Big Jay McNeely: Blues Breaker
Cecil James McNeely became known as Big Jay McNeely, because the boss of Savoy Records thought the name Cecil didn’t sound commercial. McNeely’s first hit was called “Deacon’s Hop,” way back in 1949. And with that instrumental, he entered the rarefied roster of big time saxophone honkers. Big Jay was popular through the fifties and sixties, on his own, and lent his flamboyant sound to others. But he gave up the grind in the seventies to become a postman. A revival of interest in rhythm and blues in the eighties brought him back. He wound up doing a gig in West Berlin the night the wall came down. Now aged 89, the king of the honking saxophone and old school jump blues, has a new record of new songs and old hits. It is called BLOWIN’ DOWN THE HOUSE. That seems to say it all. This is “Love Is Stronger Than Hurt.” Big Jay McNeely.
AIR DATES: November 26-27, 2016