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Obit: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)

Art Thieme 16 Jun 00 - 09:06 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Jun 00 - 09:49 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 16 Jun 00 - 10:24 PM
mike putt 17 Jun 00 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,GUSTAPUS 17 Oct 07 - 01:33 PM
John MacKenzie 17 Oct 07 - 01:37 PM
katlaughing 17 Oct 07 - 04:02 PM
open mike 17 Oct 07 - 04:12 PM
open mike 17 Oct 07 - 06:03 PM
Art Thieme 17 Oct 07 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,WorldwideBob 24 Jun 08 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Lafox 08 Aug 08 - 04:29 PM
Mark Clark 09 Aug 08 - 03:20 PM
Art Thieme 09 Aug 08 - 06:34 PM
Mark Clark 12 Aug 08 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Carl Doering 14 Aug 08 - 12:33 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 10 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Bill 05 May 10 - 09:04 PM
Art Thieme 05 May 10 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,Diane 29 Aug 10 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Kenny T now goes by Blue 07 Sep 12 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,gustapus 26 May 13 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Jim 13 Aug 13 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,jillerbiller 13 Jun 14 - 11:00 AM
GUEST 25 Feb 15 - 11:47 PM
GUEST 14 Nov 17 - 06:06 PM
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Subject: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 09:06 PM

I just got word from Guy Gilbert in California that Lorraine Blue has passed away after a long fight with cancer.

LORRAINE BLUE, better known in Chicago folk circles as the owner of MOTHER BLUE'S a grand folk club. (A "folk club" meant "bar" or "night club" in urban U.S.A in the 60s. The place, at 1305 N. Wells Street in the heart of Old Town, had one of the best Hootenannys in town. And the town had at least 20 hoots/open stages going during any given week back then. But Mother Blues hoot was the one where folksingers knew, if they just showed up and did their three songs, the'd get a great meal and 2 or 3 drinks. Back then we could stay fed and rather tipsy just playing at the various club's around town's various hoots -- and all while learning our trade and practicing on stage. Then, if we had a place to crash too, we WERE SET ! IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT BACK THEN TO HAVE GOOD PLACES WHERE WE COULD BE "BAD". The hoots gave us those places to devleop. And some of us took a l--o--n--g time to develop. Lorraine Blue had great patience with us slow ones.

What more could a folksinger want? Well, maybe a "posselque" (actually p.o.s.s.l.q.---stood for "person of opposite sex sharing living quarters". ;-) ------And of all the hangouts, Lorraine Blue created and ran the best one. There I saw Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Spanky And Our Gang, Bob Gibson, Ronnie Gilbert, David Crosby, Josh White, Bud and Travis, The Tarriers, Will Holt---even John Brown -- and the Old Town Singers.(who were they?)

When my eventual wife, Carol, came to town in 1966 as an 18 year old teenie-bopper (remember that word?), it was Lorraine Blue who gave her blankets 'cause she was too poor to buy 'em right then and it was 20 below zero or something like that.

I was just listening to a tape of Bob Gibson and Paul Butterfield jamming in an impromptu on-stage session at Mother Blue's -- the song was "Going Down To Brownsville" from Sleepy John Estes who was in Chicago then too.

Yes, Mother Blue herself is gone. But the melodies linger on...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 09:49 PM

She sounds like she was quite a person Art - there seem to be too few people like that in this world and I bet that those that met her will never forget her.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 10:24 PM

I know the place, and have been there a few times; but it was many years ago. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away
From: mike putt
Date: 17 Jun 00 - 10:06 AM

She sounds like a great person in a great place, but remember that she has gone on to better things now Mike


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away
From: GUEST,GUSTAPUS
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 01:33 PM

Haven't thought of Mother Blue for maybe 30 years or more - but it was the place to hang if you had the time, if you had the time......she was good people........


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 01:37 PM

Art, those are names to treasure indeed, sorta stuff you should be telling grandkids.
Sounds liker another person I shoulda met. RIP Mother B.
G


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 04:02 PM

Don't know how I missed this. Another Art Treasure for my compilation. Thanks for telling us of her, darlin'. She is to be honoured for nurturing you and all of the others.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away
From: open mike
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 04:12 PM

several chicago area folkies have passed recently
I am sure she is in good company now...
Dodie Kallick, Fred Holstein, and now Mother Blue-
probably is a great jam going on right now "up there"


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(200
From: open mike
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 06:03 PM

oh just noticed that this was from the year 2000--so not recent.
the jam is probably still going on never the less.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 10:53 PM

If it wasn't for time, we'd have to do everything all at once!

