Artie "Blues Boy" White

Daddy B. Nice's #16 ranked Southern Soul Artist



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"I Can't Afford To Be Broke"

Artie "Blues Boy" White

Composed by Floyd Hamberlin, Jr.


ARTIE "BLUES BOY" WHITE: April 16, 1937-April 20, 2013.

Southern Soul star Artie "Blues Boy" White died April 20, 2013, in a Harvey (south Chicago) hospice after a long illness. Along with Tyrone Davis, Lee "Shot" Williams, Otis Clay, Cicero Blake, The Love Doctor and Stan Mosley, White was one of the foremost Chicago practitioners of Southern Soul music.

Artie White was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1937. At the age of 11, White was already a member of a spiritual group called Harps of David, and in 1956 he moved to Chicago and joined another church group called the Full Gospel Wonders. According to the legend, a well-heeled Mephistopheles in a shiny Cadillac came up to White on a Chicago street one day and offered him $10,000 to record some blues, and White switched to the "Devil's music" for good.

White began recording secular music in the sixties and had a minor hit with "Leanin' Tree" in 1977, but his first full-length set wasn't published until 1984 on the Ronn label. Using live instruments, including full horn sections, despite the disco-influenced programming of the day, White went on to release a steady stream of albums on the Atlanta-based Ichiban label, which at the time (from 1987 to 1992) was second only to Jackson, Mississippi's Malaco Records as a purveyor of the new Southern Soul sound.

In 1994 White signed with Waldoxy Records (a subsidiary of Malaco) and released three acclaimed CD's in a five-year span, often mixing old songs with new, and subsequently finishing his recording career on his own label--A Chill Town--from 2002 to 2005. Throughout his life his work also appeared on many Blues and Southern Soul compilations.

His most beloved songs include "I Can't Afford To Be Broke" (written by fellow Chicagoan Floyd Hamberlin), "Your Man Is Home Tonight" (written by Tony Troutman), "Love To See You Smile" (written by Bobby "Blue" Bland), "Hattie May" (written by Little Milton Campbell), "Leaning Tree" (written by Bob Jones) and "Hot Wired My Heart (written by George Jackson and Curry Culp).

"Possessed with a clear, brilliant vocal style," Daddy B. Nice wrote in his 2005 Artist Guide to Artie "Blues Boy" White, White nevertheless played against his talent, utilizing an array of expressive vocal tricks--strategic pauses, shrugs, laughs, double entendres and sly inflections. Artie White's goal was to disarm with charm, and he succeeded."

White was preceded in death by his wife Emma Lee. He is survived by his wife Betty, who had been his loving caregiver, and several children from his first marriage.

--Daddy B. Nice


April 22, 2013:

ARTIE "BLUES BOY" WHITE FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

On Friday, April 26, there will be a celebration of Artie's life at Gatlins Funeral Home, 10133 S Halsted St Chicago, IL 60628, (773) 881-4111 from 5 to 9 pm. (I've included ZIP code and phone number in case anyone from out of town might want to send cards, flowers, etc.) -- It will be a secular celebration.

The funeral will be on Saturday, the 27th, at New Faith Missionary Baptist Church
8400 S. Halsted 60620, 773-783-4800. Viewing at 10:00, service at 11:00.

April 20, 2013:

From Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag:

ARTIE "BLUES BOY" HAS PASSED AWAY

Daddy B. Nice,

I know there have been unfortunate rumors about this in recent weeks, but this time it can be confirmed. I talked with Artie's wife, Bettie, yesterday -- she told me he'd been put into hospice care. This morning I called again; I didn't talk to Bettie, but the person I spoke with confirmed that Artie had passed.

Bettie has been absolutely heroic, tending and taking care of Artie during his long convalescence over the past few years. She's been at his side almost literally 24/7, even when he's been in the hospital. She deserves our blessings and our praise -- from now on, whenever I hear the phrase "Angel of Mercy," I'm going to think of her.

No info on arrangements yet. When/if I hear more, I'll try to pass it on.

David W.

*************

September 1, 2010: Author's Forward

The word is Artie "Blues Boy" White has slowed down. It would be nice if the blues and Southern Soul community would shower some love on this integral member of the scene over the last quarter-century, and do it before it's too late, as is so often the case with our most beloved performers. Sadly, Package Deal--Artie's excellent and latest album (2006)--is already out of print and available only through used-record outlets.

