Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day • Long John Baldry & Rod Stewart

 photo long-john-baldry-1968_zpsu4gtfppk.jpg  photo Rod-Stewart_zpskpur9jl7.jpg

Long John Baldry had some hits going on in the 1960s in the UK, most notably 1967's "Let The Heartache Begin". Baldry was almost everything the record executives were looking for: tall (6'7"), blond, handsome and talented. What they didn't like was that he was a gay man, and even in the 60s, he didn't want to play the games. In fact, the laws were so repressive for gay men and lesbians, Baldry decided to leave the country and head for North America. No, not the United States, who were even more repressive. He went to Canada, the most socially progressive country around. When he was still flying high though, he worked with two young men who appreciated all he did for them. One was young rocker Rod Stewart, and the other was keyboardist Reginald Dwight, later known as Elton John. His buddies helped him out later, producing the 1972 album 'Everything Stops For Tea'. Each took ownership of one side of the album, hoping to help their friend revive his career. One of the songs not only featured Baldry, but also Stewart, as both took on the traditional Blues song "Mother Ain't Dead". I hope you enjoy it.

The album did not return Long John to the top of the charts, but is did bring him closer and closer to the music he loved, the Blues. In fact, he was one of the artists I enjoyed listening to, even before I discovered he was gay. I still enjoy listening to his music, but I am sad that he has been gone for almost 10 years now. 'Everything Stops For Tea' can be purchased from iTunes and Amazon.

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