Man, it seems every week brings about bad news for the blues. The bluesmen responsible for igniting my love for the music seem to be leaving us way too frequently this past year. Sometimes I just get the idea that they are as timeless as the music and that they'll always be counting off a shuffle or two out there somewhere. Maybe it's because they keep playing it until the day that they pass on to that better stage. I picked up this sad news from Bob Corritore's newletter where he passed on a Bob Margolin e-mail.
RIP Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, June 9th,1926 - August 9th, 2010. Best known as the longtime bass player of the Muddy Waters Blues Band, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, a Greenwood, Mississippi native, passed away last night of complications from lung cancer. He was 84. "Fuzz" was the definitive blues bass player, a stirring vocalist, and a wonderful human being. Here is the email that Bob Margolin, his longtime friend, and fellow Muddy alum, wrote this morning:
Calvin “Fuzz” Jones passed away early this morning at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven, Mississippi. His family is making funeral arrangements for Saturday in Mississippi. No more information on that yet, update soon.
Calvin “Fuzz” Jones is best known for the 10 years he played bass in Muddy Waters’ band, about 1970-’80. Previously, he had worked with Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and Elmore James. He was appreciated for his strong electric bass playing, rocking stage presence, deep Blues singing, and the friendly laugh and smile he had for all.
Calvin had been living in Senatobia, MS for the last few years after decades in the Chicago area. Some of you receiving this e-mail were very kind to help him financially to stay in his apartment when he faced eviction in January. He appreciated that so deeply, understanding fully that the Blues music we all love had brought him your timely help. He had beat lung cancer, and in the late 1990’s he had a large tumor successfully removed from the back of his neck. Apparently the cancer came back in one lung and he developed pneumonia in the other and couldn’t breathe and was rushed to the hospital. He suffered a heart attack there, and though he was stabilized, his heart was weakened and gave out on him for the last time this morning.
I visited him last Friday afternoon, and he was deeply sedated. I’m glad to have seen him one more time, but he didn’t know I was there. I think he was beyond medical recovery, and that his illness overtook his strength. He was 84 years old, and was enjoying his life as much as possible until very recently. He had a sincere good word for everyone, and his reaction to any kind of health, musical, or financial challenge was his hearty trademark laugh. I asked him how he could laugh so easily when life hurt him, and he said “When you laugh the world laughs with you, when you cry, you cry alone.” He brought us deep Chicago and Mississippi Blues on the bandstand and on recordings, and his Blues and love for his friends, family, and all of us are his legacy.
Sadly, Bob Margolin
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