Why Bob Corritore Is Phoenix's Bluesman

There's no hesitation in the voice of Bob Corritore. The owner of The Rhythm Room, disc jockey behind Sunday night's blues program on KJZZ, and renowned harmonica player/producer/impresario fires off an answer to the question I was certain would stump him.

What's your all-time favorite record?

"The very first record I bought, Muddy Waters' Sail On, remains my favorite," Corritore says in a drawl KJZZ listeners may know well. "From that, I just expanded. You can go into Texas blues, like Lightnin' Hopkins; the more urban blues, like BB King, Big Mama Thornton; go back in time to Robert Johnson; go off into the early soul music; and the great new releases that keep this music alive. I love all these recordings, but I will always love that Muddy Waters record on Chess — it was the awakening."

Bob Corritore: Harmonica man and venue owner.
Bob Corritore: Harmonica man and venue owner.

Corritore celebrates the release of his new record, Harmonica Blues on Delta Groove Records, with a show this week. The album is a compilation created by plundering over 20 years of his personal recording archives, including performances by many of Corritore's longtime associates, people like Louisiana Red, Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Big Pete Pearson, and the late Chico Chism, as well as artists Corritore has long admired from a distance, such as Little Milton, Eddy Clearwater, Koko Taylor, and Honeyboy Edwards. In many ways, it's a representation of Corritore's story, a curious mix of old-time Chicago blues and the energy he got in moving to Phoenix 29 years ago.

"I guess early on, early on in my life, I realized the value of recording. It's such a sacred thing, to put music into a form that can live forever," Corritore says. "When The Rhythm Room opened up, in 1991, I found myself in the wonderful position of having a great house band, The Rhythm Room All-Stars, which at that time had my longtime friend and musical partner Chico Chism and other great Phoenix-based players like Johnny Rapp, and Paul Thomas . . . I've always loved the old-school blues, and when some of the blues greats would stop in on their tours — on the way to California or back from California — I was not only able to offer them a gig at the Rhythm Room, I could also offer them some studio work. We'd do these little three- or four-song sessions, and within each of these sessions was one or two nuggets of gold — something that would just happen, and it would be gold. The album Harmonica Blues is a collection of that gold."

"I moved to Phoenix in 1981. I came to Phoenix for what I thought would be one year. I left Chicago and came out to see my brother. I was between jobs and just wanted to enjoy the warm desert climate. And before I knew it, the Chicago blues just followed me," Corritore says. His longtime pal Louisiana Red soon joined him in the desert.

"He had a friend here, Eunice Davis, and he said, 'I'm thinking about coming out; let's get some gigs.' And a week and a half later he was here. About week after that, I got a call from Eunice — and she said, 'Bob, you better come pick up Red. I kicked him out.' So I go to Eunice's house, and there's Red on the porch, and next thing you know, I have a new roommate — which was the best experience of my life. We became like family. We played music together everyday."

It wasn't long before another Chicago pal joined him in Phoenix: Chico Chism, whose résumé as a drummer includes work with Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King, Bo Diddley, and Willie Dixon. "Chico [who died in 2007] was the blues, and he fell in love with Phoenix, and Phoenix fell in love with him. When people saw Chico, they saw this wonderful animated character, filled with this old-school blues charm. And oftentimes in the blues nowadays, the thing I worry about . . . So many of the characters of the blues, with that personality, are gone. Without that, it's just not the same."

The Chicago transplants immersed themselves in the local flavor: "There were some cool players here. I loved Bill Tarsha's harmonica playing. Small Paul was a great R&B singer. I was really knocked out by Tommy Dukes and a guy called Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Midnight Blues, Hans Olson — all of these players were part of the Phoenix blues scene when I first came. I stopped by the RJ showcase, at 16th Street and the river bottom — got to see Little Milton, Bobby Blue Bland. So, really, Phoenix was pretty cool and developing."

Corritore found himself in the unique position to impart what he'd learned growing up in the Chicago blues scene to the Valley scene. After being invited to spin records on noted Phoenix music historian John "Johnny D" Dixon's program on KSTM 107 FM, Corritore found himself wanting to do his own radio program. He approached the program director at KMCR, which later changed its call letters to the familiar KJZZ, which airs original programming during the evening and serves as Phoenix's NPR news station during the day.

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110 comments
loosecannonsbluesban
loosecannonsbluesban

You know who is Phoenix's Bluesman?  People like, The Chief Scubutti, Paris James, and over a 100 other people who have lived the blues all their lives - Bob parrots their music.  He's NEVER had it tough in life.  I'm pretty sure he would tell you the same thing.  However, Bob is a magnet for press coverage, unlike the REAL Bluesmen in Phoenix who still live in poverty, still being ignored  by writers like these, and still making music that they FEEL.

Lludik85018
Lludik85018

if i am not mistaken the documentary is an assignment done by a student. it has nothing to do with any "taxpayer funded" program. take your blinders off dude!

Earthdayaz
Earthdayaz

ASU presents a Bob Corritore documentary tomorrow! Daniel Liquori has headed a team of Arizona State University students who have created a documentary film on the subject of Bob Corritore. The film is titled The Journey of A Phoenix Bluesman, and.will be aired for the first time Wednesday, December 14th.at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism building at ASU's Phoenix campus. The address is 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004. The documentary starts 8:30pm at the First Amendment forum which is on the song floor of the building. The showing is open to the public and admission is free! I'm guessing the information passed on in these comments will not be part of the documentary. More taxpayer funded promos for Bob I guess. What a "self-made" bluesman.

