doug allyn: the jukebox king

Doug Allyn wrote this short story that was anthologized in Best American Mysteries Stories 2003. ” The Jukebox King” is set in a blues bar in the 1930s, and being a blues fan, I found this passage interesting:

Brownie’s Lounge on Dequinder was buzzing by seven, jammed tight by ten. Selling Stroh’s beer by the gallon. Straight up. No glasses. Shop rats guzzling the brew out of the pitchers. Getting high, feeling mighty. Ready to hear some blues.

John Lee Hooker’s trio came on at nine, kicking out jams on Brownie’s postage-stamp dance floor. Big John wailing on his old Harmony guitar, James Cotton on harmonica, and a pick-up bass player.

No drummer. No need for one. If you can’t feel the beat when John Lee stamps his size 13 Florsheims on a hardwood dance floor, you’d best lie down. You might be dead.

John Lee Hooker sings “Hobo Blues” at the American Blues Festival in 1965. Screenshot from video here.

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