Bobby Parker 1937-2013

by Chris Murray on November 5, 2013

BobbyParker-600x449Bobby Parker Copyright © Fernando Sandoval. All Rights Reserved.

Washington’s own Bobby Parker passed on last week. Bobby made a personal appearance at Govinda Gallery to celebrate Fernando Sandoval’s exhibition in February 2011. It was a great moment at Govinda. It was my honor to meet Bobby in front of the gallery when he pulled up in his car and I carried his guitar into the gallery for him. The bluesman who influenced The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Carlos Santana, among others, was joined by Memphis Gold, Linwood Taylor, Horace Turner, and Selena McDay for a set of blues tunes that rocked the gallery.

I spoke to our friend Pamela Esterson this morning who was the producer of the documentary film John Lennon’s Jukebox, directed by Christopher Walker. John Lennon had Parker’s “Watch Your Step” 45 rpm record on his jukebox. Parker was interviewed for the film in Washington in 2003, the day Hurricane Isabel hit town. Though the Beatles credit Parker’s “Watch Your Step” as the direct inspiration for their songs “Day Tripper” and “I Feel Fine,” Pamela told us that Parker was “not bitter, and a very gracious and humble gentleman. He was a great blues man who loved to play and was happy to keep on playing.”

We remember Bobby Parker with great affection. Here is a link to his segment on the award winning documentary film John Lennon’s Jukebox.

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