Loose Cannons Blues Band
Loose Cannons Blues Band

Hey rcurrie89, glad you found time to post a comment, useless though it was. Fact is, I type over 80 words a minute and these comments were posted over 10 months ago. Took me about 10 minutes. Though, not such a waste of time. If you go on KJZZ on Sunday nights Bob will not be promoting his club any more during his time slot. KJZZ does run a blues bulletin board and Bob's club's acts do get mention during that time, but I shut down his free access to taxpayer funds for his advertising budget. That's saying a lot since he was likely received over $2 mil in such "in-kind" promotion of his club during these last many years. Just think if Warsaw Wallys would have had that assistance from the taxpayers - That company which had a great history in this town might still be in business. In fact, the owner of that club was always quite upset with the financial windfall Bob got from the taxpayers of Maricopa County. Yes, I'm a performer and have been for as long as Bob has been performing in Arizona. Yet, I don't get any write ups - not even when promised by the author of this blog. So, you must be a liberal and not concerned about the waste of over $2,000,000.00 in taxpayer funds to the detriment of the blues community in the Phoenix area. So sad to see a mind go to waste.

Earthdayaz
Earthdayaz

DEAD AIR BOB

I noticed that the author failed to mention Bob's nickname at KJZZ.

It is a certainty that 2 or 3 times in each show, KJZZ listeners will experience at least a full minute of dead air. I'm not sure what Bob is doing but during that time of no music, no talking, no nothing, KJZZ is losing listeners by the 100s.

So, in addition to utlizing the taxpayer's monies to subsidize his club and private for-profit enterprises, not playing hardly ANY local bands music on his show, and only playing blues once or twice a week at his club - he gets thousands of blues fans to turn to another station during his show at least twice each Sunday.

That's why we call him Dead Air Bob. At least it's amusing to know that Bob's still blazing a blunt during his show.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

The essential part of the music style we call Blues comes from the process of grieving and healing through singing and making music. Being comfortable around people enough to express sorrow and pain through crying and other emotional expression is the essence of community. That level of comfort required for a human to express their emotions, and thus heal grief and pain, is actually quite low. All it requires is a small touch of the type of love that is shared in a community.

To show how powerful love is, it can manifest itself even in a small club, among strangers gathered together with a common purpose, to listen to a performer. Given just a small expression of the sentiment expressed by a blues performer of “Hey, it’s okay, see, I’m feeling and expressing the pain too.” Through lyrics that are ancient “I lost my woman” “She or he kicked me out” or even funny “Your husband has be cheating on us”, we look at each other and realize it’s okay, we’re a community – we can heal and not be embarrassed.

That’s what the blues are. Giving members of a community the permission to heal themselves emotionally through the simple expression of music. That’s what’s important to know about the blues.

It’s not about who makes the most recordings, who sells the most alcohol, making money, being technically proficient – it’s about people, being brought together in their emotional outlook so that they have the permission to heal themselves, together.

For every one of the blues recording artists, including Bob and the artists he presents in his club, we like to listen to, there are 1,000s of blues musicians and singers in this community and all over this country helping people with their healing from grief, anger, loss, and even hunger (witness the recent benefits last weekend for the area food banks). I personally know 4 true bluesmen, most of whom are in their 70s, who live life and community and understand the true role of blues music. It's not a thing to exploit and use - it's a thing to help others with. When we try to exploit it we kill the very thing that this music style was created to do - heal people of negative emotions caused by slavery and other opressing conditions imposed on them by others. That’s the true meaning of the Blues. In all this discussion about who controls the major channels of marketing and promotion of blues music in the Phoenix area through the taxpayer funded KJZZ radio station’s use of our public airwaves and what we feel they should do with that power, let’s hope that Bob and Jason and Martin realize this one truth. The Blues is about increasing the ability of our community to feel and give love by assisting people to express their emotions and thereby shed the feelings of grief, anger and humiliation which impact all our lives. These emotions cause confusion about what we really are as human beings on this planet – beings that exist and thrive together in community.

Hopefully they will join us in building our community here after they’ve gotten all they think they need from it.

Legal Beagle
Legal Beagle

I smell a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the blues & R&B musicians of the Phoenix area (and music venues) against the Maricopa County Community College District and Bob Corritore's Rhythm Room for a number of issues: specifically, abusing taxpayer dollars in allowing Bob to utilize his position as a radio announcer on the ONLY blues show in the Phoenix market to unfairly create an anti-competitive business environment for blues & R&B musicians and venues and thereby creating a virtual monopoly for the Rhythm Room over an 18 year period of time! 1.5 million (the amount of 15 second "mentions" Bob "used' over that time which he - or any other venue - would have had to pay KJZZ for) times 3 ought to get it! While I doubt this would ever happen with the cowed musicians ("ohhh, maybe I'll get hired at the RR sometime") in this area, but it needs to be on record, should they ever get the cajones to stand up for themselves!

Another Real Blues Fan
Another Real Blues Fan

I would like to start a movement to request that KJZZ hire Johnny D and start a new local music show that goes on for 2 hours prior to Those Low Down Blues. If Johnny D had been the radio announcer for Those Low Down blues for the last 18 years, I'm betting my bottom dollar that the local music scene (especially blues, rockabilly and latino music scenes) would have been much better than they are today. Bob RARELY promotes local musicians (that aren't playing at his club) on Those Low Down Blues and I'm sure that Johnny will when we get him his own show on KJZZ.