In the meantime, new material added to the Artie White Artist Guide includes American Roots: Blues, a look at Artie White's vintage blues, recorded at the P&S Studios in Chicago in 2002.

Artie "Blues Boy" White also appears (performing "Your Man Is Home Tonight") on the historically significant six-box set from Malaco Records, The Last Soul Company, now available in Daddy B. Nice's CD Store, under Artists, Various, Malaco.

*****************

Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:

Everything on this record ("I Can't Afford To Be Broke")--the drums, the infectious bass riff, Artie White's vocal, the soulful chorus and horns (maybe the greatest horn chorus ever) bubbles and percolates and brings out the smiles. Often, when I'm listening to it, your Daddy B. Nice visualizes a half-mythical, half-cartoon band of dancing barnyard animals playing in a dream world of mice running over rooftops ahead of a rosy dawn, a scene of unrestrained gaiety like the very old cartoons, where everything was innocent, carefree and--well--"high."

Artie White is a bluesman that any blues purist would recognize as one of his own, and yet he's never been content to walk the same old "mojo" path blazed by B.B. King, Albert King and their legions of imitators. With Artie it's got to be fun, and if it's a serious subject, at least wry.

Possessed with a clear, brilliant vocal style, White nevertheless plays against his talent, utilizing an array of expressive vocal tricks--strategic pauses, shrugs, laughs, double entendres and sly inflections. Artie White's goal is to disarm with charm, and he succeeds.

As its title suggests, "I Can't Afford To Be Broke (If I Want To Keep Her)" (from the CD Can We Get Together, Waldoxy, 1999) reprises the "Sugar Daddy" theme from the point of view of the beleaguered "daddy," putting the wittiest spin ever on the subject of moneyed older men and sexy young women.

"She can have all my money," White says with a big laugh--a sugar daddy's giggle--in a seemingly tossed-off intro. "I don't care if she don't love me. There ain't nothin' wrong with being a fool in love."

Wisely keeping the rhythm section up front in the mix, with those insistent drums and that hooky bass in your face, the band grabs you around the throat and throws you on board its "little-locomotive-that-could" beat, so that by the time the chorus kicks in, sending up traces of gospel like so much confetti, you're already on the "blues boy" bandwagon, pumping your fists and waving your arms to the "I Can't Afford To Be Broke" banner.

"As long as I don't run out of money,
I know I'll always be with her."

Artie White has more than two decades of material to his credit, almost evenly divided between straight blues--songs such as "Man Of The House," "Willie May Don't Play," and "First Thing Tuesday Morning"--and his special oeuvre: the wry, light-hearted, melodic blues epitomized by "I Can't Afford To Be Broke."

"Hot Wired My Heart" Different Shades Of Blue Waldoxy, 1994), written by Southern Soul songwriter George Jackson (who wrote many of Little Milton's greatest hits) and Curry Culp, is an early example of this special niche.

"She hot wired my heart/ And drove me straight to the poor house," White laments with a comedic shrug. "I didn't have no millions/ But she took what I had."

White continues to press ahead with more good-time material, as evidenced by 2004's "Love To See You Smile" (from the CD First Thing Tuesday Morning ), a rollicking version of a Bobby "Blue" Bland song included on Bland's Greatest Hits Vol. II (MCA, 1998).

White transforms "Love To See You Smile" from a slow, gospel-tinged ballad (in Bland's treatment) to a dance floor ditty as hard to resist as "I Can't Afford To Be Broke." "Love To See You Smile" registers in the mind as an "instant oldie"--an "oldie" you never tire of hearing.

The same can be said for White's anthemic "Your Man Is Home Tonight" from the Home Tonight album. This is music that makes you feel good. That makes you feel human.

"Yeah, baby, I'm on my way.
Won't take long, one whole day.
Can you hold yourself together?
Just remember that I'm your fella.
Tonight when we make love, baby,
We won't be dreaming.
We'll be together."

--Daddy B. Nice


About Artie "Blues Boy" White

Artie White was born in Vicksburg, Ms. in 1937. At the age of 11, White was already a member of a spiritual group called Harps of David, and in 1956 he moved to Chicago and joined another church group called the Full Gospel Wonders. According to the legend, a well-heeled Mephistopheles in a shiny Cadillac came up to White on a Chicago street one day and offered him $10,000 to record some blues, and White switched to the "Devil's music" for good.

