The House of Rhythm and Blues

As a sort of follow up to my last blog, I’d like to write a few words about a great radio programme called “The House of R&B”. It was on RTE Radio 2 back in the early ’80’s and was hosted by none other than PJ Curtis.

You could write a book on all the things PJ has done – and speaking of books, check out his site here – but the purpose of this blog is to acknowledge the fact that if it wasn’t for PJ and his radio programme I’d have never heard of several of the artists I mentioned in my previous blog.

There really wasn’t any other programme like this on the radio at that time, so anyone who was in any way into the blues ended up tuning in. The only problem was it was broadcast on Saturday evening, which was a terrible time as most of us were on our way to a gig around that time. I came up with the great idea of recording the show if I couldn’t catch it live and very soon all the cassettes I had were recorded over with the latest edition of “The House of R&B”.

The plus side of all that activity is that I have them all to this day, stored away nicely in a suitcase. Interestingly I wasn’t the only one recording the show at that time. When PJ ended up working with Rory (Gallagher) on Davy Spillane’s “Out Of The Air” album, Rory confessed to being a big fan of the show and that he’d also been recording them for future posterity!

When I went through my albums after writing my previous blog I came across another gem – “Live Jimmy Witherspoon & Robben Ford“. On the front of my album there is a ticket stub (autographed by Jimmy on the back) – The Jazz Legend Jimmy Witherspoon in concert with the Frank Hess Quartet. That concert was in the Court Hotel out in Killiney Bay on Friday 1st January @ 9pm. It doesn’t say which year. Now that was a good way to kick in a new year, don’t you think!

The thing is – I’d never have heard of these guys (nor gone to see them live) if it hadn’t been for PJ and his “House of R&B”, so thanks a million PJ for opening my eyes and ears to such wonderful music.

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