Johnny Dixon was the right person for the blues show and is the right person for the NEW local music show on KJZZ that they will institute given enough support from local music fans in the Phoenix area.

Call KJZZ at 480-834-5627 or email at mail@kjzz.org and request that they add 2 more hours of local roots music programming on Sundays and hire Johnny D to do it!

Johnny D is truly a local hero, dedicated to local musicians and has the history and resources (and time?) to pull off such a show.

Please copy and forward this to as many of your friends as possible. Let's get a few thousand requests into KJZZ on this!!!

Be the Change you Want!http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com...

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

Interesting to note that Jason Woodbury's byline appears on 47 articles in the New Times this year, to date. 13 of those were about acts set to play the Rhythm Room. That means almost 1 in 3 articles Jason wrote this year benefited Bob Corritore and the Rhythm Room.

BBQ Blues Lover
BBQ Blues Lover

Just heard that the Rack Shack is shut down for some reason. Is that true? I really appreciate Sonny (RIP) for starting the BBQ sales at the Rhythm Room. He was a good blues man and cook too.

What About Bob?
What About Bob?

I am struck by the fact that when Bob opened the Rhythm Room there were at least 10 clubs in the Phoenix area that played Blues on a regular basis. That number is now down to 4. How did Bob help the blues in Phoenix again?

guest
guest

I know for a fact that at least two of names posted here are the SAME person. I wouldn't doubt if all three of these (Loosecannonsbluesband, Earthdayaz, and Real Blues Fan) are all the same person. This person apparently thinks the owner of the Rhythm Room is getting rich because of his radio show/blues club situation. Have you been to the Rhythm Room lately? Last time I was there I paid $4.50 for a drink and sat on a rusty old barstool. Doesn't look to me like anyone's getting rich.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

Hey, I have little problem with Bob and congratulate him on his success. However, Bob got a subsidy from the County taxpayers to publicize his club through the extra announcement and airplay for the artists who perform at his club and he needs to factor this information in to his bio. I've even hired him in my band in the past!

Let's be clear though - publicity, for an artist or music venue in this town, is paramount to success. If people don’t know about your event, there won’t be any people there. Talent is not the determining factor in who succeeds and who fails (e,g,; the Monkees or any of the "boy bands" which were created out of whole cloth). The ONLY member of the blues community who also has a radio show at his or her disposal is Bob. I want to make clear that there is a lot of musicians and clubs that don’t have that business asset. This automatically makes anyone who doesn’t have that asset less likely to succeed, blues musician or club owner, than the person who does have that asset, taxpayer supported as it may be. Until KJZZ changes it’s policies against on-air personalities acting with a conflict of interest in their programming last year, Bob took full advantage of this business advantage.This is called a “business advantage.” Now, if a business advantage is gained through the hard work and ingenuity of the business owner, all the best to that person. However, if that business advantage is gained through a taxpayer supported government subsidy, as did Bob’s, in my mind, that business owner owes that community something back. Remember, these announcements and plays of the artists’ CD by Bob are essentially an advertisement for his private business on a taxpayer supported public radio station. This is publicity that the other private music venues in the Phoenix area that present the art of our many blues musicians did not have. Now, there are approximately 15 minutes of time devoted each Sunday to a "Blues Bulletin Board" which lists all the blues performances, whether local or national acts, which KJZZ receives press releases about (mind you they don't go get the info from the club owners or musicians- you have to send it in). This is an invaluable service that KJZZ provides to the blues musicians and fans here and one that I hope does not end soon. Bob does not provide that service, KJZZ does through another employer.

Now, let’s see what that business advantage was worth to Bob’s business the Rhythm Room. Let's add two and two and see if we get four. We're talking about announcements by Bob made OUTSIDE of that Blues Bulletin Board.

Bob regularly made at least 4 announcements of the artists playing at his club on his show every Sunday (which, according to the 2 years worth of recordings of his show I have, this was normal) and then played cuts from those artists CDs and then made an additional announcement after the song. To be honest, the entire time spent on the artist should be counted as an advertisement for his Club. Others here have also pointed out that even in the absence of an actual verbal announcement by Bob, he routinely played cuts from artists appearing in upcoming shows at the Rhythm Room more frequently than he did other artists (let’s leave out the fact that he RARELY played cuts from local blues bands unless they were playing at his Club).

If you call KJZZ (602-824-9480) and ask them what they charge for placing an ad (they call it a "sponsorship" or “underwriting”) they’ll tell you it costs $50.00 for a 15 second spot on the Sunday night blues show. Now, how many 15 second periods did Bob procure for his club? NONE. Remember, his 15 second ads were all free, courtesy of Maricopa County property taxpayers who fund the MCCCD.

This might have added up to at least 88 “ads” per each Sunday show (4 times 22 15 second periods of time). That’s four times 22 15 second sponsorship spots that are essentially an advertisement for the Rhythm Room. So if Bob did this every Sunday show for 18 years (52 weeks in a year) at 4 times 22 second spots each show, that’s $4,118,400.00. Divided by 18 years that is $228,800.00 A YEAR!!! Quite the advertising budget for your club Bob. That must have really cut into your profi. . . . – oh, that’s right, you got all that for free.

Quite a business advantage! I wonder, were that amount to be distributed amongst every music venue in town if it would have made a difference in their bottom lines?

Now if one were to be conservative and say that Bob only did the announcement thing once each show that still would be over $1,029,600.00 over the 18 years or $57,200.00. Still a big promotions budget. I doubt KJZZ ever gets that amount of sponsorship dollars from one client underwriter.

