Letters for September 13-19, 2007

I have chatted with many blues men and women. Guys like Phillip Walker will tell you that little kids in Sweden know the matrix numbers of his early recordings while most Americans don't have the first idea who he is. Once the last mainstream blues man, B.B. King, dies, whatever chance the blues has to be passed on will go with him.

It's just about gone, and we are much the poorer for it. It could become like New Orleans jazz, which survives as a live music only in the karaoke of what became known as "Dixieland" music. The spark is gone; only the cliché is left behind to indicate the enormousness of Louis Armstrong's contribution.

Rob Dewar

Ottawa, Ontario

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