TRIBUTE TO THE LATE LOUIS MYERS

Eric LeBlanc-CISTI leblanc@DAO.NRC.CA
Sun Sep 18 05:00:01 EDT 1994


LOUIS MYERS was born on Wednesday, September 18, 1929  Byhalia, MS. and died
on  Sunday, September 4, 1994, Chicago, IL.  Fellow BLUES-L members
Dick Shurman & Joe Mayerfeld had this to say about LOUIS MYERS :

"I'm very sad to augment the list this way, but now Sept. 4 is also the death
date for great Chicago guitarist, harp player and vocalist Louis Myers.
Louis is best known for his playing on the classic early sides by
Little Walter, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, etc., and recorded with almost every
Chicago blues artist including Muddy, John Brim, Sunnyland Slim (he plays
wonderfully on Sunnyland's BluesWay album), Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker
(harp on URBAN BLUES), Jimmy Rogers, Koko Taylor, Willie Mabon, Eddie Boyd...
it's probably shorter to list the exceptions.  He didn't have many recordings
under his name: a 78 on Abco, two tracks on the Delmark SWEET HOME CHICAGO
anthology, some cuts I taped in his home on the Advent CHICAGO BLUES AT HOME
set and albums on Advent and Earwig (unfortunately, on the latter his health
was already in severe decline).  With the Aces he also had albums on Vogue,
Black and Blue and MCM, all in Europe (which says something).  Louis was also
one of the kindest to young aspirants and was my teacher as much as anyone;
he was the first blues artist to show me which end was up.  He'd been in bad
shape in a nursing home for awhile after a series of strokes and his death
was probably as merciful as it can be. Bless the memory of another great one.

                                          (Dick Shurman, 6 Sep 1994, BLUES-L)

"Louis Meyers, one of the great unsung blues guitar legends, was buried this
past Saturday (September 10).  He passed away on Sunday, September 4, 1994
after a lengthy illness, two weeks before what would have been his 65th birthday.

I was privileged to see Louis while he was still holding court at the
'Meet Me Here Lounge', on 68th St.  Folks like Junior Wells, James Cotton,
Valerie Wellington and Hubert Sumlin would come to see him play, and sit in
on Monday nights while "big names" (I don't have to start mentioning names,
now, do I?) were getting big money up North and on the West Side.

Backed by the rhythm section of his brother, Dave Myers (a multi-talented
musician in his own right) on Bass, and drummer Fred Below (Louis told me,
"Below was a Jazz drummer - me and Dave had to teach him how to play the
blues"), Louis Myers formed the core of The Aces, one of the hottest bands
in Chicago in the post World War II era that saw such dramatic change in
blues music - essentially, its metamorphosis to modern, urban blues; the
swinging, jazzy blues that came to be called Chicago blues.

Louis was a more than proficient harmonica player as well, but deferred to
rising star Junior Wells, and later Little Walter Jacobs.  The new style of
up-tempo blues was carried to the Chess brothers big stars - acts like
Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, who were still playing in the slow, country
style at that time.

Understandably bitter, for we all know of the betrayal of blues musicians,
Louis couldn't keep it to himself.  He spoke out.  He became increasingly
frustrated as others got credited with his creations.  Former friends and
colleagues turned their backs as he was branded a troublemaker with a bad
attitude.

Louis found it harder and harder to get work.  The times I saw him, I was
astonished to find him collecting cans and bottles for change.  It hurt to
see it, and it hurts now.  He didn't get the proper attention he needed
for his diabetic condition.  After the strokes he couldn't even play the
blues.  He got little in the way of real medical care.

Louis Myers truly lived and died the blues.  God rest his soul."

                                        (Joe Mayerfeld, 14 Sep 1994, BLUES-L)

 ALBUM/CD DISCOGRAPHY
 ============================================================================
 ADVENT 2806           : VARIOUS - CHICAGO BLUES AT HOME (3 cuts)
 ADVENT 2809           : LOUIS MYERS - I'M A SOUTHERN MAN
 BLACK & BLUE 33508    : THE ACES - CHICAGO BEAT
 BLUE THUMB 8702       : CHICAGO BLUES STARS - COMING HOME (5 cuts)
 BLUES LEGACY 12506    : THE ACES - KING OF THE CHICAGO BLUES V. 1
 DELMARK 618           : VARIOUS - SWEET HOME CHICAGO (2 cuts)
 EARWIG CD 4919        : LOUIS MYERS - TELL MY STORY MOVIN'
 FLYRIGHT CD 11        : VARIOUS - CHICAGO BLUES HARMONICA (2 ABCO cuts)
 JSP 1065              : LOUIS MYERS - WAILIN' THE BLUES
 MCM 900293            : THE ACES - WITH THEIR GUESTS
 RED LIGHTNIN' 0033    : VARIOUS - CHICAGO BLUES (2 cuts)
 VOGUE 30174           : THE ACES - KING OF THE CHICAGO BLUES V. 1




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