Ugh.Lost a great friend and musical mentor yesterday. 10/19/11

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by 5StringBlues, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Earl Gilliam was a small man in size but loomed large over the Houston blues scene with his quick smile,wonderful keyboard skills and warm and humorous nature.
    He always had time for up-and-coming musicians when they had any questions about music.
    Earl was the first blues guy I connected with when I moved back to Houston in 1994. I learned so much from this man that it is immeasurable. He was like a father to me,and in fact,brought my father and I closer than we had ever been.

    Dad had always told me, "son,you have to do something other than music to make a living." Shortly before my father passed,he came to see Earl and I play at a local club. He had started to realize that I was playing most every night and was actually doing something with music. After Dad heard Earl,he came to me one day and said, "Hmmmmm.You're playing blues huh? You need an upright bass.I think I'll buy you one........"

    This was after 25 + years of him being totally against my being a musician.
    My father and I were closer in the last year of his life than we had ever been in the previous 30 or so,mostly because of Earl.

    So,thank you Earl. I loved you so much and enjoyed every minute of our 17 years together as friends. You taught me a ton about the blues and maybe even more about life.


    Hope they have some gin up there for you brother...........

    EarlGilliam.jpg g67276x9hct.jpg [​IMG]

    Earl Gilliam: "A Huge Loss That Can't Be Filled" - Houston Music - Rocks Off

    Houston blues great Earl Gilliam dies at 81 - Houston Chronicle

    This link is a compilation of a 2005 live performance.

    EARL GILLIAM Texas Blues Piano - YouTube

    These last links are to some of Earl's singles from the 50's and early 60's-

    Earl Gilliam Don't Make Me Late Baby - YouTube

  2. fourfinger


    Apr 17, 2003
    Central Ohio
    Thank you for sharing so that all of us could know your friend/mentor a little too. It is wonderful how he touched the lives of you, your father, and many others. Sorry for your loss.
    5StringBlues likes this.
  3. ^ Thanks man. He was an awesome person. The articles I posted talk a bit about the Sunday BBQ and jams he would have at his house. Basically feeding his musician friends and the neighborhood food and music.

    Best BBQ ribs ever!
  4. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    That sucks, man. I can relate. My guitarist died 2 months ago. Damon was my guitarist for 25 years and my best friend for 30. His mom introduced me to people as her "other son". He was my brother. We were on the verge of putting together a hardcore roots reggae project. He was only 41. I almost quit playing and sold all of my gear. Glad I didn't. But, I still feel like part of me is gone.
    5StringBlues likes this.
  5. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Have no fear, Earl's glass will never be empty

    Sorry for the loss.
    5StringBlues likes this.
  6. Back in May,we did a live internet feed to Earl's hospital room from his "Doghouse".

    The Doghouse was an old barn-like structure where Earl would host informal jams and BBQ on Sundays.

    Here's a small bit of that day.

    Earl Gilliam Tribute at The Dog House - YouTube
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