Program Note

Ernest Lane

It was a real honor to have pianist Ernest Lane in the studio the other day. Lane was in town playing a couple of gigs with Joe Beard and Steve Grills & the Roadmasters. Lane was in great form over the weekend when he performed with Joe and Steve and for those in the Rochester area you should check him out this Thursday when he plays at the Dinosaur BBQ. You can hear the entire feature (included below) as Ernest talks about his new recording, playing with Robert Nighthawk and Earl Hooker, doing a stint with the Monkees and his childhood pal Ike Turner. In addition we play several tracks from his recent CD's as well as some vintage material.

I met Ernest only briefly several years back when he was in town playing with Ike Turner's band. Prior to that I had talked to him on the phone a couple of times while doing some research on Robert Nighthawk. In 2004 Ernest issued his belated debut, The Blues Is Back!, and I promptly interviewed him on my Bad Dog Blues radio show. Just recently Ernest released Born With The Blues on the Evejim label.

Ernest is in his late seventies now, although you wouldn't now it by looking at him or hearing him play. Ernest has had his own bands throughout the years although he's probably best know for his work with folks like Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker and his life long pal Ike Turner. Unfortunately Ernest hasn't gotten in the studio all that often; he cut his first record under his own name for Blues & Rhythm in 1952 (an off shoot of Modern), "What's Wrong Baby" b/w "Little Girl, Little Girl", plus a pair of singles in L.A. in the early sixties, "What Kind Of Love" b/w "Sliced Apples" for M.J.C. and "What's That You Got" b/w "Need My Help" for Sony. Ernest wasn't even aware that the Blues & Rhythm sides were issued but does recall the session which was setup by Ike Turner who was acting as a talnet scout for Modern. As for his session work, Ernest appears on on the July 1949 Robert Nighhawk session and it was either him or Sunnyland Slim on the September 1948 session. The titles include: "Down The Line", "Handsome Lover", "Return Mail Blues", "My Sweet Lovin' Mama", "She Knows How To Love A Man", "Black Angel Blues ( Sweet Black Angel)", "Anna Lee Blues (Anna Lee)", "Return Mail Blues" and "Sugar Papa." Ernest played for a spell with Jimmy Nolen and appears on the following 1959 session for Fidelity: "Swingin' Peter Gunn Pt. 1", Swingin' Peter Gunn Pt. 2" and "Blues After Hours." In 1961 Nolen's band, with Ernest, backed George "Harmonica" Smith on a session for Sotoplay: "Sometimes You Win When You Lose", "Come On Home", "You Can't Undo What's Been Done" and "Rope That Twist." Ernest also recalls playing on the Earl Hooker's 1969 album Sweet Black Angel even though Ike Turner is listed as the pianist. In 1969 he did some studio work with Canned Heat which can be found on The USA Sessions – Classic Recordings from 1969. 1969 was also the year he toured with the Monkees whom he backed as a member of Sam & The Goodtimers. More recently he's appeared on records by Eddie Clearwater and Ike Turner. In the early 1980's he cut a saession for Rooster Records but only one 45 was issued, "Doggin' No More" b/w "Little Girl."

Ernest is a terrific piano player and singer who's looking to be a headliner in his own right. Hopefully with a couple of CD's now out he can get some gigs. If you're reading this and are a club owner of festival promoter, Ernest would make a great addition as he remains at the top of his game, playing in classic style that's rarely heard anymore.

Ernest Lane Feature 9/14/08 (mp3)


Just a quick note to say that there will be a fill-in DJ on today's program. I will be busy at the Hot Blues for the Homeless concert. If you are in the area and haven't bought a ticket we hope you decide to come down. It should be a great day of blues. Also there will be no playlist or show notes for today's program.

Hot Blues Poster


Just a quick note that in addition to hosting Big Road Blues I will also be hosting Doc's Juke Joint this week. The program airs every Sunday night from 7-10pm. Doc’s Juke Joint is a continuing tradition on WGMC started over 15 years ago by Dave Moskal, originally called Muskie’s Juke Joint. In February 2008, Greg "Doc" Lefebre took over the program and renamed it Doc’s Juke Joint.

Also just a reminder that our Spring 2008 pledge drive is underway. If you enjoy listening to the five hours of blues programming on Jazz90.1 please show your support. Jazz90.1 has set a goal of $50,000 for the drive, which runs through March 12th. We have some great blues "thank you" gifts this year. Those interested can make pledges by calling (585) 966-5299, 1-800-790-0415, or pledge securely on line at, where you can listen live any time, anywhere.



Muskie's Juke Joint, which follows Big Road Blues, will be doing a special extended program which will take over my time slot next week airing from 5PM to 10PM. Dave Moskal will be doing his final show after hosting Muskie's Juke Joint for the past fifteen years. I'll be sitting in for a bit plus there should be a bunch of special guests. Make sure to tune in, it should be lots of fun! Big Road Blues will resume on February 17th. Muskie's Juke Joint will continue with Dave's longtime fill-in Doc taking the reins.


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