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Blues Music Caricatures
Cartoon Caricature Limited Edition Poster Art Prints by Don Howard
Browse the Blues Music Image Gallery or Alphabetical Listing
My Blues Celebrity Caricature Art Prints are directly related to my growing up in rural northern Texas in the mid 1950's. During that time, the local radio stations mostly played country music, which, if you really think about it, was nothing but the blues. But, in the evenings, after 8 PM, if the weather was good and if your radio was pointed in the direction of Nashville you could pick up the mellow sounds emanating from WLAC 1510 AM, sponsored by Randy's Record Shop.
My entire neighborhood waited with excited anticipation for the sound of the exotic blues music and soul music from equally as exotic named artists such as Gertrude Ma Rainey, Howlin' Wolf, Memphis Minnie, Lead Belly and Muddy Waters, to name a few. The raw cutting edge of their music, made my family sing, laugh and dance; all the things that evoked happiness.
Fast forward 30+ years to one of the most difficult periods of my life. I had just gotten divorced; my business had plateaued; and my desire to aggressively pursue a change in my circumstances was nonexistent. I was suffering from a mild case of depression--I truly had The Blues! Now, doesn't that have the makings of a true Blues Song--the only key missing element was my dog didn't die.
Inspired by my melancholy state of mind, I created my first blues caricature drawing--John Lee Hooker. Why John Lee you might ask--well, I was impressed with his abilities. He was a songwriter as well as a singer. And, I would have to say that he was one of the first rappers. He pioneered a style of singing called 'talking blues'. . .and his SONGS, they don't get any better than Boogie Chillen and Boom Boom. One look at the finished product told me I was on to something. In quick succession, I produced cartoon caricatures of Billie Holiday, Louie Armstrong, Lightnin' Hopkins and the great Bessie Smith.
During this period, I met and married my lovely wife, Dorothy. My melancholy days were behind me! With her encouragement and inspiration, I set out to create the largest collection of Celebrity Caricatures Blues Prints in the World.
Coupled with my explosion of Blues Music Art drawings, I did a lot of investigation of my subject matter. Although the blues probably originated in the rural cotton fields of Mississippi and then migrated to the industrial north of the United States to be transformed into urban music, it is now an unbelievable musical language. Blues has transcended many cultural boundaries.
There are blues music singers and fans in every country these days that have access to American music. This is evident by the demand for our blues caricature art prints. Blues fans, whose first language is far removed from English (Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, etc.) have taken up the insistent rhythm and core subjects of the blues--sex, money, unemployment, poverty--and added their own unique flavor.
Why then does blues music have such an undeniable and far-reaching influence worldwide? Rock and roll, country, pop, heavy metal, dance--every musical genre has been touched by or has turned to the blues for inspiration, insight and innovation.
Blues TRIVIA .
Who is considered to be the father of the blues?
Answer: W. C. Handy