This week back in 1997, Texas blues man Robert Ealey was already a legend. He had worked with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, T Bone Burnett, and Jim Suhler, and when this story was written, he had just released a most masterfully titled record, I Like Music When I Party.
In this edition of This Week In Dallas Music History, former Observer contributor, and blues aficionado, Tim Schuller told the story of the 57-year-old Fort Worth blues badboy. At this point, Ealey's blues had already taken him around the world. According to Ealey, it was on his travels through Europe that he earned the nickname the Reverend, but the name followed him home. Here's Ealey's explanation:
"Three women came up to me at J&J's (Blues Bar), said, 'You the Reverend?' I said, 'I guess so, that's what they call me.' They say, 'Where your church, we wanna go to your church!' I say, 'Baby, lemme tell you somethin'. You in my church!' You go to church, all you see's parkin' places. More people in the beer joint than the church. Find you the beer joint [that has] cars parked all-l-l up 'n' down the street, in yards, double-parked--that's when you found the church o' Robert Ealey!"
In 2001, Ealey passed on. According to his memorial website, he was born 15 years earlier than reported in the Observer story. Hit the jump to read the entire thing. It's a great tribute to the man, and a great read.
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Check out the story in the Observer online archives.