Bo McGee, Eutaw


Bo McGee, (2001)

Bo McGee (1928 - 2002) was one of Alabama's most recognized blues artists. His first memories of hearing the blues comes from 78 RPM records of people such as Washboard Sam and Blind Lemon Jefferson, but he also listened to "those hillbillies like Eddie Arnold and Jimmy Rodgers." He realized his love for the blues when hen heard Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Jimmy Reed.

Big bo McGee at Spirit of Steel Presentiantion Sloss 2000

His grandmother taught him to play the harmonica and "Was a good blower herself," Bo said. "She got me this G-harp and would put me in the closet so the sound wouldn't get away from me. So I would practice in that closet where the hard walls bounce the sound back real good."

Bo met fellow bluesman Little Whitt, and the two played together for years, forming a band after they returned from military service called Little Whitt and the Downbeats. The CD they finally cut, named "Moody Swamp Blues," was produced by the Alabama Blues Project and picked as "CD of the Year" in 1995 by Scott Duncan, editor of Britain's largest monthly blues magazine. Bo performed on many radio and television programs, including one on the BBC in England and one on the popular PBS radio program, "Whad'ya Know," hosted by Michael Feldman.

 19990603 big bo mcgee at freedom creek blues festival

Big Bo McGee's list of accomplishments include two tours of Europe, playing "Alabama Blues" in Ireland, Scotland, England, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Holland, and Belgium. He also played the most prestigious blues festivals in the United States. "Big Bo" was seen and heard, and loved, by millions of people around the world, and was always been a wonderful musical ambassador for our state. He died in a tragic mishap in March of 2002.