Like other performers, White hunkered down during the blues-hostile climate of the late-seventies and early eighties. He'd gained some recognition with a 1977 single, "Leanin' Tree," but other singles he recorded fared less well. He gigged around Chicago and also ran a blues lounge.

White finally broke through with his debut album, Blues Boy, in 1985. It was a solid effort, establishing him as a first-rate blues master. It also memorialized his colorful nickname. More albums, mostly on Ichiban, followed with regularity through the eighties and nineties, including 1989's Thangs Got To Change with Little Milton on lead guitar.

In the late nineties White moved to the Waldoxy label, where he put out two more superior efforts, including the Can We Get Together CD from which "I Can't Afford To Be Broke" is taken. In all, he has produced nearly a dozen albums in fifteen years, making him one of the most prolific and respected artists in all of Southern Soul.

Artie "Blues Boy" White Discography:

1985 Blues Boy (Ronn)

1987 Nothing Takes the Place of You (Ichiban)

1989 Thangs Got to Change (Ichiban)

1989 Where It's At (Ichiban)

1990 Tired of Sneaking Around (Ichiban)

1991 Dark End of the Street (Ichiban )

1992 Hit & Run (Ichiban)

1994 Different Shades of Blue (Waldoxy)

1997 Home Tonight (Waldoxy)

1999 Can We Get Together (Waldoxy)

2002 Can't Get Enough (A Chill Town)

2002 American Roots: Blues (P & S)

2004 First Thing Tuesday Morning (Blues Boy)

2006 Package Deal (A Chill Town)


Song's Transcendent Moment

"I know she don't really love me.
She just like all the things I can do.
She just loves me for my money.
It got nothing to do with being true."


Tidbits

December 7, 2006. Chilltown Records published Artie "Blues Boy" White's Package Deal in October of '06. The songs from the disc your Daddy B. Nice is hearing on the radio stations of the Deep South are "Package Deal," "Third Party," and "When You Took Your Love From Me." (All titles approximate.) On the first few listenings, at any rate, the title cut has disappointed. The song seems to aim for light-heartedness but is undermined by a puzzlingly weak and dispirited vocal.

The track that impresses me is the slow, bluesy, Little Milton-like "When You Took Your Love From Me." Indeed, listening to it brought back all the reasons why I like Artie White so much. He brings something pure, authentic and unashamedly country to Southern Soul. It's the blues, but when Artie's at his best, it's the blues with swing. "When You Took Your Love From Me" may be a ballad, but it's a ballad that swings. Musically, it's an original. DBN.


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you can imagine the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" transported back to Mississippi and done in an up-tempo, delta blues style, you're going to love Artie "Blues Boy" White's "I Can't Afford To Be Broke."


Honorary "B" Side

"Your Man Is Home Tonight"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Can't Afford To Be Broke by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
I Can't Afford To Be Broke


CD: Can We Get Together?
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Can We Get Together?


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Your Man Is Home Tonight by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
Your Man Is Home Tonight


CD: Home Tonight
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Home Tonight


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Love To See You Smile by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
Love To See You Smile


CD: First Thing Tuesday Morning
Label: Blues Boy



4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Hot Wired My Heart by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
Hot Wired My Heart


CD: Different Shades Of Blue
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Different Shades Of Blue


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy My Dessert by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
My Dessert


CD: Can We Get Together?
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Can We Get Together?


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy When You Took Your Love From Me by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
When You Took Your Love From Me


CD: Package Deal
Label: Chilltown



3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Back At The Motel by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
Back At The Motel


CD: Can We Get Together?
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Can We Get Together?


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy First Thing Tuesday Morning by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
First Thing Tuesday Morning


CD: First Thing Tuesday Morning
Label: Blues Boy



3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy How Long by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
How Long


CD: Can We Get Together?
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Can We Get Together?


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Man Of The House by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
Man Of The House


CD: Home Tonight
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Home Tonight


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Third Party by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
Third Party


CD: Package Deal
Label: Chilltown



2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy One Woman Man by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
One Woman Man


CD: American Roots: Blues
Label: P & S

Sample or Buy
American Roots: Blues


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Willie May Don't Play by Artie 'Blues Boy'  White
Willie May Don't Play


CD: Different Shades Of Blue
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Different Shades Of Blue


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