Recordially, Lou Curtiss
  • Jody Reynolds and the Storms

    There used to be a club on First and C Streets in downtown San Diego called the College Inn that was a long-time home to country music, country boogie and swing, and rock-a-billy. The audience was mostly navy and a few of us who came for the music. I remember seeing Merle Travis, Roy Hogsed, […]

  • My Blue Period

    I guess it all started with Sam Chatmon. It was in 1966 and I’d seen quite a bit of blues: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Skip James, Gary Davis, Bukka White, and even obscure artists like Willie Thomas and Butch Cage, but that was always as an audience member. I […]

  • Rare Records: The Birth of Black Blues and Jazz

    Black history on record started with orchestral and gospel music by groups like the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Jim Europe’s Military Band, and vaudevillians like Bert Williams, but black jazz started with Mamie Smith’s Okeh 4169 “Crazy Blues”/“It’s Right Here for You.” Both songs were described on the label as “Popular Blue Song”; the time was […]

  • Tom Waits and Me

    Tom Waits has a couple of new CDs out and in spots he still sounds like the old Tom I remember from our days at the old HERITAGE COFFEE HOUSE on Mission Blvd. in Mission Beach. I was running the Wednesday Night Hoots (that’s Hootenanny) the first time Tom came in and played some time […]

  • Fats Waller

    From the archives; first appeared in the October 2007 issue of the San Diego Troubadour) It seems that September ain’t doing anything wrong when it comes to Fats Waller and his era, with two productions of Ain’t Misbehavin’ going on in town. Most notably the San Diego Rep will be doing the music revue through […]

  • The Golden Age of Country Music

    The 1950s was a golden age for country music on television here on the West Coast. Along with Town Hall Party, which ran the whole decade and into the 1960s, it seemed as if every station had a country music show or two and several of them had even more. Along the way I remember […]

  • Getting Connected with the Blues

    Up until 1966 my connections with old-time blues had been mostly in collecting blues records and going to concerts and festivals. In the ’50s and ’60s I managed to see live a good many important treasures of that music, including Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, […]

  • Mike Seeger

    I guess the first time I met Mike Seeger was at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. Up until that time country music for me was the kind of stuff I heard and saw around Southern California like Town Hall Party, Cliffie Stone’s Hometown Jamboree, and San Diego’s Smokey Rogers, etc. Folk music included a pretty […]

  • A Very Mellow-as-a-Cello Vout-o-Reenee Guy Named Slim

    We were recording on Sunset Boulevard, right across from a TV station. After we did three sides, the A&R man sent us out for some air. I was glad to get it because I didn’t have a fourth song. Just outside the studio they were repairing the street, and one of those cement machines was […]