Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Need a Nickname

I love nicknames. I've never had a nickname, and I'm thinking if I could find the right nickname, I could ratchet up my "cool" factor. Think about it. Having a nickname gives you a mysterious quality. A musician with a nickname obviously has friends, because who else gives you a nickname? But more importantly, it means you have some unmistakable quality that deserves to immortalized -- think Duke Ellington, or Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

Some nicknames describe a physical attribute -- like Fats Waller, or Blind Lemon Jefferson. Sometimes it has to do with where the person is from (Mississippi John Hurt), or the fact they aren't really from anywhere (Ramblin' Jack Elliott). Maybe some habit or style they have (Ringo Starr).

Even some of my folkie friends and heroes have nicknames: Curly Boy Stubbs (Paul Mills), Utah Phillips, Libba Cotten.

Then there are the honorific titles that people are given -- Queen of the Blues (Dinah Washington), Queen of Country Music (Kitty Wells), or Little Miss Dynamite (Brenda Lee). I could live with something like that.

But I think the best nicknames are the ones that are just completely unexplainable, like Satchmo (Louis Armstrong). You can't tell exactly where that came from (actually, here's the story), but it just sounds very cool.

That's the kind of nickname I'd like.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Curly Girl"?

November 3, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Curly Girl"? Perfect!

November 3, 2008 at 9:17 PM  
Anonymous David S. said...

"Guitar Curly"
"Blind Lemon Goldberg"

November 6, 2008 at 3:17 PM  

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