Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Long Live Irma Thomas

Irma Thomas 2019 The Advocate.com
Photo by Sophia Germer

"...There can’t be a more poignant statement of loss than Irma's 'Wish Someone Would Care'... 
(Virginia Billeaud Anderson - BoudinandBourbon.com pays tribute to Soul Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas with a few words about her life and music.)


Long Live Irma Thomas

After posting pictures of Dr. John’s second line jazz funeral on this blog, it occurred to me that Irma Thomas is only one year younger than the good Doctor. Thankfully Irma is healthy.

I bow to the Soul Queen of New Orleans.

There are moments in “Ruler of My Heart” in which she deepens her voice, brings it to a lower range, intentionally makes it wobbly, with saxophones backing up. The first time I heard Irma Thomas do that, over 40 years ago, my throat felt tight. Unsurprisingly, that song knocked Otis Redding on his butt. As the story goes, Irma sang “Ruler of My Heart” to open Otis’ show. Otis commandeered the song, and released it, soon after in 1964, as “Pain in My Heart.”

Irma Thomas 2018 New Orleans Jazz Fest
Photo by Scott Threlkeld

Here’s one of my favorite stories about Irma. A divorced teenager with kids in the 1950s, she was working as a waitress at New Orleans’ Pimlico Club, when bandleader Tommy Ridgley invited her to sing. Singing got her fired from her waitress job. On the other hand, it got her an audition and a record deal. The “drop-out” later completed a university degree.

Irma said in an interview it pleases her that very young people are paying attention to her music. It pleases me too. Admittedly, my nostalgia is deep, my gratitude is profound. That aside, there's no escaping, something very precious will one day be lost.

The Rolling Stones planned to hook-up with Irma for the 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Undoubtedly, together they would have performed "Time Is on My Side" duet style. Both released the song in 1964.  Sadly, Mick’s heart-valve surgery forced the Stones to cancel. Don’t worry, Mick is back. He recently published a video of his strenuous work-out, typical acrobatic-style gyrating and prancing around. Jumpin Jack Flash, it’s a gas!  How old will Mick be on July 26?

Irma won a Grammy Award for “After the Rain” (2006). She recently released “Irma Thomas: The Soul Queen of New Orleans 50th Anniversary Celebration CD.”

There can’t be a more poignant statement of loss than Irma's “Wish Someone Would Care.” I call up those first two drawn-out words, stretched eternally over multiple beats, Irma’s powerful voice backed up by bluesy female vocalists, the song announces deep sadness. In my opinion it rivals Ray Charles’ “I Can’t Stop Loving You” as an expression of human yearning. Irma was 22 years old when she wrote “Wish Someone Would Care.”

Long Live Irma Thomas.

Irma Thomas 1981 Jazz Fest 
Photo by Burt Steel

Irma Thomas: The Soul Queen of New Orleans 50th Anniversary
Celebration CD. From Irma Thomas website.
Irma Thomas Chicago Blues Festival 2007
Sun Times. Photo by Chris Sweda


Irma Thomas Wish Someone Would Care. Posted by thecountofbasie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np793RzybIY

www.irmathomas.com
@IrmaThomas.com
Contact Emile Jackson 504 249-1719


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Garland Fielder Weighs In on Architectural Design and the Creative Process
A Talk with Angie Dumas About Her Blog "Da'Stylish Foodie" - Interview

Eating Garlic Beef at Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant - Mai's Immigrant Story

Discovering S.P.Q.R. and Miraculous Oil at the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere
Visiting Azienda Agricola Casamonti in the Chianti Classico - Wine and Cinta Senese Pigs
My Visit to the Houston Farmers Market

Visiting ShyKatz Cafe on Galveston Island, Historical Architecture

Eating Oysters at Topwater Grill in San Leon at Galveston Bay

A Tribute to Legendary Wildcatter Jim Bob Moffett

Interviewed John and Lillie Mae Norbert about Norbert’s Restaurant - and Broussard Louisiana

A Talk with Food Guru George Graham about Acadianatable.com - Graham’s New Cookbook “Fresh From Louisiana: The Soul of Cajun and Creole Home Cooking” - Interview

Ryan Baptiste - The Light Beyond The Blight - Redbud Gallery - Echoes of New Orleans
https://www.boudinandbourbon.com/2020/06/ryan-baptiste-light-beyond-blight.html

Bar Boheme - Houston Bars - Drag Brunch - Architectural Preservation
https://www.boudinandbourbon.com/2020/05/bar-boheme-houston-bars-drag-brunch.html

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https://www.boudinandbourbon.com/2020/05/bayview-inn-cypremort-point-louisiana.html

Billeaud's Too, Calvin Trillin, and Jacking with Cajun Boudin
https://www.boudinandbourbon.com/2020/04/billeauds-too-calvin-trillin-and.html

Martha Stewart Visits Lucullus Antiques - Patrick Dunne - New Orleans
https://www.boudinandbourbon.com/2019/11/martha-stewart-visits-lucullus-antiques.html

Jimmy Domengeaux Chats about His Louisiana Wetlands Photography Exhibition – Interview

Notes on van Gogh’s Irises, Walter Annenberg, Louisiana Politics - Essay

A Closer Look at Christy Karll’s Painting “Swerve” –  Interview

A Closer Look - Beef Empanadas with Olives - Seco’s Latin Cuisine - Essay

Giacomo Restaurant's Foradori, Rotaliano, Trentino 2015" - Red wine produced by Elisabetta Foradori in Trentino Italy - A Closer Look
https://www.boudinandbourbon.com/2018/06/giacomo-restaurants-teroldego-foradori.html