Recordially, Lou Curtiss
  • Reminiscing

    I used to stay in Chula Vista with my Grandmother in the summer months back in the 1950s and that’s where I got acquainted with the Maddox Brothers and Rose. They owned a club in National City (I think it was called Club Twenty-One). At any rate, they played there quite a bit. Now, I […]

  • Frank Stokes

    There was a Memphis area blues singer, one of my favorites, in the ’20s and ’30s, named Frank Stokes, who was one hell of a guitar picker and an exciting and original vocalist. He made several records on his own and worked with another guitarist named Dan Sane in a duet that they called the […]

  • Pickin’ Around

    Virginia and I kicked off the show at the reunion of the Heritage Coffeehouse last Saturday (Oct 14) and it got me to thinking about my early days in the San Diego scene. I started playing music on Dexter Sykes’ front porch in Imperial Beach. Mostly it was country music that we heard on XERB […]

  • Reunion at the Heritage

    The cinder block building that, 54 years or so ago, housed the Heritage coffeehouse, located at 3842 Mission Blvd. in Mission Beach, is having a reunion with a lot of the folks who used to play there (including myself) this month on October 14. The building now calls itself the Single Fin Surf Bar, but […]

  • A Long Day’s Journey into a Nightmare, Part 1

    It was the mid-’60s and I was doing some part time work in the summer at LA’s Ash Grove. I met up with these two guys who collected records (Nick and John) and we were sitting around the lobby talking about a trip down through the South doing some digging for the rare old 78 […]

  • It Started with Sam

    Sam Chatmon, who played in the Jackson, Mississippi area in the 1920s as part of the Mississippi Sheiks with his brothers Bo, Lonnie, Harry, Bert, and others (there were 12 brothers in all), was first brought to San Diego by record collector Ken Swerilas in about 1967. I had opened Folk Arts Rare Records about […]

  • Anniversary

    Folk Arts Rare Records opened on July 31, 1967 and has been pretty much in operation since that time. So, we are coming up on 50 years of existence. We also started doing music Festivals (20 San Diego State Folk Festivals, 15 Adams Ave Roots Festivals, 15 Adams Ave.Street Fairs, five San Diego Blues Festivals, […]


    Blues researcher Paul Oliver, talks about hearing Sonny Terry play a tune called “The Alcoholic Blues.” Sonny told him that he learned it from a little feller, Defoe Bailey, back home in Rockingham, North Carolina. Brownie McGhee, Sonny’s long time partner, confirmed that Bailey was black and that he used to play on the Grand […]

  • How I got My Start

    It was that big pile of of 78 rpm records my folks had that started things off. Both Mom and Dad liked country and western and I grew up with the likes of Gene Autry, Roy Acuff, the Sons of the Pioneers, Hank Snow, back to Frank Marvin and Haywire Mac and as recent as […]