Don't worry about your Sunday night blues shows; it will be there with or without Bob. There are plenty of talented people in our community who, believe it not, have even more knowledge about the local and national blues scene than Bob and are capable. They would have been there with or without Bob, and probably with a person who might have promoted the local blues scene more than just their own private financial interests.As I clearly stated here before, I really appreciate Bob for his ability to survive in this god-awful place (at least for musicians who are trying to make a living practicing their art) and he deserves all the accolades. However, he needs to include in his resume the fact that without the millions of dollars of free advertising on KJZZ that his private business enterprise has received over the years has assisted him "just a little" in achieving his personal financial goals.

Come on Bob - let's help the local yokels out a little too.

Shane Kennedy
Shane Kennedy

I have a pretty good idea that the writer of this piece had very innocent motives, he's a dedicated young music fan, writer, and musician, who grew up hearing Bob expose him to amazing music, and seeing amazing shows at his club. Period.

I hear Muddy Waters was a womanizing violent asshole.

Is he an opportunist? Maybe...I dunno...Most are who have the chance.

yeah, he scored...He won. He had oppourtunity. He used it.

and I've been benefitting from it every Sunday.

W

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Like the taxes that pay for the university expenses - BTW I wear Ray Bans.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

I would NEVER support such an action - it would be bad for the music community in general to have this type of lawsuit occur. I am interested only in what is good for the musicians and venues in the Phoenix area and not in assessing liability. It is important to move this community forward and heal the problems we've had rather than get back at people for whatever wrongs have been committed. While simply talking about these issues will hopefully help us fix what is wrong now and, going forward, prevent similar mistakes in the future, it will not harm our community and WILL make it better. The Phoenix area blues music community has been here for over 80 years and it will be here another 80 years. Bob will be here another 20 or so as well (god willing) and hopefully he will be convinced at some point that a rising tide lifts all boats.

guest
guest

Did anyone ask Johnny D. if he WANTS the job? Perhaps he doesn't.

Earthdayaz
Earthdayaz

Is that true Jason? In how many of those articles did you disclose that you also perform at the Rhythm Room? None???

crickets chirping.

Now, Tom - how's about some of that journalistic integrity coming to the fore here?

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

It was too bad that Sonny got shafted by the Rhythm Room and was sent packing without his barbeque wagon. It took them years to get back to cooking BBQ that was even close to Sonny's. Then they changed cooks and the BBQ was really, really horrible. Not sad to see it go at this point. For the rest of my life, any BBQ I eat will be compared to Sonny's. He was the best.

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

Just because the place is dilapidated and could use a sprucin' up doesn't mean that money isn't coming in. The point has been made that money is being funneled into Bob Corritore's pocket that wouldn't otherwise be there if he didn't use his radio show for personal promotion. I am certainly not "Earthdayaz", nor do I have anything to do with Loosecannonsbluesband. Personally, I would never pursue an agenda asking for Bob to give back to the blues community because I know it would be a lost cause. Bob would never reinvest in the local blues scene because he doesn't care about it or the musicians in it. He is only interested in what he can get from it in order to further his own career.

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

Jason Woodbury may have had innocent motives for writing the story but part of growing up is losing one's innocence- like finding out that the Santa Claus you had your picture taken with as a child is really the fat guy that works at the checkout at Safeway, or meeting your favorite actor and realizing that they are a self absorbed asshole, visiting a meat packing plant, or finding out that the local blues club owner does not care at all about the local blues scene and has gotten where he is by abusing his position of public trust and stepping on and over just about every blues musician in town, never looking back, even to say "thanks" or "sorry".

I've seen a lot of amazing shows at the Rhythm Room, too. I've also been introduced to some great music on "Those Lowdown Blues", but these experiences have come with a price- the knowledge and understanding that Bob's rise to his current status of "Phoenix's Bluesman" has fractured and marginalized the majority of blues musicians in this town. If you, Jason, or any listener, have gotten the majority of their "blues education" from Bob or his radio show, you are missing out on a LOT of important and great blues because Bob is a bit myopic in his selection of material. Bob will even tell you that he only plays cuts that he likes. That is a disservice to the listener and might be forgiveable if there were other blues shows in this market, or if the show was too short to offer much variety. I would think that in five hours each week over the course of decades, that Bob might have had the time to play ONE song by Long John Baldry or early Fleetwood Mac but he was apparently too busy playing Louisiana Red(who gets 20 or 30 spins a year, perhaps to keep up interest until Red's next appearance at ....where else, the Rhythm Room).I would encourage Jason to seek out other blues musicians here in town and interview them. A couple of them could even tell you about Muddy Waters.

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

I guess we'll never know until he is ASKED officially.... Also, there are several people in the valley who have radio experience and are part of the blues community who could easily take over the blues show on KJZZ. The short list would include Scotty Spenner, who hosted his own blues show on public radio in South Dakota and Bill Mitchell, who hosted a blues show on KZON. A couple more locals with radio/blues experience: Tom Coulson and George Vaught. There's no traction to be had from arguing that there isn't anyone to take over the blues show in Corritore's absence.

guest
guest

It wasn't the Rhythm Room that shafted Sonny. It was the Maricopa County Health Department that paid a visit in response to a complaint from Peter, the owner of Chars Has The Blues. The BBQ set up was not up to code. Sonny was given the opportunity to continue doing BBQ but he was not interested in jumping through the legal hoops and the gov. red tape.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

Sonny played with my band many times and he expressed to me a great dissappoinment regarding his "business loss" at the hands of Mr. Corritore and company. He was obviously very depressed at the treatment he received and I feel this may have contributed in a small way to his early death.