Art (still hangin' in there...)


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST,WorldwideBob
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 10:41 PM

I just found out about her passing. Yesterday George Carlin passed away and I was telling a friend how he used to visit her when he was in town. As My wife and I lived in the apartment above her she invited us to hang with him. She was a great person and a wonderfull neighbor. I was saddened when she moved to California because of a job transfer. I could fill up many pages of stories about her. I hope her daughter saved all of the tapes she had from the club, and the old sign that hung out in front that she kept in her apartment after the place closed. She indeed is another of those who made life better and will be missed.

Bob


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(200
From: GUEST,Lafox
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 04:29 PM

RE: from WORLDWIDE BOB
Are you Bob Holland?
If so email me Lafox@aol.com

Thanks!!


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 09 Aug 08 - 03:20 PM

I haven't spent as much time here as I should and also missed Art's notice of eight years ago. I didn't really know Lorraine well but I sure had a lot of great times in her place. It's kind of sad to walk around those old Chicago neighborhoods any more. From Chicago Ave on up through Old Town and clear on up to Devon and even into Evanston in those days you could find "folk clubs" of every description. None like Mother Blues though.

Art wrote "The hoots gave us those places to develop. And some of us took a l--o--n--g time to develop. Lorraine Blue had great patience with us slow ones."

I first met and heard Art in early 1963 and I must tell you that his craft was well developed (far beyond others) by that time. Art was one of the rare performers who "played" his guitar rather than merely strum it and his devotion to the music itself always came before any self promotion on stage. He remains way too modest.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Aug 08 - 06:34 PM

Wow, Mark, what very nice things for you to say. That's good to hear after all the years. I recall you doing Woody's song "Tom Joad" back then, about 1963, as well---the first one who did that song -- other than Jack Elliott.

Mudcatters ought to know that you were the mayor of your Iowa town for years. I hope it's O.K. if I tell 'em?! Well, the feline is out of the satchel. Such is life.

If you would, clue us in about the joys and frustrations of being the mayor!? What town was it? Few of us have had the honor.

All the best,
(Sorry for thread drifting.)
Art


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 11:58 AM

Just back from the Iowa State Fair. Our band, Castle Ridge, did two shows there yesterday.

OK, I admit it. I was a local politician. I'm so ashamed.

Upon leaving Chicago (and the Greater Chicago Bluegrass Band) in 1976 for meaningful employment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we found ourselves living in the small hamlet of Robins, Iowa (population 700). I'm the sort that tends to get involved with things around me so it wasn't too long before I was asked to serve on a couple of city committees. That gave me some insight into the way the town operated and I was persuaded to accept an appointment to the Town Council. I was filling out the term of an elected councilperson who had moved away. I subsequently ran and was elected for another term.

By then it was plain that many of the towns administrative problems existed because the long time mayor had only completed the eighth grade and operated on a friends and enemies basis. I resolved to rectify the situation and was probably the first candidate for Mayor to actually use typeset and printed campaign materials. I held neighborhood meetings, talked with voters, discussed issues and was elected by an overwhelming margin. I guess it didn't hurt that I'd cut my teeth on Chicago ward politics helping independent progressive candidates defeat Richard J. Daley's machine.

The good news is that, at the local level, democracy actually works. It's just you and your neighbors and friends working through issues that they really notice when they come home at night. Once you drive out the special interests, which in our case mostly meant developers, you can do a lot of good work. I had long known that you can do pretty much anything you want to if you apply yourself and have the energy. As everyone here knows, that works with music as well. Along with my supporters, I was able to install a sewer system, get the streets paved, build a new city park, work with county government to get access roads paved, make way for a 52 mi. bicycle and recreation trail that passed through town on an old RR right of way. We replaced old fire trucks, instituted a planed replacement for police cars and created a budget and planning system so the officials and townspeople would know where we were headed.

