This is The Turnaround with Rev. Zach Chandler, where, every week, we’ll be breaking down a different aspect of the blues for a deeper understanding of the music, culture, and people that are the blues. For the next several weeks, we’ll be examining some of the most influential bluesmen of the last century to try to understand where the blues comes from. As an art form centered around expression, the personalities around it are part of what makes this music so special.
Last time, we got down with Chuck Berry.
This week, we’ll go across the pond to England, where Muddy Waters launched an explosion of blues music in the 1960’s. We begin with the biggest band to come out of this renaissance — The Rolling Stones.
Here’s what we know: The Rolling Stones officially formed in the summer of 1962. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were childhood friends. The founding members, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Ian Stewart, Tony Chapman, and Brian Jones had all played in various blues bands together through the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, an interest that stemmed directly from Muddy Waters’ 1958 UK tour. Their name itself is a tribute to one of Muddy’s signature track: “Rollin’ Stone”.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last fifty years, you’ve likely heard of the Stones. Within a couple years they became one of the biggest acts in history. They had a couple lineup changes in the early years, experimented with different sounds (looking at you, “Miss You”), and sold millions upon millions of records (over 99.1 million to date). They set the modern standard of what being a rock star is: loads of sex, drug use of every variety, wild parties, jet-setting, and bringing the blues, under the guise of rock and roll to every corner of the earth.
They are still going, too. They are currently on tour, with 13 planned shows coming to the US this spring. They put out their most recent album, Blue & Lonesome, in 2016. Rumours abound regarding them selling their souls for immortality because they just won’t stop.
The Rolling Stones have won three Grammys for albums over the years and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Their legacy will not be soon forgotten. In honor of Mick Jagger’s favorite flavor of pop, according to the song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, we’ll go with a Cherry Fizz to pair with the cool, classic sound of the Stones — pour a shot of cherry brandy, half a shot of lemon juice, and some club soda over ice, stir it up, and finish it off with a maraschino cherry garnish.