Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lightnin' Hopkins taught Bocephus the blues

Hank Williams Jr., known to many of you as "Bocephus," appeared on the Imus in the Morning show today and made special mention of Lightnin' Hopkins teaching him how to play the "real open G Delta stuff" -- in other words, the blues.

Bocephus said his father was taught by "Tee-Tot" -- Rufus Payne -- "He was the street singer."

"Daddy only had from 8 to 14 years old that he got all the teachin' from him. I was lucky. My guy, all of you know, was Lightnin' Hopkins."

Bocephus paused a moment, cocked his eyebrow, nodded his head and smiled before saying, "Oh, yeah."

Then he started picking the guitar, just like Lightnin' used to, and talking, like Lightnin' used to do with him:

"He said, `Bocephus, I wanna tell you somethin'. Country music ain't nothin' but white people's blues, that's all it is, brothah. I remember yo' daddy in nineteen hundred and fifty-one, singin' about the long lonesome blues, and I'm gonna teach it to you."

Bocephus then started singing a blues song about going down to the river to watch the fish swim by, and how he was so lonesome he wanted to die.

"So I jumped in the river and the doggone river went dry."

There was another verse that went:
"I had me a woman, she couldn't be true, She liked Lightnin's money and she made me blue."

In light of this, I feel sure Bocephus would endorse naming the new downtown park in Houston after Lightnin' Hopkins.

Regular readers here will recall that Slampo started the grassroots movement to honor the legendary bluesman from Houston, and it has been endorsed by the Houston Press blog "Houstoned" (as well as us, of course.)

So that's why we thought it important to bring Hank Williams Jr.'s comments about Lightnin Hopkins to your attention today.

Tomorrow (or maybe late, late tonight) we'll report further on what Bocephus had to say about being the son of a legend, as well as some other stuff. Please join us, won't you?

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