Kirk Hawley
Kirk Hawley

This makes me sick. Years ago my wife died and there was a benefit at the Rhythm Room to help me pay expenses. When it was over Bob handed me a large chunk of cash. I tried to thank him and he said "Don't thank me, just come out when we do this for other people." This Sunday I'll be at the Rhythm Room for the Pagano benefit.

Another Real Blues Fan
Another Real Blues Fan

So true. The way a business makes more money is to reduce fixed expenses. Not spending money on upgraded furnishings (or new flooring that can be cleaned properly - yuk!) is one way to make more money, not evidence of a company NOT making money! What business school did you go to guest?

This discussion should focus on the money that Bob did NOT have to pay for advertising on KJZZ which any other band or club would have had to. This taxpayer paid government support for Bob's private business advantage gave Bob an advantage over his competitors.

Had KJZZ had hired a non-conflicted DJ for their blues show, like Johnny Dixon, the local bars and clubs would all have been promoted equally and the entire Valley's blues scene would have benefited mightily! There might now be 4 or 5 Rhythm Room like venues.

Now, as a blues fan, I would certainly have appreciated that outcome more than I do the one we have now after 18 years of Bob's self-serving actions as KJZZ's blues show announcer.

Your message, guest, has the appearance of an attempt to "kill the messenger" while ignoring the thorn in your eye. Granted, nothing is going to "fix" the current situation the blues community finds itself in but knowing the mistakes of the past is important so we don't repeat them in the future.

KJZZ has, as of last August or so, told ALL their radio personalities that they can no longer use our public airwaves to enrich themselves at the public trough. Why they had to actually say this is history (a normal "ethical and moral" person would not have to be told this) and the blues community here will never be able to recover from the damage done to the scene from the unfair promotion of one private music venue and bands over all the others. However, I'm glad KJZZ finally recognized this harm and will not allow it to continue in the future.

The only way this damage to our blues community could possibly be undone is if Bob were to actually fulfill the mission statement of his non-profit (and reinstate its IRS Foundation status), the Southwest Musical Arts Foundation, and work to promote the local blues bands and music venues as much as possible - perhaps even making the board a public body that is elected by members of the Phoenix Blues Society or the Arizona Music Hall of Fame.  Allowing the SMAF to serve the entire Arizona blues community would be a good start to Bob repaying the community for the over $1.5 mil he's gotten (potentially) from the taxpayers of Maricopa County.

Jason P. Woodbury
Jason P. Woodbury

Sorry man, but the way I see it, the job of any DJ is to play the music they like. If you want to host a show in which you give the listener a blues history lesson, please, do so. The majority of these comments criticize Bob's monopoly of the blues scene, but few seem to acknowledge that the resources provided by the internet make it possible for any of us to do what Corritore does- all of the tools to do so are at your hands- start a podcast, start a blog, get a Soundcloud page and go wild.

If it's awesome, I'll listen. Until then, I'll sit back and read anonymous commenters talk trash. Seems that most people are content to complain about the success of someone else rather than dirty their hands making something of their own.

Earthdayaz
Earthdayaz

I understand Jason is a personal friend of Bob's and this is just another example of Bob getting preferential treatment from the media over the interests of the local blues community as a whole.

Sonny's BBQ Fan
Sonny's BBQ Fan

I heard that the sticking point was that Bob and his partner were trying to get Sonny to give up his homemade barbeque sauce receipe (which was ALL know was "the Bomb!") and that Sonny would not "give it up."

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

NOT the "shafting" I was referring to. After the county shut him down, benefits were held at the Rhythm Room to "buy Sonny a new BBQ trailer", which would be up to code. A bit later I recall Sonny selling BBQ out of the new shiny white trailer with a "Sunshine BBQ" logo on the side. He wouldn't have been able to do that until the proper codes were followed and permits issued. At that time Sonny said that Corritore and his partner were going to help him incorporate and possibly franchise as well as bring the BBQ sauce to the marketplace. Apparently Bob and his partner insisted that Sonny install them as owner/officers in the new business. Sonny refused and all of a sudden the BBQ wagon was no longer "his". If you drive by the Rhythm Room and look at the side of the "Rack Shack" BBQ trailer just right, you can see the outline of the Sunshine BBQ logo that has been painted over. Though no one ever sued, to my knowledge, I have always considered those benefits for Sonny to have been fraudulent because they were held on the pretense that Sonny would own the trailer. It appears that those benefits bought the trailer for Bob and his pal, who took their toys and went home when they didn't get their way.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

I seem to remember a meeting where Sonny was wanting to get an opportunity to run the concession there and was turned down. Was I mistaken? I saw him immediately after that meeting and he was in tears - wouldn't say what went down.

Remind me again who applied for the permits for a permanent trailer and hookups?

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

Like in how you received a personal benefit from Bob (not really - the cash was from a benefit fundraiser, at which many people participated, including Bob) and now feel the need to defend him in the face of his obvious self-dealing compliments of the taxpayers money AND at the expense of the diminishing the blues community in Phoenix? How ironic.

See your ability, as a musician who plays in the Phoenix market for blues music, was dimished as a result of the marketing benefit RR received over the other clubs as a result of Bob's hosting of the KJZZ blues show and his additional "mentions" of his club's events on that show outside of the "Blues Bulliten Board", which in my estimation is over 1.5 million dollars worth over 18 years (only a FOIA to KJZZ and other "research" would easily prove this).

