in the gin,

there was these white
guys sitting around.

They were saying what the
cotton was gonna sell for,

what they were gonna
sell the peanuts for,

what they were gonna
sell the potatoes for,

how much they were
gonna sell them for.

And I was a little boy.

They didn't pay
me any attention.

But I could listen.

And when I couldn't hear as well

I had sand in one pocket
and a rag in another pocket.

I would throw a little
sand on the table,

and sometimes on their shoes.

So I could wipe
the men's shoes off

and listen to the conversation.

And I would hear what
they were saying.

I would hear what
they were saying

and bring it back to my daddy.

Bring it to my daddy

and tell him what they said
and what they were gonna sell.

I was sitting yesterday, and
I understood how he felt.

I'm a blessed man.

Not that he wasn't blessed.

But I'm blessed to be in the
position I can make a living

without being obligated to a
manager or a record company.

Don't nobody own me.

I'm in jail, but I'm free.

I'm a free man.

I'm free.

[guitar strumming]

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ My trouble like I do ♪

[tempo quickening]

♪ Oh, baby ♪

♪ Your love shook me ♪

♪ Your love shook me ♪

♪ Oh, walk that thing ♪

[audience applauding]

- [Announcer] Y'all
don't go anywhere.

Bobby Rush is coming up.

- [Man Offscreen]
They said get ready.

I'm ready, tell
them straight up.

Tell them hey, tell the guy

[mumbles] PA ain't shit.

You gotta keep it
down to the ground.

Ready to roll.


Ready to roll.

- [Emcee] Must say.

[audience applauding]

Ladies and gentlemen,
once again,

the 2015 inductee of the
Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame

my friend, Mr. Bobby Rush!

♪ Have you ever
been mistreated ♪

♪ By someone you shouldn't
have loved, yes ♪

♪ Have you ever
been mistreated ♪

♪ By someone you shouldn't
have loved, yes ♪

[audience applauding]

♪ Out of all the men my
woman could've left me for ♪

♪ She ran off with
the garbageman ♪

[wild harmonica]

[audience applauding]

[group chattering]

What's going on, baby?

Y'all working pretty good, baby?

- [Man Offscreen] Oh, yeah.

We all gettin' old, honey.

I'm 72 now.

I'm 80.

I'm hurtin' with my back.

[dramatic piano]

Thank you.

I'm gonna play a number here for

"Mean" Carol Fran's
my niece over there.

She always...

We used to work together,
but something happened.

But I always would play
a number for Carol.

[mellow blues]

♪ Rock me, baby ♪

♪ Rock me all night long ♪

♪ Rock me, rock,
rock me, daddy ♪

♪ Oh, rock me all night long ♪

♪ Uh-huh ♪

♪ I want you to
rock, rock me, baby ♪

♪ Like your back
ain't got no bone ♪

♪ Well, now six
and one is seven ♪

♪ Seven and one is eight ♪

♪ Come on honey, don't
make your daddy late ♪

♪ Baby, don't you want to go ♪

♪ Back to that same old place ♪

♪ Sweet home Chicago ♪

♪ Come on home with me, baby ♪

♪ Come on, Henry ♪

♪ Don't you want to go ♪

♪ Come on, mama ♪

♪ Baby, don't you want to go ♪

♪ Back to that same old place ♪

♪ Sweet home Chicago ♪


♪ Baby, don't you wanna go ♪

♪ Back to that city ♪


Let's hear it, Henry.

[audience applauding
and cheering]

My Uncle Henry.

This is a family affair.

♪ I want you to rock
me, rock me, baby ♪

Ooh, lordy, and say
when I'm all done.

Rock me, yeah.

I wanna thank the fellas
who helped me get there.

Lil' Buck.

And, Lord have
mercy, Lazy Lester.

Would you believe we worked
together as a duo at one time?

I know.

Damn you, sit down.

You jive turkey.

[all laughing]

I might harm you.

Come over here.

[talking over one another]

Did not think I would be
around long enough to do this.

- [Rush] How are you
feeling these days?

I'm 76 years old.

I'm 81.

Oh, shit.

You look good for your age, man.

Take care, man, and I'll see ya.

♪ O Lord, I need somebody bad ♪

But you ain't gonna get it.

♪ Lord I need somebody good ♪

You'll get over it.

I ain't gonna get over
that until I get you.

Crazy fool.

I ain't gonna get
over till I get you.

You done got too
old to get me now.

She say I got too old.

Don't nothin' get
old but clothes.

You're just an old
bag of laundry.

She say I'm an old
bag of laundry.

Well, I can be washed out.

[crowd laughing]

That's what you are.

You're washed out.
I'm not washed out.

