Meet C.C. Rider, radio host on Elwood’s BluesMobile Radio Hour. She spends her life venerating the founding fathers of the blues. She’s walked the crooked highways of this singing country to resurrect the voices of the past.
A few years back, out on Highway 61, that famous road traveled by both the devil and Bob Dylan, a young woman appeared in the headlights of the BluesMobile, thumb out, body obscured by wisps of fog. The car stopped, the woman got inside. Her name, soon revealed, was C.C. Rider. It seemed like she had been waiting for this particular time, this particular car. Did the driver know her? Did she know the driver? Perhaps. She might have been a long lost daughter, or niece, or just a fellow orphan adrift in America. She had with her a guitar, and one of the world’s first portable audio recorders (a prototype built by Sylvania for the 1939 World’s Fair), plus a fountain pen once owned by Abraham Lincoln, and a thick creamy notebook of her own devising. These were the tools of her trade. She had made it her life’s mission to transcribe tales, to venerate the founding fathers and mothers of the blues.
She rode in the Bluesmobile as far as Clarksdale, then got out. She prefers to walk, where she can. And she prefers to listen to the old records, to read the old books — to maintain the glory of those who have gone before, and bring respectful attention to the brave souls reinventing the blues. She might not call it that, and she may not always choose to ride, but we know the truth. For now at least, The BluesMobile is her home.
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