Kirk, you and 98% of the musicians in Phoenix played at the other "blues" clubs in town which did not receive that taxpayer supported benefit to them, suffered as a result of the loss of audience due to the virtual monopoly in marketing on the ONLY BLUES RADIO SHOW in the Phoenix market that the RR enjoyed. You didn't see it directly but remember that promotions is key to the success of getting butts in chairs in bars and selling those people alcohol, which is really what we are doing.

If one club were able to put butts in chairs more effectively than another club (due to increased marketing), that club would succeed in capturing the "market share" for that evening (i.e., the total number of people who would be interested in attending a performance of blues and/or get high while listenting to live music). If that club had a marketing advantage as the Rhythm Room did with Bob announcing the musician's songs who were playing at his club in the upcoming next 2 weeks and then playing one or two of those artist's songs on his station and then reannouncing it after the song or songs are finished playing, and he does that 4-5 times per show over 18 years (OUTSIDE of the time devoted to the "blues bulliten board"), I would guess that any uninterested observer might say - Hey, that doesn't seem fair. They'd be right.

This activity resulted in a large business advantage for the Rhythm Room. It is not insignificant and it has diminished the scene for all blues musicians and fans. Now, this information being known is not going to harm Bob at all since the Station Management at KJZZ also recognized this as an unfair business advantage and conflict of interest for their radio personalities to be engaged in and have since "banned" the practice of their radio personalities doing it in August of 2009 (as I'm told by the Station's current management). Well, Bob was really the ONLY radio personality at KJZZ who owned a blues club - guess which radio show host the policy was "instituted" for last August? Now, if KJZZ thought it was just fine and dandy that Bob could continue to do this - WHY would they change the policy?

I think Bob and his club should continue to be successful and promote the blues in Phoenix, just on an even par with the other clubs which present blues in the Valley. Now, that's the way it is. I feel the purpose of this discussion would be to prevent any future "mistakes" on the part of KJZZ management and hopefully get KJZZ to put in place a radio show announcer dedicated to promoting the ENTIRE blues community in the Phoenix area.

See, that way the local blues musicians we have here can get paid more and clubs which present the blues can increase do to the interest in the LOCAL blues musicians this promotion would generate.

We're talking about taxpayer dollars here and they should be guarded to promote the general public interest, not the interest of a single private busines enterprise. Do you agree with that?

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

From Wikipedia:

"Hyperbole (pronounced /haɪˈpɜrbəliː/ hye-PUR-bə-lee[1]; from ancient Greek ὑπερβολή 'exaggeration') is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.

Hyperboles are exaggerations to create emphasis or effect. As a literary device, hyperbole is often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech. An example of hyperbole is: "The bag weighed a ton".[2] Hyperbole helps to make the point that the bag was very heavy although it is not probable that it would actually weigh a ton. On occasion, newspapers and other media use hyperbole when speaking of an accident, to increase the impact of the story. This is more often found in tabloid newspapers, which often exaggerate accounts of events to appeal to a wider audience."

Now you do too.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

How to you go from "contributed in a small way to his early death." to "Bob killed Sonny!"? That odd example of hyperbole.

Guest
Guest

I will be out of the office on vacation, returning Monday, November 29th.

If this is an emergency, please contact Bill Volhein, Lee Reynolds or Tanner Postert.

Thanks,-B

Kirk Hawley
Kirk Hawley

Bob killed Sonny! That bastard!

Jesus, get a grip.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

I find it odd, Kirk, that when I point out one or two small examples of where we might improve the blues community in this city, you blow it all out of proportion - Mr. Hyperbole, you would do well in radio. If you don't want me to discuss these issues with you, I would suggest you not post to this thread - because I have a thing that you also have - it's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH! I also have a spine and care about the blues community here that I've been a member of for over 20 years.

You really do a disservice to the other clubs in town when you claim that the Rhythm Room is "It's the ONLY place left in its niche in this town." Chars is in that "niche" The Compound plays local and national blues artists regularly, and there are about 5 other clubs that play "blues" acts weekly as much as the Rhythm Room does. The Sail Inn also plays blues acts. McCools, The Maverick, Chopper Johns, El Dorado, Steel Horse, and numbers of other clubs and also pay blues acts to perform at their clubs on a regular basis - that's not mentioning the local veteran's and fraternal clubs . However, these other clubs did not get the benefit that the Rhythm Room did, a club owner that is also the area's only Blues Radio Show DJ, that's what we're discussing here.

BTW - Kirk, discussing this information will not result in any loss to the Rhythm Room or in anyway impacting that club's ability to compete on an even basis with any other club in town that presents local or national blues acts. I wouldn't be discussing it here if I thought it would. I love the Rhythm Room and I like Bob and I hope he continues to succeed in the future. But hey, if the blues musicians and fans in this community can't stand up and show some spine, we deserve the crappy pay and poor treatment we get by club owners.

Before Bob came to town and opened the Rhythm Room, it was a regular occurrence to play out for $100.00 a man with almost that much in tips and there were over 20 different outlets for blues players. You might reconsider how much he has really helped the blues community?

BTW - why don't you consider WHY the Rhythm Room is one of the few "niches" left in this town. Could it have anything to do with the announcer of the ONLY BLUES RADIO SHOW in the Phoenix area having a conflict of interest in promoting his own club over those of other blues clubs?

