Linda Hopkins | the Living Legend LIVE!

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Blues: Blues Vocals Blues: Rhythm & Blues Moods: Type: Vocal
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the Living Legend LIVE!

by Linda Hopkins

The Tony award-winning living legend of the blues captured live in concert at Hollywood's famed Catalina Bar & Grill.
Genre: Blues: Blues Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Let the Good Times Roll
4:14 $0.99
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2. Down Home Blues
4:57 $0.99
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3. Drowning in My Own Tears
8:23 $0.99
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4. Someone Was Steppin' In
4:37 $0.99
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5. Evil Gal
3:53 $0.99
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6. Deep in the Night
6:41 $0.99
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7. Stormy Monday
6:11 $0.99
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8. Black Drawers
4:25 $0.99
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9. Georgia on My Mind
6:48 $0.99
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10. Encore Introduction
0:35 $0.99
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11. Every Day I Have the Blues
4:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Outside the living room window of Linda Hopkins' Hollywood penthouse, the stressing strains of 101 freeway traffic bleed into the summer breeze, spurring her drapery sheers to shimmy like a 30's vintage shake dancer. Through their soft-focus scrim, the afternoon sun illuminates her sitting room's immaculate clutter, providing just the right light for an awestruck visitor to ponder her possessions. Near her ol' upright piano are photos of the lady with a galaxy of golden era entertainers. There's sheet music, show posters, and a trade magazine ad for her Savoy single "Warning Blues."

And then there are the plaques -- row after row of commemorations, proclamations, and citations -- all giving honor and thanks to a Black woman who happily gave of herself to her community. There are so many awards that the excess is stacked along the walls. This is not the home of a faded Tinsel Town star. This is the home of a beloved Los Angeles treasure.

Born (1924) and raised in New Orleans, Linda ran away to live with her brother in Richmond, California in 1947 after the love of her life married another woman. An in-demand vocalist from the time she was a child, Linda had sung nothing but gospel. But white disc jockey "Jumpin' George" Oxford, who was taken with her voice from Sunday gospel radio shows, set up an audition for her at Slim Jenkins' nightclub in Oakland, changing her path forever.

"I never dreamed I'd be in show business," she says wide-eyed, in a voice high-pitched with rural animation. "I auditioned during the Sunday evening cocktail hour with Willie Diamond & The Dominos' '60 Minute Man' - the only secular song I knew. I got a standing ovation. I didn't know anything else...so I sang it again! That Monday, Slim called me for the job and I had to learn five more songs by Friday!" This was January 6, 1950.

"The first person I worked with was Helen Humes," she continues. "On opening night she insisted on opening for me, hollerin', 'YOU are the star of the show tonight!' By day, I was a house cleaner for Miz Montleone, a very rich white lady who loaned me some gowns to wear. Between her and "Jumpin' George" calling all their friends, you couldn't get in the place. Helen had invited Nellie Lutcher and members of Count Basie's, Duke Ellington's and Nat Cole's bands. Slim had to go to the gambling joint next door for more chairs! I made $10 that night - big money then - and stayed for almost a year. When I left, I was making $100 for three night's work! Then I moved to the Champagne Supper Club in San Francisco to work with Redd Foxx."

Fifty-six years and a whole lot of history later, Ms. Hopkins took the stage at the renowned Hollywood jazz supper club, Catalina Bar & Grill, for two SRO shows, conjuring precious memories from golden eras gone by. To get things jumpin', Linda chose Louis Jordan's 1946 party starter "Let the Good Times Roll." "I only got to work with Louis one time in San Francisco," she remembers, "but to this day, his wife Martha always tells me, 'My husband really likeded you!'" "Let The Good Times Roll" later became a pop hit in 1960 for Ray Charles, a longtime friend of Linda's. Since his passing, Linda has dedicated the second half of her stage show Wild Women Blues to his memory. She sang two of those songs at Catalina's: "Georgia On My Mind" and a searing rendition of "Drown in My Own Tears."

Linda also sang ZZ Hill's classic "Down Home Blues" and closed the show with her buddy Michael Konik on "Every Day I Have the Blues," the signature song of another departed friend, Joe Williams. "I like to sing men's songs," she shares. "My voice is heavier so they suit me better. Don't get me wrong. I love Aretha, Patti LaBelle and Tina Turner. And Della Reese and Nancy Wilson are my mentors. But they do their songs so good to where I just leave `em alone!"

Linda gets a few licks in from a female point of view on her "dirty" ditties "Steppin' Out" and the notorious "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On," the latter from the pen of husband and wife team Jimmy & Jeannie Cheatham. "I wrote my own verses for those," Linda says with wicked pride. "The writers love that I made `em my own and wanted me to record `em that way." Ms. Hopkins also includes her bluesy recitation "Deep in the Night" from the Broadway show for which she earned her coveted Tony Award, Inner City.