The downside of being Mayor in a small town is that you can wind up with angry and drunken citizens screaming obscenities at you on your front lawn at three in the morning. In those situations I found it helpful that the police chief lived across the street. You can also find your public meetings filled to overflowing with citizens concerned about particular issues. Some on the council thought this was bad but I always welcomed it. It gave me a(nother) chance to educate folks and help them understand that no one was going to run roughshod over them. It also tended to keep the council members on their toes.

Eventually my computing career became more demanding and there were fewer big issues to resolve in city government so I quit running for office and just let others take the reins. But as a result of the work we did back then, Robins has tripled in size, property values are way up and it's considered a desirable place live.

I'm now retired from pretty much everything but music so music (performing and teaching) is taking a lot more time again.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(200
From: GUEST,Carl Doering
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 12:33 PM

I just stumbled onto your site and the messages about Lorraine Blue. I worked at Mother Blue's for a year or so as the upstairs bar tender. I had a ball and met for very interesting people. I was out of town for a while and when I returned Joe Joe Segal (The Jazz Showcase) told me she had just passed away. Her contribution and history to the old Wells street scene can't be overstated.

Carl D


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(200
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 10:43 AM

I was a waitress at mother blues and loved her and the whole place. everything you say is true I remember her sitting up front with her short little leg on a stool carding people with some giant bouncer beside her.   Oh what good times grace slick and friends came down after their shows we were a late club staying open til 5 some night. I had such good times with muddy and otis trying to teach me to play blues piano   what a joke that was. these were good times, good music and good feelings. when I worked there it was mostly blues
muddy jimmy cotten, howlin wolf, chicago slim, buddy guy bloomfield, applejack all kinds and all great. thanks for sharing memories. I last saw muddy in philadelphia backstage at the spectrum and he remembered me that was a real up Martha Ralls Brown Delaware


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 05 May 10 - 09:04 PM

I remember it well. I played many times at the Mother Blues famous "hoots". One time John Brown jumped in and played base for "Springhill Nova Scotia". What a great night.

Does anyone know how to get a recording of the New Wine Singers who played there -- especially of their version of the HOBO song


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 May 10 - 09:52 PM

Bill,
A long tume back, Bull Maloy came in on a thread here. I don't know where he is now. But Bill was a New Wine Singer--as was Arnie Lanza and Gusty Hervie (spelling?) Malcolm Hale---and Spanky McFarland;and took Gusty's place after a while.

But I've no idea where to get those old records.

I think the old thread I'm remembering was pretty extensive. It was called something like:

Merlin Banjos and the Chicago Folk Scene.
Bill Malloy played the all-metal Merlin banjo and was involved in their manufacture in Chicago.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST,Diane
Date: 29 Aug 10 - 10:06 PM

Thanks for having this site up. We lost touch about 15 yrs ago. I met Ma thru her daughter 'Blue' and loved staying with at place her when I was in Chicago. I cherish the memories of her coming out to my place on the weekend when I was at Arlington Park, we would shop and cook together, friends would come and hang out and we would eat and just enjoy the day together. What a wonderful lady to have been in my life.

Blue if you see this, you can email me at dijagood86 at hotmail


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Subject: RE: Obit: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST,Kenny T now goes by Blue
Date: 07 Sep 12 - 07:10 AM

I was so impressed by what a wonderful person sweet L was, I changed my last name to Blue out of respect after I had the privilege of visiting her club and her home. "Mother" in the very best sense of a loving and nurturing woman who makes life possible, was exactly the right word to describe how L treated people. Thanks to Betty B. for introducing me.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST,gustapus
Date: 26 May 13 - 01:34 PM

Some people you just never forget - what a woman she was!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 06:56 AM

Only played there once....an audition for an agent but it was a time I'll never forget. RIP Lorraine.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST,jillerbiller
Date: 13 Jun 14 - 11:00 AM

I used to sneak in to hear Chicago Blues.....miss it....miss the ones that are no longer with us....I'm 69 and still dancing to the Chicago Blues


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Subject: RE: Obit: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 11:47 PM

where the puck have I been. I was friends with Billy, Bonnie and Booboo and am sorry for their lose.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Sadly, Lorraine Blue has passed away(2000)
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 06:06 PM

Does anyone remember when Mother Blues first opened?


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