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

Expressing information that the public is entitled to (e.g., information about a employee of a taxpayer funded radio station is "Public" knowledge and govered by FOIA) about a public figure - Remember here we're talking about a public radio on-air personality and the conduct of that radio personality's actions while on the air. Even if the information was false, which it is not, it is not likely to be held by a court to be actionable. Pick up a copy of one of those supermarket tabloids or New Times for an example of this principle (like their recent story on Steve Nash).

Should KJZZ want to examine it's records and find out how much monetary benefit it actually afforded Bob by allowing him to make these "mentions" (mentions are 15 second periods of time which KJZZ sells for $50.00 each) which Bob did not pay for, which information would surely come up in any lawsuit due to a cross-complaint against KJZZ - how do you think the taxpayers would be repaid that amount? I certainly don't have any money and am upside down in my home mortgage. Now if Bob can prove that his club lost money due to my discussion of this issue - that amount MIGHT be offset by him paying back the taxpayers for all those additional "mentions" he didn't pay for - but I doubt it.

I'm thinking, unlike you, that KJZZ might look to the Rhythm Room for repayment of the value of the "mentions" Bob took. If KJZZ management doesn't, perhaps the Court might think that these amounts should be paid back to the taxpayer. I don't think they're going to do that - nor do I think they would be interested in the "discovery" process which might occur regarding their records. Especially given that because many listeners record each and every show and have for many years, evidence of this additional "mention" activity by Bob is quite easy "discovery" to produce. Cross reference these mentions with the FOIA information about the payments by Bob to KJZZ for these additional mentions and you might find that someone's got some explaining to do to the board of Rio Salado College.

That's nothing compared to the information as a result of any discovery on lawsuits getting into the hands of the other clubs who have lost business (or gone out of business) due to Bob's additional mentions for the RR and their interest in recovering some of that lost income. I'm wondering how they would react given factual information that showed that another blues club in town had an approximate annual benefit to it's annual advertising budget of over $100,000.00 due to that club's owner being a radio personality on a publically funded radio station which produced the ONLY BLUES SHOW, weekly, in the Phoenix market.

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

Yup! This illustrates the effect Corritore has - years ago I would have zipped right down to the club and happily given time, money, and goodwill for this cause. Not today. If you have a contact or a link I will donate but simply because of the venue, I will not be attending.

Kirk Hawley
Kirk Hawley

OK we're friends. So I'll tell you this as a friend. This is public forum. It's not you and me BS'ing after a gig. I didn't go looking for this, somebody emailed me that I should look at this thread because so many other people feel the same way he does. So I look at the thread and it looks to me like a good 3/4 of the "other people" is you. How much freakin time have you spent over the last week or so publicly slamming Bob?

First off, I obviously ain't a lawyer but I suspect you'd better be able to substantiate all this crap, because Bob would be an idiot if he didn't have a lawyer after your ass right now.

Secondly, I've been going to the Rhythm Room for a long time. I've had a lot of great experiences there. I plan on having more. It's the ONLY place left in its niche in this town. You'll probably be pleased to hear that I think your diatribes are making it slightly more probable that it'll be gone before I am. This will upset me.

I don't know why you're doing this. Expressing an opinion is one thing, but this is getting beyond ridiculous. I see George in the RR all the time, often on stage. Do you realize you just stated publicly that George supports your slander?

Please stop.-Kirk

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

Remember to attend the Sail Inn Benefit for Lung Cancer survivors too okay. It's the same night and some local blues bands will be playing.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

Okay, I understand that you don't believe that Bob USED to pay the host band for benefits the normal fee he paid bands for non-benefit Sunday nights and that now he doesn't. That was my story and the point of this thread. I think I'm clear on that now. Of course the people who have actually conducted benefits for other people at the RR, like myself, know the truth. I am actually quite happy that you feel that you are a friend of mine enough to express yourself in such a "casual" way with me on this issue. Thank you. However, if you have enough of an interest in the issue to express an opinion, perhaps you could talk to a few other people who also conduct benefits at the RR and find out for yourself whether Bob still pays the host band or donates any money whatsoever to the benefit's recipient other than the door. May I suggest George Bowman. He's familiar with the issue and you might respect his opinion a little bit more.

For the record, I've conducted 4 benefit events at the Rhythm Room in the past. How many have you conducted?

Kirk Hawley
Kirk Hawley

Which, come to think of it, is pretty much what I told you when you told me that story in person.

Kirk Hawley
Kirk Hawley

You're right, it's not hyperbole. It's jus complete BS, as in you don't know what you're talking about.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

I haven't heard anyone say we should boycott the Rhythm Room here in this discussion. Ohhh, I see, you're using that thing called Hyperbole again, huh, Kirk. Always trying to liven up the conversation. That's what I love about you.

Frankly, since we're talking about benefits held at the Rhythm Room you may want to consider another example, while small, of the disingenous nature of Bob's management at the Rhythm Room.

Until about five years ago, when a person or group wanted to have a benefit at the RR, Bob would "hire" whatever band was going to be the host band for the benefit at the normal rate he paid bands on Sunday nights (the usual day Bob allows benefits to be conducted at his place - also his slowest days on the weekends BTW so holding a benefit boosts his sales). This amount typically would be between $200.00 to$300.00. This payment was paid in the normal course of business for Bob but it really helped the benefit host band or producer because they knew they would get at least their costs for promotion of the benefit paid back. This amount (minus the minimal cost of the flyers, radio mentions, etc.) would be given to the benefitee and serve as a guarantee of sorts.

Guess what, about 3 years ago, Bob stopped doing this. Now, Bob gets a free band and a larger crowd than what would normally be there on a typical Sunday night which translates into a WINDFALL for Bob. Of course he lets people do benefits there - he's making a lot or money doing it!

