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Dominican University Presents Program On The Life And Legacy Of Blues Legend Jimmy Reed January 19, 2011

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.

River Forest, IL –Dominican University’s Blues and the Spirit Initiative, in partnership with the Jimmy and Mary Reed Foundation, will present on Tuesday, February 15 “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby,” a symposium on the life and legacy of blues musician Jimmy Reed.

The symposium, as well as the premiere screening of a documentary on Reed and a jam session with some of Reed’s former bandmates, will be held in the Bluhm auditorium of Parmer Hall, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest.

James Mathis “Jimmy” Reed was a groundbreaking blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player popular with blues aficionados and mainstream audiences during the 1950s and 1960s. His distinctive bare-bones singing, piercing harmonica and hypnotic guitar patterns influenced everyone from Stevie Wonder and Elvis Presley to Hank Williams, Jr. and Keith Richards, who credited Reed in his recent autobiography, Life. His best-known songs, “Bright Lights, Big City,” “Honest I Do,” “Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby,” and “Big Boss Man,” have become an integral part of the standard blues repertoire. He toured extensively in the U.S. and England and, in 1963, appeared on the British pop television show, Ready, Set, Go.

Although his records reached a wide crossover market and hit the top of the pop and blues charts with amazing frequency-he had 11 songs on Billboard’s top 100-Reed was the victim of copyright infringement and exploitation by unscrupulous management, a common problem for blues musicians in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Reed led a tumultuous life on and off stage, and died in 1976 in relative obscurity and poverty.

This symposium will begin at 7:00 p.m. with the premiere of a documentary on the life and legacy of Jimmy Reed by Steven Lattimore, adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia College. This will be followed by a panel discussion, titled “Legal Blues: Lessons of Jimmy Reed,” covering copyright issues, intellectual property and race. Panelists will include Jimmy Reed’s children, Jimmy, Jr., Rose and Loretta Reed; Marie Dixon, widow of blues legend Willie Dixon; Cookie Taylor Threatt, daughter of blues performer Koko Taylor; Fernando Jones, director of Columbia College’s Blues Ensemble; George Bailey, a professor at Columbia College; and renowned Chicago blues musicians Eddie Taylor, Jr., Lonnie Brooks and Chuck Barksdale, one of the original members of the R & B group, The Dells.

The evening will end with a jam session featuring Reed’s children, Eddie Taylor, Jr., and several contemporary blues musicians.

This program is free but seating is very limited. To make a reservation, please contact Dr. Janice Monti, chair of the sociology and criminology department at Dominican University, at (708) 524-6050 or visit the website at http://www.dom.edu/blues.

Founded in 1901, Dominican University is a comprehensive, coeducational Catholic institution offering bachelor’s degrees through the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences and master’s degrees through the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the Brennan School of Business, the School of Education, and the Graduate School of Social Work. The university also offers a doctoral degree in library and information science. In the 2011 issue of America’s Best Colleges, U.S. News & World Report ranked Dominican University in the top 20 of Midwest master’s level universities. The magazine also ranked Dominican as one of three Great Schools at a Great Price in Illinois.


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