Friday, October 31, 2014

BLUES N'AT

     Happy Halloween blues lovers! Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you a special edition of Blues N'at. What better way to celebrate Halloween than to celebrate the life, times and music of one Chester Arthur Burnett, otherwise known to blues aficionados as Howlin' Wolf.

      Chester Arthur Burnett, named Chester Arthur after the 21st President of the United States, was born in White Station, MS on June 10, 1910. His prominent physical stature, 6' 3", 275 pounds, may have contributed to his earning the moniker, "Howlin' Wolf" at an early age.

      As a young man, Wolf learned guitar at the hands of Delta Blues great Charlie Patton. Wolf was also known for his growling-type singing as well as harmonica playing. Other influences included Blind Lemon Jefferson, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Jimmy Rodgers. While learning his craft, Wolf performed with the likes of Honeyboy Edwards, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Robert Jr. Lockwood.

     Wolf was inducted into the United States Army on April 9, 1941. He was promptly discharged on November 3, 1943. Once discharged, he went to live with family and work the farm in West Memphis, AR. In West Memphis, he continued to perform, including gigs for radio station KWEM in West Memphis and on KKFA in Helena, AR with Sonny Boy Williamson. He would use these programs to promote his appearances in the area. While in Memphis, in 1951, he recorded several songs for eventual Sun Records founder Sam Phillips.

      He ultimately signed with Chess Records and made the move north to Chicago. Many of his well-known hits, including "Back Door Man", "Wang Dang Doodle" and "Spoonful" were written by Chess Records' producer Willie Dixon.

      In the 1960s Wolf's career experienced a resurgence while touring the European blues festival circuit. He also met and performed with many British blues artists that were influenced by his sound such as the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood.

      During the 1970s, Wolf suffered from several health issues, passing away on January 10, 1976 at the age of 65 in Hines, IL. His legacy has continued to live on. He was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted him as an Early Influence in 1991. Wolf's 1956 Chess recording of "Smokestack Lightnin'" was named to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. His home state honored him by electing him to the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in 2003. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame also listed three of his recordings, "Smokestack Lightnin'", "Spoonful" and "Red Rooster" to the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll".

     What better way to celebrate Halloween night than to hear Howlin' Wolf belting out some of his best tunes? Just listen to that distinctive howl barking at the moon. Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

SLAP SHOTS

Eddie spaghetti, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the defending Stanley Cup Champion-Los Angeles Kings tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)LA is 1st in the NHL in goals against, giving up an average of just 1.7 goals per game. Meanwhile, the Pens are #1 in the league in scoring with a 4.1 goals per game average. Something's got to give. Crank up the Crue and the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)The Kings are road weary as they're 0-0-2 on the road this season. Make road kill of the Kings! 3)Following Tuesday's 8-3 victory over New Jersey, the Pens have won 2 straight. #3 would be great! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

50-YARD LINE

     Sunday evening Heinz Field will be all abuzz with excitement. Yes, your Pittsburgh Steelers will be battling AFC North division rival the Baltimorons. No, the Steelers won't be sporting their bumble-bee uniforms. Sunday promises to be another historical day in a long line of momentous moments of this storied franchise. Sunday marks only the second time a Pittsburgh Steeler has his uniform number officially retired. Hall of Fame defensive tackle Ernie Stautner's #70 was the first. At half time on Sunday night, "Mean" Joe Greene, another Hall of Fame defensive tackle, #75 will be the second.

      It is only fitting that Greene's iconic jersey be retired. After all, Joe Greene was the first draft pick ever by a young, up-and-coming coach named Chuck Noll. Without Joe Greene, there would be no Steel Curtain defense, no 4 Super Bowl championships in 6 years, no Super Steelers dynasty.

      This is an honor that has been long overdue for #75. Mrs. Black-N-Gold can't help but wonder, had the Emperor not passed away this past June, would there even be a ceremony on Sunday? It's a shame to think that it took Chuck Noll's passing to goad the Rooneys into bestowing an honor that has long been ignored. But this is no time to think "coulda, shoulda, woulda".

       This is a time to honor a legend. It is time to thank "Mean" Joe and show him, once and for all, that without him, none of what's before us today would have come to pass. Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Let's give thanks to #75, "Mean" Joe Greene. And we will be secure in the knowledge that the Chief, the Emperor and Myron are all looking down that evening, raising an Iron and waving their Terrible Towels, too. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

SLAP SHOTS

Get in the fastlane Grandma, the bingo game is ready roll 'cause it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins are back on the home ice of Consol Energy Center tonight as they faceoff against the New Jersey Devils. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)New Jersey is 4-1-0 on the road, with all of their wins coming away from the Garden State. Grind 'em into road kill! 2)The Pens have won 8 out of their last 10 at home vs NJ. There's no place like home! 3)The Devils won Saturday night, 3-2 in OT at Ottawa. The Pens also won Saturday, shutting out Nashville 3-0. Fire up the Motely Crue with some more Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!