I'm starched,

Viagra'd up and ready!

[all laughing]

Girl, I love you.

You're nothing but some poison.

[mellow blues]

[crowd chattering
over one another]

- [Man Offscreen]
Smell of the rose!

Yeah, all right!



[somber music]

All right.

[crowd laughing and chattering]

- [Interviewer]
I guess musicians

don't really retire, right?

- [Holmes] No, they
never stop, man.

'Till you're dead,
that's when you retire.

When you close your
eyes, it's over with.

Other than that?

If they gotta go with
one leg, no legs,

they're gonna jam,
they're gonna play.

You wake up with
that on your mind,

you go to sleep with
that on your mind.


- [Interviewer]
What's it mean to you?

It mean my life to me.

It means everything to me.

That's right, I
can't do without it.

[thunder rumbling]

[lightning cracking]

[rain trickling]


At one time, in the
black community,

it was like a plum tree
on the side of the road.

Everywhere you went,
you heard blues music.

Now my thing is,

I think where we're
missing the bucket on it.

Somebody need to learn it enough

so like you say, it won't
get lost in the shuffle.

Know how to play it
and know what it means.

Not just here in
the black community.

What it means to
America, period.

The blues.

[blowing note]

That's you right there.

[soulful harmonica]

Which one you wanna find?

C., [harmonica drowning out].


What you doin'?

♪ So long ♪


♪ Baby, you know I got to go ♪

♪ So long ♪

♪ Baby, you know I got to go ♪

♪ I'm tired of
your mistreatin' ♪

♪ Just can't take it anymore ♪

♪ We used to have so much fun ♪

♪ Walkin' round holdin' hands ♪

♪ Like a choo-choo
train down the track ♪

♪ Gotta find a way to
get our love back ♪

♪ I don't know what happened ♪

♪ What went wrong ♪

♪ All I know our love is gone ♪

Why was that?
Let me change them up.

♪ Yes, I'm gone ♪

♪ Leave in the mornin' ♪

♪ I'm gonna head
down Highway 49 ♪

- [Rush] Come on,
talk to me about it.

♪ I'm gonna leave ♪

♪ In the mornin' ♪

♪ Head down Highway 49 ♪

- [Jimmy] Come on, Bobby.

♪ So long, so long ♪

♪ So long, so long ♪

♪ Baby, so long ♪

♪ So long ♪

♪ Baby, so long ♪

♪ Well, I hate to see you go ♪

♪ So long, pretty baby ♪

♪ I hate to see you go ♪

Ah, Jimmy.

Oh, man.

That's the blues.

[country blues]

♪ Crow Janie, Crow
Janie, Crow Jane ♪

♪ Don't you hold
your head high ♪

♪ Someday, baby you
know you got to die ♪

♪ You got to lay down and ♪

♪ You got to die, you got to ♪

♪ And I want to
buy me a pistol ♪

♪ Wants me me 40
rounds of ball ♪

♪ Shoot Crow Jane
just to see her fall ♪

♪ She got to fall, she got to ♪

♪ She got to fall, she got to ♪

♪ That's the reason
I begged Crow Jane ♪

♪ Not to hold her head so high ♪

♪ Someday, baby you
know you got to die ♪

♪ You got to lay down and ♪

♪ And I dug her grave ♪

♪ With a silver spade ♪

♪ Ain't nobody gonna
take my Crow Jane place ♪

♪ You can't take her place ♪

♪ No, you can't take her ♪

♪ That's the reason
I begged Crow Jane ♪

♪ Not to hold her
head too high ♪

♪ Someday, baby you
know you got to die ♪

♪ You got to lay down and ♪

♪ You know, I let her down ♪

♪ With a golden chain ♪

♪ And every link, I would
call my Crow Jane name ♪

♪ Crow Jane, Crow ♪

♪ Crow Jane, Crow ♪

♪ You know, I never missed ♪

♪ My water ♪

♪ 'Till my well ran dry ♪

♪ Didn't miss Crow Jane ♪

♪ Until the day she died ♪

♪ 'Till the day she ♪

♪ That's the reason
I begged Crow Jane ♪

♪ Not to hold her
head too high ♪

♪ Someday, baby ♪

♪ You know you got to die ♪

♪ You got to lay down and ♪

♪ You got to die, you got to ♪

♪ You know, I dug her grave ♪

♪ Eight feet in the ground ♪

♪ I didn't feel sorry ♪

♪ Until they let her down ♪

♪ They had to let
her down, let her ♪

♪ They had to let her down ♪

♪ That's the reason
I begged Crow Jane ♪

♪ Not to hold her
head too high ♪

♪ Someday, baby you
know you got to die ♪

♪ You got to lay down and ♪