Now, hopefully, because we've had this discussion here, benefit host bands and/or the people producing benefits at the Rhythm Room will insist that Bob pay them what he normally would pay a band for a Sunday night and all will be right with the world.

Then again - there's always Hyperbole - Kirk?

BTW - I enjoy attending the events at the RR and will until I get 86d like the other people who have critizised Bob have been.

Kirk Hawley
Kirk Hawley

OK let me get this straight. You're purposely not going down there to help this dead woman's kid because Bob is mean. Right?

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

I went to that benefit for your wife. You thanked me for coming. If Bob had been that nice to everyone over the years we would not be having this discussion and I would be attending the Pagano benefit.

guest
guest

FYI - It says $4.50 for a DRINK!

Another Real Blues Fan
Another Real Blues Fan

BTW - $4.50 for a beer is A LOT! Most blues bars sell beer for $2.75 a bottle and $2.50 a can.

Real Blues Fan
Real Blues Fan

The very first sentence in your reply tells me that you are naive, idealistic, and have no idea how modern commercial or public radio actually works. Bob is in a VERY unique position- unlike the majority of radio DJs, he actually DOES choose the music he plays. The fact that his content choices are not a balanced inclusive mix is a disservice to the station and its listeners. The fact hat he has shifted and adjusted that content to directly benefit his own club is criminal.

Another Real Blues Fan
Another Real Blues Fan

There is nothing on the internet that affords a person a salary for 15 years, paid by the government from taxpayers dollars, to allow them to devote themselves fulltime to announcing the blues on the public airwaves. WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?

Jason, for you to make a statement like that, you are obviously very inexperienced in the issues regarding the local music scene or the music business in general. Something is there causing you to react in such a kneejerk fashion and make accusations founded on nothing. What information do you have that the people commenting here have not "dirtied" their hands? How about 20 years of performing blues 8-10 times a month? How long have you been performing in the Phoenix area?

BTW - You accuse the posters here of complaining about someone else's success. I haven't seen that in any of the posts. I've seen information you left out of your article that would contribute to the understanding of the reader as to WHY Bob is successful other than just the FLUFF your provided. There is a real story here that you are ignoring and trying to negate with your off-topic defensive comments.

My first post was to congratulate Bob - and I do - it's great that he's done as well as he has. I just want it recognized that it's not just because of his great staff at the Rhythm Room (which they are) or his great listeners (we are!) or the limited information you presented on his experience in Chicago - it's also because his business has been subsidized by the taxpayers of Maricopa County and they should be thanked too.

As a journalist, you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to supress legitimate information about one of your subjects. Take some pride in your profession for god's sake!!!!

Earthdayaz
Earthdayaz

Why Jason, your definition of "friends" and mine are pretty much the same - except for the part about "shady, back-room deals being made behind the scenes." I never said that and never implied that. You made that up in order to try to demean my contribution to the discussion here. I wish you would stick to the facts and realize the immense benefit Bob received from the taxpayers of Maricopa County (my ONLY point), to the detriment of other blues venues and the musicians who play there. This market advantage TAKEN by Bob has skewed the business environment for blues in the Valley in a way that is detrimental to the fans, the musicians and the venues who present blues music in this community. Rather than having a widespread, open and freely competitive marketplace in blues music developing over the last 18 years or so, we've had a single tax-payer subsidized individual venue, whose owner has used his position as a radio announcer in the ONLY blues show in Phoenix to publicize his venue over the other venues in town. Look back at the archives of the last five years for Those Low Down Blues. You will find a dearth of local artists being played and local venues promoted (outside of the blues bullitin board ("BBB") compiled by our lovely Jennifer Waters who does a great job). At least those who are not playing at the Rhythm Room. You see, Bob has for years, promoted his clubs acts during music of his show, in addition to having the normal announcements in the BBB, until he was told to stop this by KJZZ' Station Manager last fall. If you were to calculate (as has been suggested here before) the number of 15 second segments of which these "additional mentions" comprise (the intro, the song or songs of the artist appearing at the Rhythm Room, and the outro) and multiply that times the number of times this occured during each of Bob's shows for the last 18 years, you will come up with approximately the same number which was shown here earlier. Then ask yourself:

WHAT OTHER VENUE IN THE PHOENIX AREA GOT THAT MUCH FREE PR????

The loss of all that on-air "mention" revenue which KJZZ would have received ($1,5 million in my estimation), had Bob not been the radio personality for Those Low Down Blues, has reduced the amount of income KJZZ may have used to produce additional Blues programming at KJZZ. This is a loss to the listeners, blues musicians and venue owners, as well as Maricopa County Community College District which collects that taxes that KJZZ uses to operate.

My discussion sticks to the facts, not made up "deals." I wish you, as a supposed "journalist," would.

BTW - Jason, have you recently performed at the Rhythm Room?

Jason P. Woodbury
Jason P. Woodbury

Earthdayaz, I guess I'd have to wonder about your definition of "personal friend," and more over how you came to "understand" that Bob and I are doing each other favors.

I've listened to Bob's radio show, I've attended shows at his club, I've bought CDs from him and we are "friends" on various social networking sites. I pitched this story the same way I've pitched everything else I've written. I found a subject I think is interesting, based on my involvement in the local music scene, and I asked my editor if he thinks there's a good story to tell. I respect your zeal for the local blues community, but if you think there's some sort of shady, back-room deals being made behind the scenes, you are laughably out of touch.

 
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