Good Morning Blues. My grandmother used to tell me about the Blue Monday's of her youth in the 1920's; a gathering of the "good time" crew that included some of the local teachers, preachers, day workers and laborers. I don't know exactly why they called these gatherings "blue" because all the carryings-on I heard about were anything but depressing. Maybe it was the Monday blah's that they were trying to get through until Hump Day? Once they got over Wednesday they might coast until Saturday night when they'd hear old Hanna Brown from way 'cross town hollerin' about a pig foot and bottle of beer.
Clara Ward would start moanin' from her table with "Lord, Lord, Lord. I said Lord Lord Lord. If I go to church on Sunday and talk about all my friends on Monday - ain't nobody's bizness if I do." Everybody would start hollerin' and you know 'ol big mouf Della Reese would get in there with "Well, I went to bed last night and I kept turning from side to side - don't you get me wrong I wasn't sick - my soul was just dissatified." Somebody would jump on the organ and rock the house with a low-down blues and everybody would be fingerpoppin' and waiting for Miss Ree, and right on cue she come in with "I keep me one man in the valley and another one up on the hill 'cuz when my valley man ain't workin' I'm cool because I know my hill will."
But Ted White, Aretha's husband and manager, wouldn't be smilin' so wide no more. A self-proclaimed pimp, he'd cut his eyes at Ree Ree and all hell would break loose FOR REAL!
(L-R Aretha Franklin, Clara Ward, Ted White and Della Reese, circa 1963)