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Two former PTCBW Faculty Go to the Other Side


Sad news . . .

- Edited Music Maker press release courtesy of Billy Hutchinson (Blues Matters mag): "Neal Pattman (b.1926) died on May 4th, 2005 in Athens, Georgia. He passed just three weeks after his good friend and musical partner Cootie Stark. Both men died of prostate cancer. Neal was born in Washington County, Georgia in the same town as the legendary harp master Sonny Terry.  He learned the harp from his father and grew up playing his blues at country juke joints, cake-walks and dances. Neal Pattman issued Prison Blues on the Music Maker label and is a featured artist on Sol:Volume Blue and was a featured performed in the yet unreleased Music Maker Film Living the Blues. Last spring Cootie and Neal traveled together for their last time to the MMRF headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina to join Kenny Wayne Shepherd in his upcoming CD/DVD 10 Days Out, Blues from the Backroads. Neal and Cootie play key roles in this film. [They] will be profoundly missed."

Neal gave me one of my most profound PT experiences.  The first day or two of camp that year, he had a look on his face as though he wasn't really sure about the situation, then late on the second day something clicked and he really warmed up.  Then on Wednesday or Thursday, he, Grant Dermody, and Robert Lowery got into a tune on the front porch of the schoolhouse, and Neal looked like the happiest man alive, just playing and singing for the pure joy of it.  After 10 minutes, Grant had to hop over the rail to escape to teach a class, and after 20 minutes, Robert Lowery held up his hands in mock surrender, but Neal just kept on blowin' and blowin' and blowin'. . .

You may have seen the Winston cigarette ad that the company ran a couple of years ago that had Cootie and Neal playing together.  If you ever see the picture again, it's the same location--front porch of the Ft. Worden Schoolhouse.

Thanks Neal, thanks, Cootie, thanks Tim Duffy and Music Maker for helping these two guys in the last years of their lives.


Hi Lindy,
Thanks for the report, though the news was certainly not welcome.  I remember Grant Dermody commenting on what a great tone Neal Pattman was able to get out of a harmonica; and this despite being unable to cup the harp at all, due to only having one arm.  Neal certainly did have a tremendous tone.  I wish I had had a chance to hear more of what Cootie Stark did.
All best,


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