ChiTownJab | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Soul Train Local

This is one of the best articles that I've read to date about Soul Train, and the most on point. I danced on the show twice in November of 1970, if I'm not mistaken, it was filmed at the Board of Trades building downtown on the 22nd floor in a tiny hot attic. Don Cornelius was a snob, he never as much as spoke with us kids, Mr. Clinton Ghent is the person who greeted us and made us feel at home. The show was in black & white, at that time there were no guest singers, nor did we have a scrabble board game. We would do the latest dances when we came down the Soul Train dance line but the kids of my era were all very laid back, we bopped "stepped" for most of the show. We loved to do the Philly Dog, the Cold Duck and dances like that but for the most part, we were really cool kids, we brought stepping to Chicago tv, some of the best boppers/steppers in city danced on the show. Finding a diamond in the ocean would be much easier then finding a 1970 episode of Soul Train. Holla at me if you do, I'm been looking for 20 years... jbrown26@prodigy.net. I grew up on the west side on 16th & Hamlin, and went to Westinghouse V.O.C., those were the days...
Yours truly,
John

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ChiTownJab on 10/29/2009 at 11:26 AM

Re: “The Jackson Find

Wow such great memories, everyone loved Big Boy, Larry Blasingaine and I were friends as kids, he played the hell out've a guitar at age 15 and their drummer Foxx could give Buddy Rich a run for his money easily. I remember Herb Kent and the Mad Lads, does anyone remember the good guys song, I still have my copy of that 45... Back in those days there was plenty of talent on the west side of Chicago. Between Harding to Lawndale you could find really great young talent, Larry Blasingaine on 18th and Harding, Beverly Shaffer "where will you be boy" on the corner of 16 and Hamlin, the Hayes and Browns lived side by side at 1623 & 1625 So Hamlin, the Vandells on 18th street and a few more that I can't remember at the moment, the first Miss Black Illinois Shirley Brown "my cousin" lived up over me. We would perform on Big Bill Hills show, dance on Soul Train, or appear in neighborhood talent shows, at William Penn, Mason Upper grade center, Farragut High school, WestingHouse Voc H.S. or at Marshal High. I remember when Dr Martin Luthur King moved in the building right at the end of 15th & Hamlin, those were the days...Take a listen...

Rainy Night In Georgia
http://www.singsnap.com/snap/r/bcc6d3f6

Anyone knowing the whereabout of Larry Blasingaine tell him an old friend says Hello and to write me at jbrown26@prodigy.net
yours truly,
John

Posted by ChiTownJab on 09/26/2009 at 4:33 AM

Re: “Earliest Known Jackson Five Studio Recording Found

I was sitting patiently in a waiting room looking around for something to read, in the seat next to me were some shuffled papers, bits and piece of other papers. Fully intact was this issue Sept 9, 2009, vol 38, #51, what a treat.

Everyone that I know, grew up listening to and loving the Jackson family of entertainers and to see rarely ever seen pictures made this find special, you would think that it couldn't couldn't get any better but it did. I saw a dear friend and classmate from my past that warmed my heart.

Larry Blasingaine and I were art buddies "smile" we both loved to draw, I think that it was mostly comic book hero's and villains. We would sit in our class sometimes and draw while talk-in about the comic that we liked. Larry was an excellent artist, Larry was always quiet, til you got to know him, he liked to laugh and could be silly for a minute. For the most part he was always well contained little soldier.

This might be an odd way of describing Larry but for me it's what I thought best fit. Larry had a sorta "Jesus Christ" persona, only difference is that he wasn't preaching anything, there was just this good natured flow from him all the time. Him showing excitement was like watching the coolness of a beatnik snapping his fingers say-in yeah cool man. Larry was always so quiet and soft spoken, I had no idea that he was interested in music, he never talked about it. I saw him try to get angry once, funniest thing that you ever wanted to see, he'd breath some type of funny way, it only lasted a second, Larry was on a mission.

Even back then he explained himself like an instructor. He was good and could've actually taught guitar back then. I remember visiting him on 18Th street, they lived at the end of the block. We were drawing and I think that it was his dad say, "Larry, you have a guitar lesson shortly", I looked at you with my eyes bucked and asked if Larry played. He quietly responded "yes I've been taking lessons" and nothing was ever said about it.

That same summer Larry sprang another surprise on me, one that sparked a life long interest and "hobby", music. There was a talent show at our neighborhood elementary school "William Penn", located right there on 16Th and Avers. Everybody in the neighborhood would attend them. It was a great talent show I must say. All sorts of act's, all of the kids were very very talented. The curtains opened and I saw my buddy Larry and 3 or 4 other young teens, my jaw dropped, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. They played a simple little tune but it was polished, they played like pros. Larry had long fingers especially for a kid, they just swelled up over the neck of his guitar.

As I look back and think I'd like to tell you what I saw and heard. Larry was only 14 or 15 years old but he played the level of a young George Benson type. Larry was good, there was no question about it and I must say, he was one of the most soft spoken people that I have ever met in my life. He must be one of them most gifted teachers/instructors to ever live. He can only make master guitar players. I remember their drummer Glen, we called him Foxx, he had thunder in his sticks and he to was only just a kid. Talking about thunder, Foxx would've given Buddy Rich hell and again, Foxx was just a kid.

That following year I formed a band and did a talent show and enjoyed that wonderful feeling of performing on stage. Thank you Larry, we lost contact like kids and friends do, but I'd just like for you to know that I still think of you, you are a part of my fondest memories of my past, you had a positive impact my live and it has stayed with me and it is still with me and to say to your parents they sowed a marvelous seed of spirit and that they should be ever so proud.

In his day Larry has taught many many guitar students and I'm sure that he will teach many many more but if he's not doing this as of right now, then what I would like to suggest is that Larry looks into teaching other teachers what it is he does in his teaching methods. The method is the key to receiving the gift of learning, and Larry has that in abundance.
Your old school mate,
John A. Brown aka ChiTownJab

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by ChiTownJab on 09/11/2009 at 9:42 PM

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