Monday, October 27, 2014

50-YARD LINE

     Put another one in the win column! Your Pittsburgh Steelers won a shootout yesterday at Heinz Field over the Indy Dolts. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you the Good, the Bad & the Ugly from yesterday's victory.

     The Good-The Steelers scored 51 points worth of good yesterday. There certainly were a lot of reasons for Steelers fans to be happy. The offensive line did a fantastic job of keeping the quarterback clean, allowing zero sacks. Both WR Antonio Brown and TE Heath Miller had over 100 receiving yards. AB caught 10 passes for 133 yards and 2 scores. Heeeath had 7 receptions for 112 yards and 1 touchdown. Rookie WR Martavis Bryant scored 2 TDs while Markus Wheaton caught 1. RB Le'Veon Bell rushed 24 times for 94 yards and caught 6 passes for 56 yards. The defense harassed Indy QB Andrew Luck all day with 2 sacks and 7 QB hits. CB William Gay snagged a pick-six. CB Antwon Blake came up with a big interception late in the game as Luck was going for the end zone. However, with apologizes to all of the Steelers that showed up big time for this game, the Good award goes to QB Ben Roethlisberger who had a record-setting day. Congratulations go to Big Ben for his many accomplishments yesterday. Ben became only the 4th QB in league history to win 100 games in his first 150 starts. He also became the only QB to ever have 2 500+ yard passing games with 522 in the win. He completed 40 of 49 and connected on 6 touchdown to finish with a 150.6 passer rating. Ben proved that he should not be left out of any conversations regarding elite quarterbacks or the Hall of Fame. It looks like the Steelers finally got the memo that the NFL is now a passing league. We need to see more of Ben being Ben.

     The Bad-It was good to see Blake come up big with that interception. Not only did it squash any chances Luck & Co. had at pulling off a comeback, it also meant that Cortez Allen was on the bench. Many times yesterday, Mrs. Black-N-Gold had to shake her head and say "Cortez, Cortez". Costly penalties helped lead to Indy touchdowns. And some of those touchdowns were the direct result of Allen getting burned like my morning toast. I know the Steelers didn't pay him big money to ride the pine but that seems to be the best place for him.

     The Ugly-Considering yesterday was throwback day, I thought about naming the Steelers bumblebee uniforms as the Ugly. But that's too easy. I could always bring up the tried and true penalty flag The Steeler committed 10 penalties for 59 yards yesterday. But I'll tell you what: I'm going to deem the refs as the Ugly. This is due to the fact that some of those penalties were downright ludicrous. Even CBS announcer Phil Simms made a comment to the effect that it's to the point that the officials throw a flag just for looking at the QB cross-eyed. Can we fans throw a flag for excessive penalty calling? Please?!

     And now we look at the standings in the AFC North. Cincy almost Bungled away a win but pulled one out over the Baltimorons. The Clowns were also victorious. It's a tight race as every team in the division is over. 500. Cincy sits at the top at 4-2-1. The Steelers and Baltimorons are tied at 5-3. The Clowns are not far behind at 4-3.

      Now it's time to gear up for a chance at payback against the Baltimorons. They come to our house next Sunday night as the Steelers celebrate the retiring of Mean Joe Greene's #75. Wouldn't it be fitting for the Steelers to lay the smack down on the Baltimorons on national tv as we all honor the Hall of Famer? Get ready for the Baltimorons. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!



Sunday, October 26, 2014

50-YARD LINE

Here we go, Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers battle the Indianapolis Dolts this afternoon at Heinz Field. These are your keys to today's game. 1)The Dolts have won 5 straight. The Steelers go for 2 in a row. Grind the Dolts into horse meat! 2)Indy leads the NFL with 329.6 passing yards per game. During their winning streak, QB Andrew Luck has passed for 300+ yards in each game. Time to turn Andrew into BadLuck. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 3)Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has a chance to make history in today's game. Ben can become just the 4th QB ever to win 100 games in his first 150 starts. Make some history today. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

SLAP SHOTS

Make me a milkshake Malkin, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip as they travel to Nashville tonight to take on former teammate James Neal and the Predators. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens are winless in 3 of their last 4 games and have dropped 2 in a row. Nashville has yet to lose in regulation this season. Strike the right cords in Music City with some Goals, Goals, Goals and a win! 2)The Pens have won 4 in a row versus Nashville. #5 would not be jive! 3)Pens C Sidney Crosby began the season with 4 goals and 4 assists in the first 4 games. He has been held pointless in the last two. Put it on the net and light the lamp! Let's Go Pens!!!