August 1, 2018
“When Calvin Owens invited Eugene Carrier to join the B. B. King Orchestra in 1979, the Blues was beginning to realize its most dramatic era in world-wide appreciation. Acceptance of Black music was universal, be it gospel, spirituals, R&B, or Jazz. Nowhere was freedom more widely expressed than in the music of African Americans. Blues borrowed from Negro Spirituals as well as from field hollers, (and love calls) the earliest Black American music (Santelli, 2003). If you let Willie Dixon tell it, “…the blues is the roots…everything else is the fruits.” Inside his suitcase, Eugene Carrier brought home dozens of posters from his travels with King of the Blues, Mr. B. B. King. “The Boss” was known to travel world-wide up to 300 days per year. Over 80 posters, with national and international languages show the huge appeal of THE BLUES in Europe, South America, The Middle East, Asia, and Africa. From the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta, East Texas, and the Gulf Coast this music and these musicians are heralded for their talent and their ambassadorship.” ~ Texas Center For African American Living History
On this special edition of the Radio Memphis Road Crew Radio series that aired live Saturday, July 28th, 2018, Dianna catches up with Naomi Carrier, the widow of the late Eugene Carrier. They talk about his life as a touring musician for the iconic King of the Blues through her eyes and experiences as his wife. Their conversation opens up into a myriad of pathways that leads Naomi to create some very impactful programs for the blues community. As the conversation progresses, both D and Naomi learn that past and present moments that they are discussing wind up intersecting in a place where all music finds its way back to Memphis.
Did you miss this conversation? Catch it right here.