The deepest touchstone, however, is "Evil Gal Blues," on which Linda tips her hat to the great Dinah Washington. "That was my buddy," she exclaims! "She was with the Roberta Martin Singers out of Chicago when I was with the Southern Harp Spiritual Singers who did concerts together. She used her real name back then: Ruth Jones. Dinah got into show business before me. When she found out I 'crossed over,' she had a trunk full of her old gowns sent to my doorstep."

Coming full circle, Linda continues to sing gospel and blues to packed houses, for which the great Mahalia Jackson once chastised her. Linda stands by her way of making a living. "I go to church every Sunday," she testifies, "and everywhere I go -- Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, Italy -- I talk about my church. So when they come here, they wants to go! And I take `em to church before I take `em to any nightclub. There are people to this day who belong to my church because I brought them there."

Such are the ways of an ageless woman that friends call “The Kid,” a legend who paid the dues to sing the blues AND some gospel, too. Della Reese will tell you: "Any time Linda Hopkins opens her mouth to sing, what you hear is one-hundred-percent real."

- A. Scott Galloway
August 2006

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Reviews


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Richard Bourcier

Highest Recommendation
Linda Hopkins released her first album in 25 years on her 82nd birthday, in mid December 2006. She’s a very gutsy gal and still puts whitecaps on the beer when she shouts the blues. Hopkins did exactly that when she waxed this CD live at the Catalina Bar & Grill Jazz Club in Hollywood. One can’t close this review without mentioning the excellent instrument crew in the form of Michael Konik & His Tasty Band. They cook from start to finish. The Living Legend Live gets our highest recommendation. Play it at your next party!
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Myrna Daniels, LA JAZZ SCENE

Simply Sensational
Her voice is strong and supple, her enunciation perfect as she winds her way through classic tunes. The Tasty Band is smoking, so it makes for a dynamic evening of Linda Hopkins on stage. The 8-minute "Drown in My Own Tears" is a tour de force for Hopkins' gritty, emotional delivery. She's simply sensational. This CD will bring smiles. It's rowdy, fun, heartfelt, and a wonderful celebration in itslef.
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Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap

Blues Belting Tour de Force
Maybe it's just us, but we get a kick out of these 80 year old broads that still have the gumption and fire to come roaring back without embarrassing themselves and serve it up like they haven't given an inch. A blues belting tour de force, Hopkins was celebrating her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame when she stepped up to the mic to let the good time roll. This is a stop to make if you have a taste for the classic belters that won't let you down.
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JAZZ TIMES

Greatness
Hopkins progresses from rollicking to racy, sinful to solemn, proving herself worthy of her idol Bessie Smith. Great artist, great album, 'nuff said.
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Brian Ball, Music Editor

Linda Hopkins (at age 82) releases her first album in more than 25 years entitle
The Living Legend LIVE! was recorded live at the renowned Hollywood jazz supper club, Catalina Bar & Grill on April 11th and May 9th 2006. Linda’s song selection borrows from such precious catalogs as those of Louis Jordan, Ray Charles, ZZ Hill, Joe Williams, Jimmy & Jeannie Cheatham and the Broadway show, Inner City. Her backing band for these two shows was composed of Michael Konik & His Tasty Band (Andy Howe, Joel Hamilton, Ken Park and Kim Richmond). Previously chastised by Mahalia Jackson for singing Gospel and Blues, Linda retorted “I go to church every Sunday”, “and everywhere I go—Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, Italy—I talk about my church. So when they come here, they wants to go! And I take ‘em to church before I take ‘em to any nightclub. There are people to this day who belong to my church because I brought them there.” Linda Hopkins aka “The Kid” has paid her dues several times over and deserves all of the recognition in the world for her talent and devotion.
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Blues Hound

The Legend Lives
I first saw Linda Hopkins nearly 30 years ago on Broadway, when she portrayed Bessie Smith. She's still got it! This live album captures the spunk and the humor that make Linda a unique performer and one of the great legends of blues music. Nobody does "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On" like Linda. More power to The Kid!
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Bruce Crowther, Swing2Bop.com

Still a Star
This remarkable artist displays the vitality and enthusiasm that brought her Broadway plaudits and has ensured her retention of star status at an age when many would have called it a day. Linda has not only survived, she has retained all of her command and stage presence.
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John Underwood

Go Mama Go!
Hi Mama, give me a call sometime I miss seeing you, and especially hearing your unbelievable voice. This CD is the greatest just as you are! No one can top you when it comes to the Blues, Jazz, or that very high note C, no one can top that! - Love your (one of many) sons, John U. Palm Springs, CA
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Przemek Draheim, Polish Blues & Radio Host, www.blues.pl/draheim

Linda Hopkins is a treasure!
After listening to Linda's take on "Let The Good Times Roll" the first word that came to my mind was "wow"! How can anybody ho has more than 80 years old can sing like that!? Linda is a treasure and her singing brings smile to people's faces. Really great vocalist. With a tight band she has recorded a stellar album, one with truly audiophile sound quality!
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Linda #1 Fan

Treasure
This is the sound of joy. Why we call it the blues? Because it makes you happy when you hear them. God bless the great Linda Hopkins for giving us this music for all these years.
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